Died when: 80 years 116 days
Star Sign: Taurus
Martin Freeman (May 18, 1814 – September 11, 1894) was a civilian employee of the Union Navy during the American Civil War and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of Mobile Bay. He is one of only a handful of civilians to have received the medal. Born on May 18, 1814, in Germany, Freeman was living in Louisiana when he was hired by the Navy as a pilot. He served aboard Admiral David Farragut's flagship, the USS Hartford. Throughout the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama, on August 5, 1864, Freeman guided the Union fleet into the bay from Hartford's maintop despite heavy Confederate fire. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on December 31, 1864. Freeman's official Medal of Honor citation reads: As pilot of the flagship, U.S.S. Hartford, during action against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee, in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. With his ship under terrific enemy shellfire, Freeman calmly remained at his station in the maintop and skillfully piloted the ships into the bay. He rendered gallant service throughout the prolonged battle in which the rebel gunboats were captured or driven off, the prize ram Tennessee forced to surrender, and the fort successfully attacked. Freeman was promoted to acting volunteer lieutenant in October 1864, and was honorably discharged in January 1867. He died on September 11, 1894, at age 80 and was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Pascagoula, Mississippi.