Catesby ap Roger Jones
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|Catesby ap Roger Jones|
April 15, 1821|
Fairfield, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||June 20, 1877
Selma, Alabama, U.S.
|Allegiance|| United States of America
Confederate States of America
|Service/branch|| United States Navy
Confederate States Navy
|Years of service||1836 - 1861 (USN)
1861 - 1865 (CSN)
Catesby ap Roger Jones (April 15, 1821 – June 20, 1877) was an officer in the U.S. Navy who became a commander in the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War. He assumed command of CSS Virginia during the Battle of Hampton Roads and engaged the USS Monitor in that world famous battle of the two iron clads.
Jones was born in Fairfield, Virginia, son of Major General Roger ap Catesby Jones and Mary Ann Mason (Page). (The "ap" in his name is a Welsh patronymic meaning "son of".) His mother was a lineal descendant of William Byrd of Westover and Robert "King" Carter. This also made her a cousin of General Robert E. Lee. Appointed a Midshipman in 1836, he served extensively at sea, receiving promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in 1849. During the 1850s, Jones was involved in development work on Navy weapons and served as ordnance officer on the new steam frigate Merrimack when she began active service in 1856.
When Virginia left the Union in April 1861, Lieutenant Jones resigned his U.S. Navy commission, joining the Virginia State Navy soon thereafter and becoming a Confederate Navy Lieutenant in June. In 1861–62, he was employed in converting the steam frigate USS Merrimack into an ironclad and was the ship's Executive Officer when she was commissioned as the Virginia. During the Battle of Hampton Roads, when her Commanding Officer, Captain Franklin Buchanan, was wounded in the March 8, 1862 attack on USS Cumberland and Congress, Jones temporarily took command, leading the ship during her historic engagement with USS Monitor on the following day. Later in 1862, he commanded a shore battery at Drewry’s Bluff, on the James River, and the gunboat Chattahoochee while she was under construction at Saffold, Georgia.
For his "gallant and meritorious conduct" during the battles of Hampton Roads and Drewry's Bluff, Jones was promoted to the rank of Commander on April 29, 1863. Jones was sent to Selma, Alabama, to take charge of the Ordnance Works there. For the rest of the Civil War, he supervised the manufacture of badly needed heavy guns for the Confederate armed forces. With the end of the conflict in May 1865, Jones went into private business. After working in South America, he made his residence in Selma, Alabama where, on June 20, 1877, he was shot and killed by another man as a result of a feud between his son and another man's son.