Lewis Randolph Hamersly.

The records of living officers of the U. S. navy and Marine corps: with a history of naval operations during the rebellion of 1861-5, and a list of the ships and officers participating in the great battles online

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borough, then executive officer of the Porpoise, was ordered to take command
of a night expedition, consisting of four boats, thirty-five men and officers, to
retake an English brig, the Comet, from the Greek pirates, two hundred of
whom were in full possession of her. The attempt was a desperate one, and
required a desperate effort, but it met with entire success, though not until
many of the enemy had been killed — an average of very nearly three to every
man of the attacking party. The ward-room steward of the Porpoise, a mulatto


of herculean strength, was one of the expedition, and killed with his own hand
no less than eleven of the pirates ; while the chief of the horde, with several
of his men, was despatched by the pistol of Lieut. John A. Carr, of Virginia, a
gallant officer, long since dead. These pirates were at this time so numerous
that no merchant vessel, unprotected hy convoy, could venture to thread ita
course among the islands of the Greek archipelago with impunity ; and so pow-
erful were they, that at one time they succeeded in capturing an Austrian ten
"gun man-of-war brig. Our merchant marine suffered heavily by their depre-
dations, for they attacked indiscriminately vessels of every nation except their
own. In such a state of affliirs, a sound thrashing, like that administered by
Lieut. Goldsborough and his little company, could hardly fail of good effect ;
and ou the arrival of the Porpoise at Malta, the Governor of the place felt called
■upon to return the thanks of his government to her Commander, and through
him to the officers and men who had been personally poncerned in the exploit.

Lieut. Goldsborough was attached to the frigate United States, Pacific Squad-
ron, 1840, and made a full cruise in that ship. Commissioned as Commander,
September 8th, 1841. In 1847, Commander Goldsborough was present as ex-
ecutive officer of the frigate Ohio, at the siege of Vera Cruz. After a bombard-
ment of four days, by the fleet under Commodore Perry, and the army under
Gen. Scott, the city and castle surrendered, March 29th, 1847, and the naval
forces were despatched to capture the several Mexican ports on the Gulf; Com-
modore Goldsborough, having under his command a force of three hundred
officers and men from the Ohio, being engaged in the taking of Tuspan, a small
maritime town, about one hundred and fifty miles north of Vera Cruz. These
ports were thrown open to commerce and duties on imports imposed for the
benefit of the U. S. Government.

In 1852-53, Commodore Goldsborough commanded the sloop-of-war Levant,
Mediterranean Squadron. Commissioned as Captain, September 14th, 1855;
Superintendent of Naval Academy, Annapolis, 1854-57; commanding frigate
Congress, Brazil Squadron, 1859-60. In the early part of 1862, a joint expe-
dition of the navy and army was organized for operations in the waters of North
Carolina. The naval force, which consisted of seventeen light draught vessels,
arrived at Hatteras Inlet, January 13th, 1862; but the army was not fully pre-
pared for active co-operation until three weeks later. On the morning of 5th
of February, the combined expedition proceeded towards Pioanoke Island. The
mural vessels, placed by Flag Officer Goldsborough under the immediate com-
mand of Commander Pv,owan, were formed in three separate columns, com-
manded respectively by Lieiits. Reed Werden, Alexander Murray, and H. K.
Davenport. On the morning of the 7th, the vessels of the insurgents, eight in
number, were discovered drawn up behind an extensive barricade, formed by a
double row of piles and sunken vessels stretching across the sound. At 10.30
the engagement commenced, and by noon became general. At 4 P. M. the
batteries were temporarily silenced, and the first landing of troops efiected. At
midnight, over ten thousand troops had disembarked. The engagement was
renewed the following morning, and carried on chiefly by tjie army until 1 P. M.,
when the fleet proceeded to open a passage through the obstructions, which was
successfully accomplished by 5 o'clock P. M., and the national flag was hoisted
on Pork Point. Firing other of their works and one of their steamers were
the closing events of the day; the rebels yielding the island to the possession
of the U. S. forces. The rebel fleet was pursued into Pasquotank river by
Commander Puowan's flotilla, and on the 10th, overtaken and captured. On
the 14th of March, 1862, the town of Newbern, N. C, was occupied by a de-
tachment of Flag Officer Goldsborough's squadron.


On the lOtli of May, 1862, the fleet, under the command of Flag Officer
Groldsborough, engaged and silenced the rebel batteries at Sewell's Point, oppo-
site Fortress Monroe, and passed up to Norfolk, which had been previously
evacuated by the rebels. Commissioned as Bear Admiral, July 16th, 1862.
At the close of the war, Rear Admiral Goldsborough was ordered to command
the European Squadron. He returned from this service in 1868, and is now
under orders to command Navy Yard, Mare Island, California.


Charles H. Davis was bom in Massachusetts, January 16th, 1807. He was
appointed midshipman from the same State, August 12th, 1823. Midshipman
Davis was attached to the frigate United States, Pacific Squadron, 1827-28 ;
promoted to Passed Midshipman, Blarch 2.3d, 1829, and attached to the sloop-
of-war Ontario, Mediterranean Squadron, 1880-83 ; commissioned as Lieutenant
March 8d, 1884, and ordered to the sloop-of-war Vincennes, Pacific Squadron;
during the years 1837-38 on special duty; attached to razee Independence,
Brazil Squadron, 1840—41; on ordnance duty from 1842—48, and special duty
from 1849-56.

Commissioned as Commander, June 12th, 1854; in 1857, Commander Davis
was ordered to the command of the sloop-of-war St. Mary's, Pacific Squadron,
and was attached to that vessel until January, 1859, when he returned, and was
appointed Superintendent of Nautical Almanac.

Commissioned as Captain, 1861. Captain Davis was a member of the Board
of Officers convened for the purpose of making a thorough investigation of the
Southern coast and harbors, their access and defences; and one of the immediate
results of their investigations was the organization of Dupont's expedition to
Port Royal, S. C, in which Captain Davis bore an important part.

On the 9th of May, 1862, Captain Davis was appointed Flag Officer of the
Mississippi Flotilla, relieving Flag Officer Foote. On the 11th of the same
month, an attack, for which the rebel fleet lying below Fort Pillow had been
long preparing, was made on Flag Officer Davis' flotilla. The rebel fleet of
eight iron-clad steamers, four of them fitted as rams, steamed up fully prepared
for an engagement, and the flotilla was quickly in motion to receive them. An
action of an hour's duration, at the closest quarters, followed, at the end of
which the enemy retreated under the guns of Fort Pillow, three of their gun-
boats having been disabled. On the 5th of June Fort Pillow was abandoned
by the rebels.

The flotilla moved down the river, and on the morning of the 8th of June
engaged the rebel fleet of eight gunboats and rams, opposite the city of INIem-
phis. A running fight followed, carrying the vessels several miles below
Memphis, and resulting in the capture or destruction of the entire rebel fleet,
except the Van Horn, which succeeded in escaping. At the close of the en-
gagement Flag Officer Davis returned to Memphis, and demanded the surrender
of the city, which was complied with.

On the 29 th of June, Flag Officer Davis left Memphis with a part of his
flotilla and six mortar-boats, and on the 2d of July following joined Rear Ad-
miral Farragut above Vicksburg, the latter officer, with a portion of his squadron,
having arrived there a few days previous. Demonstrations were continued by


the combined squadrons, at intervals, on the defences of Vicksburg, for some
days, the mortar vessels of each squadron bombarding from both above and

There not being a sufficient military force to co-operate in the reduction of
Vicksburg, the scheme was, for the time, abandoned, and, late in July, Flag
Officer Davis withdrew his command to the mouth of the Yazoo river.

In August following, a joint expedition was planned, by Flag Officer Davis
and General Curtis, for operations up the Yazoo, which was entirely successful,
resulting in the capture of a battery of heavy guns, field-pieces, munitions, etc.

Flag Officer Davis was commissioned as Commodore, U. S. Navy, July 16th,
1862, and, in the fall of the same year, was ordered to duty, in the Navy De-
partment, as Chief of Bureau of Navigation. While filling this position, he
was commissioned as Bear Admiral, taking rank from February 7th, 1863. In
the year 1865, Hear Admiral Davis was appointed Superintendent of the Naval
Observatory, Washington, and continued there until 1867, in which year he was
ordered to command the South Atlantic Squadron, coast of Brazil, where he
remained until the summer of 1869.


John A. Dahigren was born in Philadelphia. He was appointed Midship-
man from the Slate of Pennsylvania, February 1st, 1826. Midshipman Dahl-
gren's first cruise was in the frigate Macedonian, Brazil Squadron, in the years
1827-29; attached to the sloop-of-war Ontario, Mediterranean Squadron, in
1830-32 ; promoted to Passed Midshipman, April 20th, 1832 ; on coast survey
duty, from 1836 to 1842; commissioned as Lieutenant, March 8th, 1837 ; attached
to frigate Cumberland, Mediterranean Squadron, 1844-5 ; on ordnance duty
from 1847 to 1857, during which time he perfected the invention of the famous
Dahlgren gun ; commissioned as Commander, September 14th, 1855 ; command-
ins ordnance ship Plymouth, 1858-9 ; on ordnance duty at Navy Yard, Wash-
ington, 1860-61.

At the breaking out of the Rebellion, the Commandant and most of the offi-
cers attached to the Washington Navy Yard resigned their commissions, and
went South. Commander Dahlgren was true among the faithless, and, as a
recognition of his unswerving loyalty. President Lincoln appointed liiui Com-
mandant of the Washington Navy Yard; commissioned as Captain, July 16tb,

1862, and shortly afterwards appointed Chief of Bureau of Ordnance.
Promoted to Rear Admiral, February 7th, 1863, and in the summer follow-
ing ordered to the command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron,
relieving Rear Admiral Dupont; assumed command of the squadron, July 6th,

1863. A combined operation of naval and army forces, the latter under Gen-
eral Gillmore, was instituted for the occupation and possession of Morris
Island, on the south side of the entrance into Charleston harbor. After a long
and severe struggle, the army operating upon land, with the efficient co-operar
tion of the monitors and the New Ironsides, Morris Island, with all its batteries,
was captured, and Fort Sumpter was soon made a pile of ruins by the fierce
artillery of the combined forces.

The fleet of Admiral Dahlgren remained inside the bar, and after the capture
of Jliirris Island, blockade running, so far as Charleston was concerned, was at
an end.


In February, 1864, a successful expedition, commanded by Rear Admiral
Dahlgren in person, ascended the St. John's River, to aid a military force
intended to be thrown into Florida.

On the 12th of December, 1864, General Sherman, having successfully acoom-
plished his march to the sea, rdtohed the vicinity of Savannah, and communica-
tion between him and Rear Admiral Dahlgren was immediately established.
The latter made the best possible disposition of the vessels then under his com-
mand to assist the army in obtaining possession of Savannah, which was occu-
pied by General Sherman on the 2l8t of December.

On the morning of the 18th of February, 1865, the city of Charleston was
evacuated by the rebel forces, and Rear Admiral Dahlgren at once moved his
vessels up to the city.

The evacuation of Charleston was followed by that of Georgetown, on Febru-
ary 23d, and on the 26th of that month the place itself was occupied by Rear
Admiral Dahlgren.

In 1866, Rear Admiral Dahlgren was ordered to the command of South
Pacific Squadron, and returned from that service in 1868, and was, for the
second time, appointed Chief of Bureau of Ordnance. In the fall of 18G9,
ordered to the command of the Washington Navy Yard.


Stltanus W. Godon was born in Pennsylvania. He was appointed Mid-
shipman from the same State, March 1st, 1819; promoted to Passed Midship-
man, and ordered to frigate Macedonian, Brazil Squadron, 1827; on duty at
Naval School, Norfolk, Va., 1829 ; serving in sloop-of-war Natchez, Mediterra-
nean Squadron, 1830 , attached to frigate Potomac, Pacific Squadron, 1833-4 ;
serving in schooner Shark, Mediterranean Squadron, 1835 ; commissioned
as Lieutenant, December 17th, 1836; attached to sloop-of-war Peacock, East
India Squadron, 1836-7 ; and to sloop-of-war Cyane, Mediterranean Squad-
ron, 1840; attached to bomb brig Vesuvius, 1847, at the siege of Vera Cruz ;
on special duty, 1850 ; executive officer of steamer Susquehanna, East India
Squadron, 1851-53 ; promoted to Commander, September 14th, 1855; com-
manding sloop-of-war Mohican, Pacific Squadron, 1860.

Commissioned as Captain in 1861, and ordered to command of sloop-of-war
Powhatan, one of the vessels of Dupont's Expedition to Port Royal. Promoted
to Commodore, January 2d, 1863; on special duty, 1864; commanding
steamer Susquehanna, and fourth division of Porter's Squadron, at the two
battles of Fort Fisher, in December, 1864, and January, 1865.

Commissioned as Rear Admiral, July 25th, 1866 ; commanding South At-
lantic Squadron, Coast of Brazil, 1866-7. Commandant Navy Yard, New
York, 1869. _

Rear Admiral Godon's record shows that he has served in all parts of the
world. Of forty years' service, twenty-four have been at sea — a greater propor-
tion of sea service than shown by the record of any other officer of his grade.


William Radford was born in Virginia. He was appointed from the State
of Missouri, March 1st, 1825 ; attached to Mediterranean Squadron, 1827-28;
and to sloop-of-war Erie, West India Squadron, 1830-31; promoted to Passed


Midsliipman, June 4t'h, 1831; atfcaclied to sloop-of-war John Adams, Mediter-
ranean Squadron, 1835; promoted to Lieutenant, February 9th, 1887; attached
to sloop-ot'-war Warren, Pacific Squadron, 1845-47.

Lieutenant Radford commanded the party that cut out the Malokadel, a Mex-
ican vessel of war, at Mazatlan, West Coast of Mexico ; attached to store-ship
Lexington, 1852-53.

Promoted to Commodore, September 14th, 1855 ; commanding sloop-of-war
Dacotah, Bast India Squadron, 18S0-61 ; commissioned as Captain in 1862 ;
commanding sloop-of-war Cumberland in 1861, and was on court-martial duty
at Old Point, when that ship was attacked by the ram Blerrimac, which had
steamed down from Norfolk. Commander Radford made strenuous exertions to
reach his ship before the fight was over, but arrived at Newport News just aa
the Cumberland was sinking.

Promoted to Commodore, April 24th, 1863.

Commanded frigate New Ironsides, and iron-clad division of Porter's squadron
at the two attacks upon Fort F'isher, in December, lS64, and January, 1865.

Commandant of Washington Navy Yard, 1866-68.

Commanding European Squadron in 1869.


Born in Ireland, December 2Sth, 1805; appointed Blidshipman from Ohio,
February 15th, 1826, and ordered to the sloop-of-war Viucennes, Pacific
Squadron ; serving in schooner Experiment, Chesapeake Bay, 1831 ; pro-
moted to Passed Midshipman, April 28th, 1832, and attached to sloop-of-war
Vandalia, West India Squadron, 1834-36, and to store-ship Relief, 1837.

Commissioned as Lieutenant in 1837 ; on coast survey duty, 1840 ; attached
to frigate Delaware, Brazil Squadron, 1843 ; serving in Pacific Squadron,
1846-48, and took an active part in the war with Mexico.

Commanded naval battalion under Commodore Stockton at the battle of the
Niesa, Upper California; commanded a landing party that made a successful
night attack on a Mexican outpost, near Mazatlan ; Executive OflScer of the
Cyane when she bombarded Guaymas; on ordnance duty 1850-53.

Promoted to Commander, September 14th, 1855, and ordered to command of
store-ship Relief; on ordnance duty, 1858-61; commanded sloop-of-war Pawnee,

In May, 1861, when in command of the Pawnee, engaged the rebel battery
at Acquia Creek. This was the first action of the war. While in command of
the Pawnee, he participated in the attack and capture of the forts and garrison
at Hatteras Inlet.

February 7th, 1862, commanded a naval flotilla in the sounds of North
Carolina, and took part in the successful combined attack of the navy and army
upon Roanoke Island, on February 8th. On the morning after the capture of
Roanoke Island, Commander Rowan, with a portion of his flotilla, pursued
the enemy into Albemarle Sound, and at 8 A. M., February 10th, the rebel
steamers, under the command of W. F. Lynch, formerly of the U. S. Navy,
were discovered drawn up behind a battery of four guns, supported by a schooner
on the opposite side of the river, armed with two heavy thirty-two pounders.
Fire was opened by the insurgents from the fort and steamers at long rano-e.
Commander Rowan pushed on steadily until within thrce-fuurths of a mile


■fflien he opened fire and dashed ahead at full speed. This bold and wholly
Tinaatiolpated onset dismayed the rebels, -who hastily abandoned their works,
■which, with their entire fleet, were captured or destroyed.

Passing up the river, the flotilla took possession of Elizabeth City. Lieuten-
ant Murray was despatched with a small force to Edenton, of which he quietly
took possession, and on returning from this duty he was sent to obstruct the
Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal. In this expedition there were five armed
steamers and one schooner destroyed, and one steamer, the Ellis, captured.
Commissioned as Captain, July 10th, 1862, and as a reward for distinguished
gallantry, promoted to Commodore, to take rank from the same date.

Commodore Eowan commanded the naval forces at the fall of Newbern, N. C.;
commanded the New Ironsides off Charleston, and participated in the different
engagements with Forts Wagner, Gregg and Moultrie.

Commissioned as Eear Admiral, July 25th, 1866 ; Commandant Norfolk
Navy Yard, 1866-67 ; commanding Asiatic Squadron, 1868-69.


Thomas T. Craven was born in the District of Columbia. Appointed
Midshipman from the State of New Hampshire, May 1st, 1822 ; serving in the
sloop-of-war Peacock, Pacific Squadron, 1827 ; promoted to Passed Midshipman,
May 24th, 1828; serving in sloop-of-war Erie, West India Squadron, 1829.

Commissioned as Lieutenant, May 27, 1830 ; serving in brig Boser, Brazil
Squadron, 1833, and attached to receiving-ship at New York, 1836 ; exploring
expedition, 1840 ; attached to razee Independence, Mediterranean Squadron,
1850 ; on duty at Naval Academy, 1851-55. i

Commissioned as Commander, December 16th, 1852; commanding frigate
Congress, Mediterranean Squadron, 1856-58 ; Naval Academy, 1859 ; com..
manding sloop Mohawk, Home Squadron, 1860.

Commissioned as Captain, June 7th, 1861 ; commanding sloop-of-war Brook-
lyn, Home Squadron, 1861-62; while in command of the Brooklyn, partici-
pated in the attack upon and passage of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. In this
action. Captain Craven's vessel became entangled in the hulks and rafts which
sustained the chain barricade of the river, and, while in this situation, received
a severe fire from Fort St. Philip, and was attacked by one of the enemy's rams
and a large rebel steamer ; the latter received a broadside from the Brooklyn,
at sixty yards, so well delivered as to end the conflict, so far as the steamer was

The ram struck the Brooklyn at the starboard gangway, but the chain-armor
proved a perfect protection. By this time the Brooklyn had swung clear of the
obstructions, and passed on up the river. Captain Craven continued in command
of the Brooklyn, taking part in all the engagements along the Mississippi river,
up to and including that of Vicksburg, until late in the summer of 1862, when
he was detached and ordered North.

Commissioned as Commodore, July 10th, 1862 ; commauding steam-frigate
Niagara, special service, European waters, 1864-65.

Commissioned as Rear Admiral, October 10th, 1866; commandant of Navy
Yard, Marc Island, California, 1867-68 ; commanding North Pacific Squadron,
1869. o



Joseph Lanmanwrs born in Connecticut, July 11th, 1811. Appointed Mid-
shipman from the same State, January 1st, 1825 ; attached to frigate Mace-
donian, Brazil Squadron, 1827; sloop Peacock, West India Squadron, 1830;
promoted to Passed Midshipman, June 4th, 1831 ; attached to schooner Dol-
phin, Pacific Squadron, 1834-35, and to sloop Vincennes, same squadron,
1836 ; commissioned as Lieutenant, March 3d, 1835; serving in sloop Warren,
West India Squadron, 1840 ; on ordnance duty, 1845-46; Pacific Squadron,
1847-48. In the latter year, Lieutenant Lanman was complimented by beiog
made bearer of despatches from the commanding officer of the Pacific Squad-
ron, to the authorities at Washington ; special duty, 1849-51 ; sloop-of-war
San Jacinto, Mediterranean Squadron, 1852-53.

Commissioned as Commander, Sept. 14th, 1855; Washington Navy Yard,
1855-56; commanding steamer Michigan, on the Lakes, 1859-61.

Commissioned as Captain, 1861 ; commandiDg steam-sloop Saranac, Pacific
Squadron, 1862; commissioned as Commodore, August 29th, 1862 ; command-
ing steam sloop Lancaster, Pacific Squadron, 1863 ; commanding frigate Min-
nesota, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 1864-65.

Commodore Lanman commanded the 2d Division of Porter's Squadron, at
the two attacks upon Fort Fisher, and performed his duty efficiently.

Commissioned as Eear Admiral, December 8th, 1867; Commandant Navy
Yard, Portsmouth, N. H., 1867-68 ; commanding South Atlantic Squadron,
coast of Brazil, 1869.


Thomas Tuenee is a native of Virginia. Appointed Midshipman from Vir-
ginia, April 21st, 1825 ; attached to frigate Constellation, Mediterranean
Squadron, 1827; sloop-of-war Warren, Mediterranean Squadron, 1830 ; promoted
to Passed Midshipman, June 4th, 1831 ; frigate Constellation, Mediterranean
Squadron, 1834, and frigate Delaware, same Squadron, 1835; commissioned as
Lieutenant, December 22d, 1835 ; frigate Columbus, East India Squadron,
1840 ; receiving-ship at Philadelphia, 1843 ; sloop Albany, Home Squadron,

Lieutenant Turner was actively engaged in the war with Mexico, and. was
present at Tuspan, April 7th, 1847 ; receiving-ship at Philadelphia, 1850 ;
frigate Congress, Brazil Squadron, 1851-53 ; on ordnance duty, 1854-57.

Commissioned as Commander, September 14th, 1855 ; commanding sloop-of-
war Saratoga, Home Squadron, 1859-60; Commander Turner wag in command
of Saratoga in the engagement between that vessel and two Spanish steamers, the
Marquis of Havannah, and General Miramon, in the harbor of Anton Leyardo,
Mexico, when they were captured, March 6th, 1860, at midnight.

Commissioned as Captain, July 16th, 1862, and as Commodore, December 13th,
1863 ; commanded frigate New Ironsides, special service, 1863 ; commanded
frigate New Ironsides in the attack upon Forts Sumpter, Moultrie and Beaure-
gard, in Charleston harbor, April 7th, 1863. Admiral Dupont was on board
the New Ironsides, and commended Commodore Turner for the judgment and
ability with which he handled his vessel; special duty. New York, 1864-65 ;
special duty, Philadelphia, 1866-67 ; on ordnance duty, Philadelphia, 1868 ;
commissioned as Eear Admiral, May 27th, 1868 ; commanding South Pacific
Squadron, 1869.



Charles H. Poor was born at Cambridge, Mass., in June, 1809. Appointed
Midshipman from Massachusetts, March Ist, 1823; attached to sloop-of-war
John Adams, West India Squadron, 1827 ; frigate Java, Mediterranean Squad-
ron, 1829 ; promoted to Passed Midshipman, March 29th, 1829, and ordered to
frigate Delaware, Mediterranean Squadron, 1830; sloop-of-war Lexington, Bra-
zil Squadron, 1833, and brig Boxer, same squadron, 1834.

Commissioned as Lieutenant, Deo. 31st, 1838 ; Rendezvous, Norfolk, Va.,
1836 ; razee Independence, Brazil Squadron, 1840 ; Navy Yard, Washington,

Online LibraryLewis Randolph HamerslyThe records of living officers of the U. S. navy and Marine corps: with a history of naval operations during the rebellion of 1861-5, and a list of the ships and officers participating in the great battles → online text (page 2 of 42)