Richard Wainwright (American Civil War naval officer)
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|Died||10 August 1862
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1831-1862|
|Commands held||USS Merrimack
|Relations||Cousin of Comdr. Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright II
Father of Comdr. Richard Wainwright
Born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on January 15, 1817, the son of Richard Dewar Wainwright and Maria Montresor Auchmuty.
Wainwright was commissioned in the United States Navy on 11 May 1831. He attended the naval school at Norfolk, Virginia in 1837-38, and became a passed midshipman on 15 June 1837. From 1838 to 1841, he served on the Coast Survey in the brig Consort. He was commissioned lieutenant on 8 September 1841 and commanded the steamer Water Witch on the Navy's Home Squadron from 1848 to 1849, served again on Coast Survey from 1851 to 1857, and cruised in the steam frigate Merrimack on special service from 1857 to 1860. He was stationed at the Washington Navy Yard on ordnance duty from 1860 to 1861.
Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Wainwright was promoted to commander on 24 April 1861 and commanded Hartford, flagship of Admiral David G. Farragut's West Gulf Blockading Squadron. During the passage of the forts below New Orleans, Louisiana on the night of 24 and 25 April 1862, he performed gallant service in extinguishing a fire on Hartford while continuing the bombardment of the forts. Commended by Admiral Farragut for his actions, Wainwright later participated in the squadron's operations below Vicksburg until taken ill with fever.
Marriage and family 
He married on March 1, 1849 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sarah Franklin Bache, born November 8, 1824 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died on February 28, 1880 at Washington, D.C. She was the daughter of Richard Bache, Jr., who served in the Republic of Texas Navy and was elected as a Representative to the Second Texas Legislature in 1847 and Sophia Burrell Dallas, the daughter of Arabella Maria Smith and Alexander J. Dallas an American statesman who served as the U.S. Treasury Secretary under President James Madison. She was also granddaughter of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Bache, and more notably she was the great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin as well as a nephew of George Mifflin Dallas the 11th Vice President of the United States, serving under James K. Polk.
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (May 2013)|
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1889). "Wainwright, Richard". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.