Orphaned as a young boy, John Thomas Daniels grew up on Roanoke Island where he was born in 1846. Born of salt as his ancestor before him, he took the sea as a small boy and remained there the rest of his life.
At the very young age of 15, John enlisted on August 11, 1861 on Roanoke Island in Company B of the 8th NCST as a Private. On February 8, 1862 while in defense of Roanoke Island, he was taken prisoner by Burnside’s forces and quickly paroled at Elizabeth City on February 21st. On April 10, 1864, by order of the Confederate Secretary of War, John was transferred to the CS Navy.
He would serve upon the CSS Albemarle until her sinking on the Roanoke in October 1864. After the war he would return to the sea and would die in Virginia in 1911.
As a point of interest, his son, John Thomas Daniels, Jr. was the photographer of the famous Wright Brothers flight in 1903.