Miles M. Oviatt was born in Cattaraugus County on December 1, 1840. He enlisted on August 19, 1862 at Brooklyn, New York, in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was honorably discharged as a Corporal on August 18, 1866. His Medal of Honor was awarded on December 31, 1864. Its citation: “On board the U.S.S. Brooklyn during action against rebel forts and gunboats and with the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1865. Despite severe damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy fire raked the deck, Cpl. Oviatt fought his gun with skill and courage throughout the furious two hour battle which resulted in the surrender of the rebel ram Tennessee.”
Oviatt died on November 1, 1880, and is buried in Olean’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. His great-granddaughter, Mary P. Livingston, authored A Civil War Marine at Sea: The Diary of Medal of Honor Recipient Miles M. Oviatt (White Mane Books, 1998). Ms. Livingston donated her ancestor’s Medal of Honor to the Marine Corps Historical Museum in Washington, D.C.
Submitted by CAMP members.