Richard Wainwright (Spanish–American War naval officer)

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For other people named Richard Wainwright, see Richard Wainwright (disambiguation).
Richard Wainwright
Richard Wainwright (Spanish-American War naval officer), 1902.jpg
Richard Wainwright in 1902
Born (1849-12-17)December 17, 1849
Washington, D.C.
Died March 6, 1926(1926-03-06) (aged 76)
Washington, D.C.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1868 - 1911
Rank Rear Admiral
Commands held Office of Naval Intelligence
USS Gloucester
2nd Division, Great White Fleet

American Civil War
Sinking of the Maine

Banana Wars

Relations Son of Cmdr. Richard Wainwright
Father of Cmdr. Richard Wainwright

Rear Admiral Richard Wainwright (17 December 1849 – 6 March 1926), son of Commander Richard Wainwright, was an officer in the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War.


Early life and ancestors[edit]

Born in Washington, D.C., the son of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Wainwright. He was the grandson 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. He was also great-grandson of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Bache, and more notably he was the great-great-grandson 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.

Marriage and family[edit]

He married on September 11, 1873 at Washington, D.C., Evelyn Wotherspoon, born June 13, 1853 at Washington, D.C., and died on November 24, 1937 at Washington, D.C.[1] Their son, Richard Wainwright, Jr., Commander, United States Navy, earned the Medal of Honor for his service at Vera Cruz, Mexico, and is also buried in the cemetery at the United States Naval Academy.

His brother-in-law was Admiral Seaton Schroeder.


Wainwright graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1868 and held various assignments in the early years of his career.

He was Chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence from 1896 until 1897. Wainwright was executive officer on board the battleship Maine when she blew up in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, on 15 February 1898. Surviving the explosion, he was assigned to command of the tender Fern and was in charge of the recovery of the bodies of the victims. He also assisted in the collection of information for the subsequent court of inquiry.

Wainwright later commanded the gunboat Gloucester at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba on 3 July 1898. In this engagement, Gloucester sank one Spanish torpedo boat and drove another on the beach. Wainwright was commended for his valor in this action. In 1904 he commanded American forces during the Santo Domingo Affair in which his ships shelled rebel troops and supported and amphibious assault. Later, promoted to rear admiral, he commanded the Second Division of the United States Atlantic Fleet during that fleet's historic voyage around the world from 1907-1909.

Retired from active duty on December 7, 1911. Admiral Wainwright died on March 6, 1926 in Washington, D.C.[2]


Three ships have been named USS Wainwright for Richard, his father, his son and two cousins.


See also[edit]



External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Frederick V. McNair, Sr.
Superintendent of United States Naval Academy
Succeeded by
Willard H. Brownson