In 1863, Aaron Anderson joined the Union Navy at the age of 53. He was serving as an oarsman on a small boat that was sent to attack Confederate forces on Mattox Creek, Virginia. Anderson and the other crew members found themselves under attack from 400 Confederate soldiers. The ammunition from the Confederates was so powerful it destroyed almost all the oars and only musket on board. Anderson and the few other oarsmen managed to maneuver the boat to safety under this intense fire. His citation is below. Please note that his last name was misspelled in the citation.
Medal of Honor Citation
“The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Landsman Aaron Sanderson, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving on board the U.S.S. Wyandank during a boat expedition up Mattox Creek, Virginia, 17 March 1865. Participating with a boat crew in the clearing of Mattox Creek, Landsman Anderson carried out his duties courageously in the face of a devastating fire which cut away half the oars, pierced the launch in many places and cut the barrel off a musket being fired at the enemy.ˮ
This Aaron Anderson mug is part of our Medal of Honor Series and our Civil War Series profiling participants in the War Between the States. Thousands of Confederate and Union soldiers fought in battles such as Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. We honor their sacrifices by telling their stories.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
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- To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
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