John Gwinn – Captain, United States Navy

Body of Constitution’s Skipper Dug Up In Philadelphia for Reburial

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsyvlana, August 20, 1931 – After resting eighty-one years in the soil of Philadelphia, the body of Captain John Gwinn, one-time commander of the frigate Constitution, was disinterred today from the old Glenwood Cemteery in preparation for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

The body will be taken to Washington where a procession will march to Arlington for a ceremonial reburial.

The marker on the Glenwood grave bore this inscription:

“In memory of Captain John Gwinn, United States Navy, Born June 11, 1791; Died at Palermo, Sicily, September 1, 1849, while in command of the U.S. Frigate, Constitution.  He served his country faithfully for forty years.”

The body was brough from Sicily and buried here September 19, 1850.

Philadelphia War Veterans Are Guard of Honor for Coffin of Commander of Constitution
To Be Buried At Arlington
After Neglect of 80 Years, Military Honors Will Be
Accorded by the Navy Department Tomorrow

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, August 22, 1931 – Escorted by veterans of the Spanish-American and World Wars, a coffin containing the body of Captain John Gwinn, one-time commander of the frigate Constitution, was taken to the Broad Street Station today on the way to Arlington National Cemetery.

After eighty years of obscurity in the old Glenwood Cemetery here, the bodies of Captain Gwinn and his wife will be buried at Arlington on Monday morning.

The grave of Captain Gwinn, who died at Palermo, Sicily, in 1848 while in command of the Constitution, was discovered recently by Frank X. Bosler, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who notified James J. Burke, a leader in veterans affairs here.  With the aid of Charles J. O’Neill, commander of Liberty Bell Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a movement was begun to have the body taken to Washington.

Preceded by police and the Navy Yard Band, the coffin was borne on a gun caisson excorted by eleven members of the Dewey congressional Medal Men’s Association.  Admiral Lucius A. Bostwick, commandant of the Navy Yard, and other officers of the Navy and Army followed in automobiles.

The bodied of Captain Gwinn and his wife will be taken to Washington on a Pennsylvania Railroad train leaving at 6:50 o’clock tomorrow morning.

WASHINGTON, August 22, 1931 – A service with full military honors will be held on Monday at the Arlington National Cemetery for Captain John Gwinn.  Acting Secretary Jahncke of the Navy Department and Chaplain Sydney K. Evans, Navy Chaplain, will officiate. A military  escort composed of a company of bluejackets, a company of marines and the Navy Band will be provided.

Shield on Coffin of Captain Gwinn is Presented at Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, September 27, 1931 – A shield which in 1849 decorated the coffin of Captain John Gwinn, commander of the frigate Constitution, was presented to the Historical Museau aboard Old Ironsides here today by members of the Liberty Bell Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

On the varnished plaque, received by Lieutenant A. D. Clark in the absence of Captain Louis J. Gulliver, are two silver plates inscribed:

“Died September 4, 1849, in command of the U.S. Frigate Constitution, at Palermo, Sicily,” and “Presented by Commander Charles J. O’Neill, Liberty Bell Post 1906, Veterans of Foreign Wars, U.S. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”

The grave of Captain Gwinn was recently discovered in an abandoned cemetery in this city.  Leaders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars brought about the reburial in Arlington National Cemetery.

Captain John Gwinn III was the son of John Jr. and Mary Good Gwinn, both of Maryland.  He was born 11 June 1791 at Taneytown, Frederick County, Maryland. He married Caroline S. Lynch, 22 December 1823 at St. Peters Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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