b. 20/03/1835 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. d. 05/05/1904 New Castle, Delaware.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 14/03/1863 Port Hudson, Louisiana.
Joseph Vantine was born in March 20, 1835 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Vantine's first enlistment in the United States Navy was on May 19, 1857 at Philadelphia and he served on the USS Minnesota as a Second Class Fireman. He was honorably discharged on June 10, 1859. Vantine's second enlistment in the United States Navy was on July 13, 1861 at New York, New York and he served on the USS North Carolina (1820) as a First Class Fireman till July 27, 1861. He transferred to the USS Richmond on July 28, 1861 and served as a First Class Fireman till August 29, 1864. He then transferred to the receiving ship USS Princeton (1851) on August 30, 1864 and was honorably discharged September 9, 1864.
During the Civil War, Vantine served as a First Class Fireman aboard the steamship USS Richmond. As a fireman, Vantine's duties were to tend to the ship's steam boilers.
In the prelude to the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, Rear Admiral David Farragut attempted to move a flotilla of ships, including the Richmond, up the Mississippi River past the town of Port Hudson. On March 14, 1863, the flotilla reached the town and came under heavy fire from Confederate artillery batteries. The enemy guns inflicted severe damage on the Union flotilla, forcing most of the ships to turn back.
During the battle, the Richmond's fireroom, which housed its boilers, was damaged by an enemy shell and began to fill with hot steam. Vantine entered the room and "hauled the fires", or put out the furnaces, to prevent further danger. For his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on July 10, 1863.
Serving on board the U.S.S. Richmond in the attack on Port Hudson, March 14, 1863. Damaged by a 6 inch solid rifle shot which shattered the starboard safety valve chamber and also damaged the port safety valve, the fireroom of the Richmond immediately filled with steam to place it in an extremely critical condition. Acting courageously in this crisis, Vantine persisted in penetrating the steam filled room in order to haul the hot fires of the furnaces and continued this action until the gravity of the situation had been lessened.
BURIAL LOCATION: GLEBE CEMETERY, NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE.
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