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John Johnson

Rank(s): Marine Private

Dates of Service: 4/28/1814 - 5/18/1814

Birth Date: 1778

Death Date: 5/18/1814

Early Life

John Johnson was born on December 8, 1778 in Andover, Massachusetts to John and Hannah Johnson. He lived in Salem Massachusetts before joining the Marine Corps.

Johnson had a younger sister Rebecca. He married Hannah Abbot on February 27, 1812 in Andover, Massachusetts. They had two sons: John Abbot, born in 1810, and Leonard, born in 1812.

Early Experience

Johnson had worked as a laborer before joining the Marines. He enlisted in the Marines Corps as a private and was assigned to the USS Chesapeake. Johnson was on board during Chesapeake‘s battle with HMS Shannon. He was slightly wounded in the battle and was among the crew incarcerated in Halifax before being returned in July, 1813. Somewhere in this experience, he contracted small pox. Upon his return and diagnosis by Navy physicians, he was quarantined on Rainsford Island in Boston Harbor from July 22 to September 2, 1813.

On his enlistment, Johnson was described as being 5′ 9.5″ tall with blue eyes, dark hair and a sallow complexion.

After being cleared of small pox, Johnson transferred to USS Constitution on September 6, 1813 as a Marine private. However, he became ill again in March while the ship was still at sea. He was transferred back to the hospital at the Marine Barracks in Charlestown on April 28, 1814.

Battles and Engagements

Johnson was on board for the battle with HMS Pictou.

After being transferred back to the Charlestown Navy Yard on April 28, 1814, Johnson wrote to his wife, Hannah, “I been sand on Shoor in the Barraks to the houspittel for I have be taken in the beginning of March with a ill sikness at Sea and have not ben fit for enything Sins but I am Sume wat better Sins my Coming to Shoor”. [Spelling as in original]
He died from illness at the Charlestown Navy Yard on May 18, 1814.
Hannah Johnson received a pension of $3.50 a month following John Johnson’s death. It continued until at least 1852 according to records.

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