b. 1839 Boston, Massachusetts. d. 01/10/1894 Gloucester, Massachusetts.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 28/11/1864 Sullivan's Island Channel.
Born in 1839 in Boston, O'Brien was still living in that city when he joined the Navy. He served during the Civil War as a coxswain on the USS John Adams. On November 28, 1864, he was involved in the capture of the blockade runner Beatrice off Sullivan's Island in Charleston Harbor. O'Brien commanded one of the launches which approached and boarded the ship despite heavy fire from the Confederate Fort Moultrie. Beatrice's equipment was then confiscated and the ship set afire. For these actions, O'Brien was awarded the Medal of Honor a month later on December 31, 1864.
Served as coxswain on board the U.S. Sloop John Adams, Sullivan's Island Channel, 28 November 1864. Taking part in the boarding of the blockade runner Beatrice while under heavy enemy fire from Fort Moultrie, O'Brien, who was in charge of one of the boarding launches, carried out his duties with prompt and energetic conduct. This action resulted in the firing of the Beatrice and the capture of a quantity of supplies from her.
BURIAL LOCATION: OAK HILL CEMETERY, GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS.
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