Established early in the Civil War to "promote efficiency in the Navy", the Medal of Honor rose to prominence in American history and heritage. Fewer than 3,500 Americans have been awarded Medals of Honor, and today only 81 of them survive. These heroes are a vanishing breed whose valiant history MUST be preserved for future generations. That heritage is nurtured and sustained on the ground floor of the Hall of Heroes.
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor to
Rank and Organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 1836, County of Monahan, Ireland. Accredited To: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 59, 22 June 1865.
On board the U.S.S. Minnesota in the assault on Fort Fisher, 15 January 1865. Landing on the beach with the assaulting party from his ship, Cpl. Rannahan advanced to the top of the sand hill and partly through the breach in the palisades despite enemy fire which killed or wounded many officers and men. When more than two-thirds of the men became seized with panic and retreated on the run, he remained with the party until dark when it came safely away, bringing its wounded, its arms and its colors.