United States Marine Corps
Recipient of the first Medal of Honor
Mackie enlisted in the Marine Corps from New York on August 23, 1861. By 1862, he held the rank of Corporal and was serving on the ironclad warship USS Galena (1862). On May 15, 1862, a five-ship Union Navy squadron, including the Galena, steamed up the James River to test the defenses of the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia. After reaching a bend in the river upstream of Dutch Gap, the squadron encountered submerged obstacles and heavy fire from Fort Darling, atop Drewry's Bluff. The fort's artillery batteries inflicted severe damage on the Galena and forced the Union squadron to turn back. During the battle (which would come to be known as the Battle of Drewry's Bluff), most of Galena's naval gun crew was killed or wounded. Mackie led a group of Marines who took over operation of the guns for the remainder of the battle.
Rank and Organization:
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 1836, New York, N.Y. Accredited To: New York. G.O. No.: 17, July 10, 1863.
On board the U.S.S. Galena in the attack on Fort Darling at Drewry’s Bluff, James River, on May 15, 1862. As enemy shellfire raked the deck of his ship, Corporal Mackie fearlessly maintained his musket fire against the rifle pits along the shore and, when ordered to fill vacancies at guns caused by men wounded and killed in action, manned the weapon with skill and courage.