John Drion

Ordinary Seaman, USS Cincinnati

John Drion was born c1844 in France and enlisted in New York City as an ordinary seaman on 6 September 1864 for a one year term.[1],[2] Per his rendezvous index card [3], he was attached to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron on 17 September 1864 and served on the USS Monongahela, USS Richmond and finally the USS Cincinnati.

On 13 April 1865, Drion was a member of a three-man working party that was tasked with minesweeping the Mobile River in front of the city when one of the mines they retrieved accidentally exploded, killing all three. From the CO of the Cincinnati, LCDR George Brown, report to Acting RADM Henry K. Thatcher of the incident:

United States Iron-Clad Cincinnati
Sir, I deeply regret to have to report the blowing up of the launch of this vessel by a torpedo yesterday afternoon.

By this sad accident three lives were lost. Their names are as follows: Acting Master's Mate Leon De Wolf, Captain of Forecastle C. H. Howard, Ordinary Seaman John Dreon. The launch had caught a torpedo, and had weighed it to within about two feet of the surface of the water, when the mooring parted, and the strain on the drag-rope brought the torpedo against the stern of the boat, exploding it.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant
George Brown
Lieutenant Commander [4]

John Drion was about 21 years old and had been in the Navy for just over seven months.





Awards and Memorials



[1] Return of the United States Naval Rendezvous, New York, NY for the week ending September 10 1864

[2] Third Quarter 1865 Muster Log of USS Cincinnati

[3] NARA T1099. An index to rendezvous reports during the Civil War, 1861-1865.

[4] Letter from George Brown to H. K. Thatcher. NARA M89. Letters Received by the Secretary of the Navy from Commanding Officers of Squadrons("Squadron Letters"), 1841-1886