About Charles Asten
Charles Asten (born Michael Charles Asten, but served under his middle name) (September 14, 1834 – September 14, 1885) was a Quarter Gunner in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. Asten was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in September 1834, and he entered the United States Navy in Chicago, Illinois, during the Civil War. In 1864, he served aboard the USS Signal, a U.S. tinclad, during the Red River Campaign
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Although his actual first name was Michael, he served under his middle name of Charles. AS native of Nova Scotia, Canada, he enlisted in the Union Navy during the Civil War and served as a Quarter Gunner on board the "USS Signal". He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery in defending the "Signal" from Confederates on the Red River, Louisiana on May 5, 1864. His citation reads "Proceeding up the Red River, the USS Signal engaged a large force of enemy field batteries and sharpshooters, returning their fire until the Federal ship was totally disabled, at which time the white flag was raised. Although on the sick list, Q.G. Asten courageously carried out his duties during the engagement." After the ship was captured the crew, Gunner Asten among them, were interred in the Camp Ford Prisoner of War camp, which was near Tyler, Texas, until they were exchanged. He was awarded his Medal on December 31, 1864.