by James E. Fargo, FSA Scot

Charles Read was born in Cambridge, New York in 1840.

He joined the U.S. Navy and was serving as an ordinary seaman on the U.S.S. Magnolia. On that March 5-6, 1865, he accompanied a Union Army force during the Battle of Natural Bridge near Saint Marks, Florida. Read helped transport and fire a naval howitzer throughout the engagement despite heavy Confederate fire. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor three months later on June 22, 1965. He was one of six sailors to receive the medal during this engagement.

Read’s Medal of Honor citation read: "As seaman on board the U.S.S. Magnolia, St. Marks Florida, 5 and 6 March 1865. Serving with the Army in charge of Navy howitzers during the attack on St. Marks and throughout this fierce engagement, Read made remarkable efforts in assisting transport of the gun, and his coolness and determination in courageously standing by his gun while under the fire of the enemy were a credit to the service to which he belonged."

It is not known when he died or where he was buried.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society
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