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Dewey, George (26 December 1837–16 January 1917), naval officer, was born in Montpelier, Vermont, the son of Julius Yemans Dewey, a prominent physician and insurance company president, and Mary Perrin. His mother died when Dewey was just five years old. After study at Norwich University, Dewey entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1854. The rambunctious plebe accumulated 113 demerits during his first year at the academy, but he graduated in 1858, fifth in his class of fifteen. After a cruise in the Mediterranean on the new frigate ...

Article

Evans, Robley Dunglison (18 August 1846–03 January 1912), rear admiral, was born in Floyd County, Virginia, the son of Samuel Andrew Jackson Evans, a country physician, and Sally Ann Jackson. At age eleven, following his father’s death, Evans moved to Washington, D.C., to live with his uncle. There he attended public schools and developed an interest in the sea. At age thirteen Evans moved to Utah to establish residence in that state and from there gained an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, which he entered on 20 September 1860. Resisting family pressure to join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the Civil War, Evans continued his studies and graduated with the class of 1864, whose graduation was accelerated to 1863 to meet the exigencies of the war. At age seventeen he was commissioned acting ensign....

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Mahan, Alfred Thayer (27 September 1840–01 December 1914), naval officer and author, was born in West Point, New York, the son of Dennis Hart Mahan, a professor of military engineering and dean of faculty at the U.S. Military Academy, and Mary Helena Okill. Raised in a household run on two guiding principles, strict military obedience and a stern literalist and fundamentalist form of Episcopalianism that emphasized constant prayer, Mahan did not have a happy childhood. In his autobiography, ...

Article

Meade, Richard Worsam, III (09 October 1837–04 May 1897), naval officer, was born in New York City, the son of Richard Worsam Meade II (1807–1870), a and Clara Forsythe Meigs. After attending the College of the Holy Cross and Mount St. Mary’s College, Meade entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1850. Graduating fifth in his class in 1856, he was promoted to passed midshipman that year. Commissioned lieutenant (1858), he served aboard the ...

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Sampson, William Thomas (09 February 1840–06 May 1902), naval officer, was born in Palmyra, New York, the son of James Sampson, a day laborer, and Hannah Walker. An excellent student, Sampson did not have the means to attend college but in 1857 received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy from Congressman Edwin Barbour Morgan. Sampson ranked first in his class for three consecutive years and graduated in 1861. As a passed midshipman he was assigned to duty at the Washington Navy Yard, after which he reported to the sloop ...

Article

Sicard, Montgomery (30 September 1836–14 September 1900), naval officer, was born in New York City, the son of Steven Sicard, a merchant, and Lydia Hunt. His mother was the sister of U.S. Supreme Court justice Ward Hunt. Steven Sicard died in 1840, and the family moved to Lydia Sicard’s home town of Utica, New York. Montgomery entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1851 and graduated with the class of 1855....

Article

Sigsbee, Charles Dwight (16 January 1845–19 July 1923), naval officer, was born in Albany, New York, the son of Nicholas Sigsbee and Agnes Orr. Although his family history did not include any naval service, Sigsbee sought admittance to the U.S. Naval Academy. With the help of ...