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Buchanan, Franklin (13 September 1800–11 May 1874), U.S. and Confederate naval officer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of George Buchanan, a prominent doctor and abolitionist, and Laetitia McKean. He entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1815, a few months after the end of the War of 1812, and was ordered to the new frigate ...

Article

Maury, Matthew Fontaine (14 January 1806–01 February 1873), naval officer and oceanographer, was born near Fredericksburg, Virginia, the son of Richard Maury and Diana Minor, farmers. In 1811 the family settled on a farm near the frontier village of Franklin in Central Tennessee. Matthew Fontaine Maury, who is usually known by all three of his names, attended country schools in the area, but in 1818 he enrolled in Harpeth Academy at Franklin. One of his older brothers was a naval officer, and in 1825 Maury received a midshipman’s warrant in the U.S. Navy. During the next nine years he sailed to Europe, around the world on the USS ...

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Page, Thomas Jefferson (04 January 1808–26 October 1899), naval officer and explorer, was born in Shelly, Gloucester County, Virginia, the son of Mann Page, a plantation owner, and Elizabeth Nelson. Page’s varied and interesting career began in 1827 when he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy (aboard a ship in New York) by President ...

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Semmes, Raphael (27 September 1809–30 August 1877), Confederate rear admiral, was born in Charles County, Maryland, the son of Richard Thompson Semmes, a tobacco farmer, and Catherine Middleton, the daughter of Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Raised by two uncles after his parents’ death during his childhood, Semmes attended private schools in Georgetown and spent a brief period at Charlotte Hall Military Academy. He was named a midshipman in 1826....

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Tucker, John Randolph (31 January 1812–12 June 1883), Confederate flag officer, was born in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of John Tucker, a merchant captain, and Susan Mary Ann Douglas Wallace, daughter of a Royal Navy surgeon. He married Virginia Webb in 1838; she died in 1858 at age thirty-nine, after giving birth to their ninth child....