About William Pelham
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Landsman William Pelham, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving on board the flagship U.S.S. Hartford during successful actions against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. When the other members of his guncrew were killed or wounded under the enemy's terrific shellfire, Landsman Pelham calmly assisted the casualties below and voluntarily returned and took his place at an adjoining gun where another man had been struck down. He continued to fight his gun throughout the remainder of the battle which resulted in the capture of the Tennessee.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 45 (December 31, 1864)
Action Date: August 5, 1864
Division: U.S.S. Hartford