Robley D. Evans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the American physicist, see Robley D. Evans (physicist).
Robley Dunglison Evans
Robley Dunglison Evans.jpg
Robley Dunglison Evans
Nickname(s) "Fighting Bob" Evans
Born (1846-08-18)18 August 1846
Floyd County, Virginia
Died 3 January 1912(1912-01-03) (aged 65)
Washington, D.C.
Allegiance United States of America
Union
Service/branch United States Navy
Union Navy
Years of service 1864-circa 1908
Rank USN Rear Admiral rank insignia.jpg Rear Admiral
Unit commanded the United States Navy's "Great White Fleet" on its world-wide cruise of 1907-1908
Battles/wars American Civil War
Second Battle of Fort Fisher
Spanish-American War
Battle of Santiago de Cuba

Robley Dunglison Evans (18 August 1846 – 3 January 1912) was born in Floyd County, Virginia served in the United States Navy from the American Civil War to the Spanish-American War, attaining the rank of rear admiral. In 1907-1908 he commanded the Great White Fleet on its worldwide cruise from the Atlantic Ocean through the Straits of Magellan to the Pacific Ocean.

Naval service[edit]

In 1859 Utah Territory delegate William Henry Hooper offered Evans the territory's nomination to the United States Naval Academy. After establishing residency in Utah, he entered the academy in 1860.[1] Evans was ordered to active duty in September 1863 and graduated from the academy in the class of 1864.

American Civil War service[edit]

Early photo

In the attacks on Fort Fisher, North Carolina during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, he exhibited great gallantry under fire on 15 January 1865. He led his landing party of United States Marines through heavy fire to charge the Confederate defenses. Evans continued to fight even after his fourth wound, drawing his pistol and threatened to kill any man who attempted to amputate his leg in surgery when he was evacuated.

”Fighting Bob” Evans[edit]

Evans held numerous important sea commands during the 1890s. In 1891 and 1892, commanding Yorktown on the Pacific Squadron, he won great acclaim for his firm and skillful handling of a tense situation with Chile, becoming known as "Fighting Bob" Evans. Though he evidently took pride in his nickname, his reputation for profanity also led to his being chastised by Leonard Woolsey Bacon, pastor of the Congregational Church in Litchfield, Connecticut, in a letter to The New York Times.[2]

USS Indiana[edit]

The United States' first seagoing battleship, USS Indiana, was placed in commission on 20 November 1895, with Captain Evans in command. Former President Benjamin Harrison, with a committee from the state of Indiana, presented a set of silver to Evans for the battleship on 16 September 1896 at Tompkinsville, New York.

Spanish-American War service[edit]

During the Spanish-American War he commanded the battleship USS Iowa (BB-4) in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba.

Shore duty[edit]

Robley Dunglison Evans was named president of the Board of Inspection and Survey from February 1901 to April 1902.

Prince Henry of Prussia[edit]

President Theodore Roosevelt selected Admiral Robley D. Evans to host Prince Heinrich of Prussia brother of Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II. 15 February 1902 Admiral Evans, as Commander-in-Chief of a special honor squadron hoisted his flag on the battleship, USS Illinois (BB-7) at the New York Navy Yard. Evans feted Prince Henry during the visit of the Kaiserliche Marine Imperial German Navy. After the departure of the German prince, 28 February 1902, Evans flag was hauled down on Illinois.

Commander-in-Chief - Asiatic Fleet[edit]

Admiral Evans transferred his flag from armored cruiser, USS New York (ACR-2) on 4 November 1902 to battleship, USS Kentucky (BB-6) at Yokohama, Japan. 5 December 1903 the Kentucky left Japanese waters for Hawaii. 16 December 1903, the Kentucky arrived at Pearl Harbor Naval Station, Hawaii. Admiral Evans hosted a Christmas dinner for the officers of Kentucky at the Moana Hotel in Waikiki. Evans flagship departed Honolulu for Guam. Kentucky arrived in Cavite, Philippines on 18 January 1904. Admiral Evans called on the new Governor-General of the Philippines, Luke Edward Wright at the Malacanang Palace. Evans flagship departed Manila on 13 March 1904. The Kentucky coaled at Hong Kong and Colombo. Sailing through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea to the port of Naples, Italy. The voyage continued to Gibraltar coaling at Madeira; the flagship Kentucky arrived at the New York Navy Yard, 23 May 1904. Admiral Evans hauled down his flag, 27 May 1904 from battleship, Kentucky.

Commander-in-Chief - North Atlantic Fleet[edit]

Evans (left) and President Theodore Roosevelt aboard Roosevelt's yacht, The Mayflower

31 March 1905, a 13 gun salute was fired by the battleship USS Maine at Pensacola, Florida as the flag of Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, Commander-in-Chief of the North Atlantic Fleet was broken at the main mast. The fleet sailed on 7 May 1905 for Hampton Roads, Virginia. Admiral Evans returned to his Alma Mater the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland on 30 October 1905. The British Fleet under command of Prince Louis of Battenberg arrived at Annapolis. On 1 November 1905, the Prince visited Evans on Maine. Admiral Evans gave Prince Louis a tour of the Naval Academy and battleship Maine. A reception by Evans was held later in the week on the Maine for Governor Edwin Warfield of Maryland.

Admiral Evans in flagship Maine sailed on 7 November 1905 from Annapolis to New York. Admiral Evans stayed onboard Maine during repairs from 20 November 1905 to January 1906. After winter quarters in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on 3 May 1906 Evans returned the fleet to New York. On 2 September 1906 Maine anchored next to the presidential yacht Mayflower off Oyster Bay, Long Island. President Theodore Roosevelt came on board Maine to confer with Evans. Admiral Evans in flagship Maine departed New York on 28 December for winter quarters in Cuban waters. On 15 April 1907 Evans' flagship Maine returned to Hampton Roads. On 16 April 1907 Evans hauled down his flag on Maine and then hoisted it on the battleship Connecticut, flagship for the World Cruise.

The Great White Fleet[edit]

Rear Admiral Evans commanded the Great White Fleet 16 April 1907 from Hampton Roads, Virginia in its passage from the Atlantic Ocean through the Straits of Magellan to the Pacific Ocean, where he was relieved of command in San Francisco, California 9 May 1908 because of ill health.

Admiral Evans retired from the Navy upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 62 on 18 August 1908.

Post Navy service[edit]

He died in Washington, D.C. on 3 January 1912.

Honors[edit]

Rear Admiral Evans was entitled to the Civil War Campaign Medal, Sampson Medal and Spanish Campaign Medal.

Two destroyers, USS Evans (DD-78), launched 30 October 1918, and USS Evans (DD-552), launched 4 October 1942, were named in his honor.

Theodore Roosevelt owned a guinea pig named Fighting Bob Evans.

Dates of Rank[edit]

  • Acting Midshipman, 20 September, 1860.
  • Acting Ensign, 1 October, 1863.
  • Master, on Retired List, 10 May, 1866.
  • Lieutenant on Retired List, 25 July, 1866. Active List, 25 January, 1867.
  • Lieutenant Commander, 12 March, 1868. Active List.
  • Commander, 12 July, 1878.
  • Captain, 27 June, 1893.
  • Rear Admiral, 11 February 1901.
  • Retired List, 18 August 1908.

Total time in service - 47 years, 10 months, 28 days

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parshall, Ardis E. "Utah's First Annapolis Cadet." Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog. 15 May 2008.
  2. ^ "Pastor Rebukes Capt. Evans; Dr. L. Woolsey Bacon, in Open Letter, Accuses Him of Boasting and Objects to His Profanity" (PDF). New York Times. 11 August 1898. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]


Military offices
Preceded by
none
Commander-in-Chief, United States Asiatic Fleet
29 October 1902–21 March 1904
Succeeded by
Philip H. Cooper