Rank and Organization: Captain of the Afterguard, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838,
Ireland. Accredited To: Virginia. G.O. No.: 45, 21 December 1864.
Montgomery served on board the U.S.S. Agawam, as one of a volunteer crew of a powder
boat which was exploded near Fort Fisher, 23 December 1864. The powder boat, towed in by
the Wilderness to prevent detection by the enemy, cast off and slowly steamed to within
300 yards of the beach. After fuses and fires had been lit and a second anchor with short
scope let go to assure the boat's tailing inshore, the crew again boarded the Wilderness
and proceeded a distance of 12 miles from shore. Less than 2 hours later the explosion
took place, and the following day fires were observed still burning at the forts.