Robert H. King, Medal of Honor recipient for his role in the sinking the Albemarle

lupaglupa

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Robert Henry King was one of five men who received the Medal of Honor for their roles in the attack on the Confederate gunboat CSS Albemarle.

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King was born in in Albany New York November 8, 1844, the son of a grocer. His mother died when he was an infant and he grew up living next door to his father's store, where he worked as a clerk from a young age. In 1864 King's father died and King signed up to join the US Navy. He enlisted September 10, 1864 as a substitute. He was 19 years old, 5 foot 3 and 1/4 inches tall, and had grey eyes and dark brown hair. With no experience at all he was made a landsman and sent to New York City to serve in the Navy.

King's youth and inexperience didn't keep him from being assigned to join a daring mission. Lt. William B. Cushing had outfitted two picket boats at the Brooklyn Naval Yard in the hopes that their custom spar torpedoes could sink the CSS Albemarle. The crew set off along the coast to Norfolk, Virginia. With the second boat lost at sea, King and the 14 men on Picket Boat #1 would be the only vessel to attempt the torpedo attack.

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On the night of October 27th, the picket boat proceeded up the Roanoke River. Despite detection, they succeeded in exploding their torpedo and the Albemarle was sunk. Two of the crew, including Cushing, escaped, two drowned, and the remaining men, King among them, were taken to Salisbury prison. Conditions at the prison were harsh and King became ill. Though he was released after five months of captivity, King died of typhoid only days after his return to Albany. He was 20 years old.

King is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.

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lupaglupa

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@bdtex I did not know there was a special flag for MOH. Albany Rural has, I think, five MOH recipients buried there. I wonder if any of them have the flag.
 

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