Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1843, Mobile,
Ala. Accredited to: Alabama. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864.
Houghton served on board the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1 in action, 27 October
1864, against the Confederate ram Albemarle, which had resisted repeated
attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed
in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded
in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and
then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken
under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which
encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the
ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire
crew taken prisoner or lost.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)