About James E. Sterling
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Coal Heaver James E. Sterling, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving on board the U.S.S. Brooklyn during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, Alabama, on 5 August 1864. Although wounded when heavy enemy return fire raked the decks of his ship, Coal Heaver Sterling courageously remained at his post and continued passing shell until struck down a second time and completely disabled.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 45 (December 31, 1864)
Action Date: August 5, 1864
Rank: Coal Heaver
Division: U.S.S. Brooklyn