"Mr. President, these are the young heroes of Fort Darling?. The President took them all by the hand and personally thanked them for their magnificent conduct and example, ordered that each one should receive a Medal of honor and to be promoted?."
While Confederate artillery fire repeatedly struck the USS Galena, three crewmen performed conspicuous acts of gallantry that would earn them the Medal of Honor.
When an artillery shell passed through the Galena, killing and disabling most of the crew serving her 100-pounder Parrot rifle, Corporal John Mackie rallied his comrades, shouting, "Come on boys, here's a chance for the Marines." After clearing up the debris and removing the injured, Mackie's team resumed firing the huge cannon until the Galena withdrew. For his courage and leadership, the 27-year-old New Yorker became the first U.S. Marine to receive the Medal of Honor.
Charles Kenyon, a 22-year-old sailor from New York, was severely burned while clearing a bent priming wire from the bow gun. Kenyon returned to the gun to continue the fight, ignoring his injuries and the Confederate sharpshooters whose rifle fire swept the exposed decks of the Galena. Jeremiah Regan, a 30-year-old quartermaster from Boston, served as captain of the Number 2 gun and also stood firm in the face of horrendous shelling and deadly sharpshooting. Kenyon and Regan were among the first members of the U.S. Navy to be awarded the Medal of Honor.