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James Horton

Born in 1850 in Boston, Horton was stationed aboard the famed USS Constitution as captain of the top.

On February 13, 1879, the ship’s rudder was damaged during a storm. With two other sailors, Horton risked his life by allowing himself to be lowered over the ship’s stern and cut the fastenings of the rudder chains so the rudder could be repaired. 

Citation: Serving on board the USS Constitution, at sea, 13 February 1879, Horton showed courageous conduct in going over the stern during a heavy gale and cutting the fastenings of the ship’s rudder chains.