CHARLES A. READ (1837-1865)

by James E. Fargo, FSA Scot

Johan A. Linderoth was born in Sweden on October 23, 1937 and took the name Charles A. Read on joining the U.S. Navy. He was serving as coxswain on the sloop-of-war U.S.S. Kearsarge when she sank the commerce raider C.S.S. Alabama on June 19, 1864.

Read’s Medal of Honor citation read: "Served as coxswain on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, June 19, 1864. Acting as the first sponger of the pivot gun during his bitter engagement, read exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended for his gallantry under fire by his divisional officer."

Seventeen men of the Kearsarge crew were awarded the Medal of Honor for the superior gunnery of its gun crews using 11-inch Dahlgren smoothbore pivot cannons against the Alabama’s 32-pounder shells. Among those seventeen was Seaman George E. Read.

Read was an apparent suicide on May 7, 1865 in Manhattan, New York City, New York after swallowing a dose of laudanum "while suffering from temporary derangement of mind". He is buried in the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York City.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society
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