Civil War Admirals


Samuel Francis Du Pont - Union

Born: September 27 1803 - Bergen Point (Bayonne), NJ

Died: June 23 1865 - Philadelphia,PA

   American naval officer, born at Bergen Point, N.J. Appointed a midshipman in 1815, he saw his first active duty in the Mediterranean (1817) and served in the Mexican War. As commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in the Civil War, Du Pont directed (Nov., 1861) the successful naval attack against Port Royal, S.C., for which he won a rear admiral's commission. He secured further footholds for the Union on the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Du Pont served on the Naval Efficiency Board and worked to oust incompetent officers.

   The blockade Du Pont organized was generally successful, except at Charleston. Against Du Pont's advice the Dept. of the Navy ordered him to attack Charleston with ironclad monitors. When the attack failed (Apr. 7, 1863), Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles blamed Du Pont and, at Du Pont's request, relieved him of his command (July, 1863). A congressional investigation followed, but its findings were inconclusive.

Note: He was the grandson of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours.

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