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Joseph Matthews
Born 1849
Died November 11, 1912 (aged 62–63)
Place of birth Malta
Place of burial Palmetto Cemetery Brunswick, Georgia
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Captain of the Top
Unit USS Constitution
Awards Medal of Honor

Joseph Matthews (1849 - November 11, 1912) was a sailor in the United States Navy who received the Medal of Honor for bravery.


Matthews was born 1849 in Malta. After immigrating to the United States, he joined the navy. He was stationed aboard the USS Constitution as captain of the top when, on February 13, 1879, he risked his life to cut the fastenings of the ship's rudder chains in a heavy gale. For his actions, he received the Medal of Honor on October 18, 1884.[1][2]

He died November 11, 1912 and is buried in Palmetto Cemetery, Brunswick, Georgia.[3]

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Rank and organization: Captain of the Top, U.S. Navy. Born: 1849, Malta. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884.


For courageous conduct in going over the stern of the U.S.S. Constitution at sea, 13 February 1879, during a heavy gale, and cutting the fastenings of the ship's rudder chains.[1]

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