Admiral David Dixon Porter

Mathew Brady Civil War CDV of famous Admiral David Dixon Porter.

Admiral David Dixon Porter

David Dixon Porter (June 8, 1813 – February 13, 1891) was a United States admiral who became one of the most noted naval heroes of the Civil War.

Porter was one of the first U.S. Navy officers to bear the rank of admiral; prior to the Civil War, no officer had held a rank higher than commodore, as admiral was considered to have royalist connotations.

In 1861, Porter joined the Navy’s Gulf Squadron in command of the USS Powhatan. He was promoted to commander on April 22, 1861, and to captain on February 7, 1863. He took part in the 1862 expedition up the Mississippi River against New Orleans, in command of 21 mortar boats and several steamers. Aboard his flagship, USS Black Hawk, he commanded the Mississippi River Squadron during the Vicksburg Campaigns in 1862–63 and during the Red River Campaign in 1864. Porter was conspicuous in the siege of Vicksburg, was wounded in his head during the amphibious operations at Grand Gulf, Mississippi, on April 20, 1863, and received promotion to rear admiral on July 4, 1863, the day of the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg. He received the Thanks of Congress in April 1864, “for all the eminent skill, endurance, and gallantry exhibited by him and his squadron, in cooperation with the Army, in the opening of the Mississippi River.”

During 1864 Porter commanded the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and took part in the capture of Fort Fisher in January 1865. He once again received the thanks of Congress:

… to rear Admiral David D. Porter, and to the officers, petty officers, seamen, and Marines under his command, for the unsurpassed gallantry and skill exhibited by them in the attacks on Fort Fisher, and the brilliant and decisive victory by which that important work was captured from the rebel forces and placed in the possession of the United States; and for their long and faithful services and unwavering devotion to the cause of the country in the midst of great difficulties and dangers.


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