Philip Bazaar

Philip Bazaar
(No Photo Available)
Career  Military, Navy
Born Unknown
Died December 28, 1923
Nationality Hispanic/Latino American 

Philip Bazaar was born in Chile, South America. He became a United States Navy Seaman and disguised himself during the battle for Fort Fisher during the American Civil War. He, along with 5 other crew members, courageously fought and unwaveringly supported their military superiors during the battle. As a result of their dedication to their duty, they were awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor.


In the 19th century, many immigrants from various nations attempted to enter the U.S. in search of a better life. Many of these immigrants were trying to escape famine and poverty. They risked everything to travel to America despite the escalating conflicts which would eventually lead to the American Civil War.

Service Career

After immigrating from Chile, Philip Bazaar lived in Massachusetts and found work at the Union Navy in New Bedford. He was an ordinary seaman assigned to the United States Ship Santiago de Cuba during the Civil War. 

The U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba was a wooden two-masted sailing, side-wheel vessel under Admiral David D. Porter’s command. The vessel was a gunboat which served as a union blockade against the Confederacy.

In 1864, Union General Ulysses S. Grant initiated the assault at Fort Fisher, which was the stronghold of the Confederate States of America. Fort Fisher was an essential access point for the use of key trading channels for Wilmington’s port in North Carolina. After the failure of the first assault, which was led by Rear Admiral Porter on the sea and General Butler on land, a second assault was ordered. This second assault was led by Major General Alfred Terry on land, who replaced General Butler. The second assault at Fort Fisher was carried out in 1865 by both land and naval forces. 

Philip Bazaar, along with 5 other members of his crew, while under heavy fire from the Confederates, bravely carried dispatches to Major General Terry, as ordered by Rear Admiral Porter.

Medal of Honor

Due to their display of valor and courage, Philip Bazaar and his crew were granted the U.S. Navy Medal of Honor. This prestigious grant was awarded by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress to honor the heroic act of Ordinary Seaman Philip Bazaar and the 5 others for their duty on board the U.S.S Santiago de Cuba during the assault on Fort Fisher, North Carolina, January 15, 1865.

As cited by one of the boat crew to the onshore generals, the 6 crew members courageously joined the assault to Fort Fisher to carry dispatches at the height of the battle.

Philip Bazaar was known as the first South African recipient of the Medal of Honor, as well as the first Hispanic recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

During the climax of the battle, Philip Bazaar trusted his superior’s order and served bravely with his life on the line. Philip Bazaar is just one of the many inspirational stories of people who worked their way through one of the most horrific times in U.S. history.

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