|Death: ||Dec. 12, 1866|
New South Wales, Australia
John F. Minor was born in 1833 in Virginia, but Virginia law did not require the recording of birth and death records until 1853; making acquiring a copy of his birth certificate nigh on impossible.
In the book "History of the Confederate States Navy", CSN author J. Thomas Scharf records John F. Minor as ‘ J. T. Minor'; we don't know why, but it could have been a mistake on the part of the author; which has caused much confusion.
In 1860 records reveal John was living in Huntington, Suffolk County, New York with his wife, Ann, and a son; working as a boatman. John was serving aboard a whaler, prior to the Civil War, in the Pacific Ocean, during the capture of the Charles Hill, and the Nora, on March 25, 1863, and by the Confederate States cruiser, the CSS Alabama. By Sunday, June 21, 1863, Minor was appointed to the position of master's mate, and given the position of third officer aboard the Confederate tender, the CSS Tuscaloosa. It is claimed by some that Minor also saw service aboard the CSS Sumter; but there is no official documentation to support that.
Charles John F. Minor had been appointed from Virginia, into the Confederate States Navy, as Acting Master's Mate, October 8, 1864, and served aboard the CSS Shenandoah as Master's Mate; being aboard her when she surrendered in Liverpool, England. The highest rank achieved by John F. Minor was that of Lieutenant.
After the surrender of the Shenandoah in Liverpool, England on November 4, 1865, John Minor migrated to New South Wales, Australia, leaving England in January 1866; arriving in Australia the end of May, 1866. In December 1866 he was living in Eden, New South Wales; having become familiar with the Kilgour and McLaren families in the area, because members of their families had served with him aboard the Shenandoah. There he became a fisherman and it was during one of his fishing trips that he, along with David & George Kilgour, William Jonathan Shaw and another individual left in a whale boat named "Ellen"; belonging to the Kilgour brothers, for a fishing trip to Montague Island, an 83 hectares island, nine miles off the New South Wales coast from Narooma.
Not being heard from for a period of four weeks, anxious inquiries were made and a search began resulting in a report that a gardener named Mr. Day, who lived near ‘North Head,' reported that a few days after a hail storm on December 12th he had found the remains of a boat with the name ‘Ellen' scratched on it near Aslings Beach. Apparently the fishing party never made it to Montague Island. It was therefore determined that the entire party aboard her had drowned and had been lost at sea. Their bodies were never recovered, nor was the gold watch carried by Mr. Minor that had been given to him by the officers of the Shenandoah.
Master's Mate John F. Minor died as he lived, on the sea and forgotten as if he never existed; but he did, and should never be forgotten. A bronze memorial plaque honoring his service was acquired by the William Kenyon Australasian Confederates Camp 2160 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc in December 2010, to be erected at the "Seaman's Wall" overlooking Asling's Beach; where the remains of the "Ellen" were recovered.
Note: John F. Minor was a Confederate naval officer and a veteran of the American Civil War, 1861-1865
Body lost or destroyed
Specifically: Drowned and lost at sea.
Created by: James Gray
Record added: Apr 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68737337