French Forrest

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French Forrest
French Forrest - Brady-Handy.jpg
Born 1796
Maryland
Died December 22, 1866 (aged 69–70)
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Allegiance  United States of America
 Virginia (1861)
 Confederate States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Virginia Virginia State Navy
 Confederate States Navy
Years of service 1811 - 1861 (USA)
1861 (Virginia)
1861 - 1865 (CSA)
Rank Captain
Battles/wars American Civil War

French Forrest (1796 – December 22, 1866) was an American naval officer who served first in the United States Navy and later the Confederate States Navy. His combat experience prior to the American Civil War included service in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War.

Biography[edit]

Born in Maryland, he became a midshipman on June 9, 1811 and participated in the War of 1812. He fought with Commodore Oliver Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie and was present in the action between the USS Hornet and HMS Peacock on February 24, 1813.[citation needed] He became a lieutenant on March 5, 1817, a commander on February 9, 1837, and a captain March 30, 1844. He was adjutant general in the Mexican-American War, and in 1847, he commanded the American naval forces in the landing at Vera Cruz, Mexico.[1]

When Virginia seceded from the United States on April 17, 1861, Forrest was made its first and only flag officer of the Virginia State Navy and assumed command at the Norfolk Navy Yard.[1] When Virginia joined the Confederate States and merged its military, he joined the navy of the Confederate States of America and was appointed the commander of the navy yard at Norfolk, Virginia. He served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Confederate Navy, and had two stints as Commander of the James River Squadron.

In July 1863, the Navy Department ordered him to inspect each ship's ordnance that comprised the James River Squadron on a quarterly basis.[1]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c John M. Coski (1996). Capital Navy: The Men, Ships and Operations of the James River Squadron. Campbell, CA: Savas Woodbury Publishers. ISBN 1-882810-03-1. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Robert B. Pegram
Commander of the Norfolk Navy Yard
April 22, 1861 – May 15, 1862
Succeeded by
Sidney Smith Lee
Preceded by
none
Commander of the James River Squadron
July 10, 1861 – February 27, 1862
Succeeded by
Franklin Buchanan
Preceded by
Samuel Barron
Commander of the James River Squadron
March 24, 1863 – May 6, 1864
Succeeded by
John K. Mitchell