Re: Samuel Higgins US Navy Civil War Hero
To save Ron some writing, here is his inquiry he submitted to my Higgins Surname site at
24 Sep 2004
My name is Ron Tarburton---I am historian of the First State Medal of Honor Roundtable and I am looking for info on a very special but presently obscure fellow.
He was a First Class Fireman aboard Picket Launch No 1 when it destroyed the Rebel ram Albemarle at her dock in Plymouth North Carolina, Oct. 1864. He was the senior rated enlisted man aboard and all the other enlisted men received for their heroism that fateful night the thanks of a grateful nation in the form of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
For some unknown reason, even though Samuel Higgins lost his life on that mission he never received the Medal of Honor. I believe that he didn't because of some error or perhaps because the US Navy only awarded One and only one posthumous Medal of Honor during the entireCivil War. I am trying to track down the family of this man in the hope I might therefore identify him and determine where he came from. I know that he was familiar with steam engines and had worked himself to very nearly an engineer's rating at the time of his death. That takes years at sea and lot of proven experience.
It is just a hunch but I learned that a Samuel Higgins signed aboard the CS Sumter under Rapahael Semmes, a rebel raider in 1861 as a coal hear (stoker in the engine room) He signed aboard at New Orleans Louisiana shortly before the ship sailed. Most of the crew was left ashore after being paid in Gibraltar quite a while later in the war. Thought this might be the same man and later he joined the US Navy, being experienced with steam and quickly working his way up the ranks.
Also have learned that a Edward Higgins was mariner and former US Navy officer, operating out of Louisiana and after this Samuel Higgins was born in 1842, when Edward was 21, Edward was still in the US Navy but in his early manhood this Edward was operating mail steamers between New Orleans and New York.
Then a Samuel Higgins joins the same artillery unit that is led in part by Edward Higgins, there in La. at the start of the war.
About this same time a Samuel Higgins signs aboard the CS Sumter and sets off to war shortly thereafter.
There are variations and questions here but just playing a hunch.
Could you find if Edward Higgins---born VA 1821 Died San Francisco 1875 had a child named Samuel who was in the Confederate Navy. I really do believe that through some grievous error Fireman First Class Samuel Higgins, believed buried at Plymouth North Carolina, was wrongly denied the Medal of Honor and I will do all I can to correct this error, if I find that it has in fact taken place. But to do that I have to find his roots, his family and then his present day Congressman. After that we can start working on justice for this long forgotten hero that should never have been overlooked.
I sincerely hope you or someone can help
me. Ron Tarburton
---more data at above link
including an image of his headstone at New Bern Cemetry in North Carolina.