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Individual Record

Kelley, Thomas J.

Age: 0, credited to Vermont
Unit(s): USN
Service: appt Mate,1/31/63, pr Acting ENS 6/2/66, USN, d/svc 8/13/1866, Vessels: Wachusett

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

Birth: unknown, Unknown
Death: 08/13/1866

Burial: Silver Island, Zhenjiang, China
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer:

Findagrave Memorial #: 0
(There may be a Findagrave Memorial, but we have not recorded it)
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Unknown
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None

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Copyright notice
Silver Island, Chinkeang-foo, China (defunct)
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.


Kelley was appointed Acting Master's Mate on 31 January 1863, and joined USS Ohio, in Boston. In January 1865 he transferred to USS Wachusett, in Boston, which sailed for the Est Indies, in search of CSS Shenandoah.

Master's Mate Kelley died on 13 August 1866, near the town of Chinkeang-foo on the Yang-Tse-Keang (Yangtse River). Marine James Lawrence recorded Kelley's death in his journal:

In the morning, just after the "retreat" sounded, all were startled by the announcement that Mate Thomas Kelly had died while we were at quarters. The doctor pronounced the cause to be "congestion of the brain, brought on by the excessive heat." Early the morning he was on deck, apparently in his usual health; his sickness and death all occurred in the space of about half an hour. Preparations were immediately made for his funeral. He was laid out in his uniform until a coffin could be made, which was done by Chinese carpenters onshore. Of the party that went ashore to dig his grave, four were prostrated by sun-stroke, and one of them is yet lying in a critical condition. Mate Kelly's funeral took place the following morning, and his body was followed to the grave, on Silver Island, by most of the officers and a firing-party.

Kelley was posthumously promoted to Acting Ensign, effective 2 June 1866.

James B. Lawrence, China and Japan, and A Voyage Thither: An Account of a Cruise in the Waters of the East Indies, China and Japan, CT: (Press of Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1870, Hartford, CT), p. 205

Note: Silver Island is between the modern cities of Zhenjiang and Yangzhou, on the Yangtse River, more than 150 miles upstream from Shanghai. It has been severely flooded several times since 1866, and his gravesite is probably no longer extant.