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Michael Adams
Place of birth County Cork, Ireland
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Navy
Rank Paymaster's Steward
Unit USS Kearsarge (1861)
Battles/wars American Civil War
*Battle of Cherbourg (1864)
Awards Medal of Honor

Michael Aheam (or Ahern) was an American sailor who received the Medal of Honor for valor in action during the American Civil War.

Aheam was illegally recruited in Queenstown, Ireland in November 1863 along with several others, and officially joined the US Navy from France.[1] He served as a Paymaster's Steward aboard USS Kearsarge during her battle with the commerce raider CSS Alabama on June 19, 1864 off Cherbourg, France. His Medal of Honor citation (dated December 31, 1864) noted that he had been "highly recommended" by his divisional officer after "carrying out his duties courageously" and exhibiting "gallantry under enemy fire" with "marked coolness and good conduct". He was one of seventeen Kearsarge sailors who received the medal for valor during this battle.

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Rank and organization: Paymaster's Steward, U.S. Navy. Enlisted in: France. G.O. No.: 45, December 31, 1864.


Served on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, June 19, 1864. Carrying out his duties courageously, PmS. Aheam exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended by his divisional officer for gallantry under enemy fire.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army Center of Military History document "Civil War Medal of Honor recipients - (A-L)".

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