Samuel Mercer

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Samuel Mercer Sr.
Born 1799
Unknown
Died Mar 6, 1862 (aged 62–63)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Place of burial Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Navy Seal U.S. Navy
Years of service 1815 – 1862
Rank USN cpt rank insignia.jpg Captain
Unit USS Lawrence
USS Wabash
Battles/wars Mexican American war
American Civil War

Samuel Mercer (1799 – Mar 6, 1862) entered the United States Navy at a young age; he became a Midshipman in 1815. He served his country during the Mexican-American and US Civil war’s, He is also the father of Marine Corps Captain Samuel Mercer Jr..

Mexican-American War[edit]

He commanded the USS Lawrence in the Home Squadron as tensions escalated in the Gulf of Mexico, sailed south June 14, 1845. He and his crew spent the next year cruising along the Gulf Coast, providing security to American shipping in the region and helping suppress piracy. After war broke out April 25, 1846, they cruised on a blockade station off the Mexican coast, remaining there until June 17.

Civil War[edit]

Civil War. As Union Naval Officer, Captain Mercer remained loyal to the union during the war of the rebellion and was in command of the Union warship USS Powhatan stationed in Charleston Harbor at the outbreak of the American Civil War. He led a squad of four ships that had been sent to relieve the garrison at Fort Sumter, but arrived too late. On 16 May 1861 He took command of the newly re-commissioned USS Wabash in the Northern Blockading Squadron, and participated in the Army-Navy action against Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The Northern Blockading Squadron was having it share of trouble in 1861 due the slow conversion of its ships that at times the blockade off Charleston had only a few ships, the state of the mission in this sector was so frustrating that Captain Mercer of the USS Wabash lamented to his commander Rear Admiral Silas H. Stringham “Now Flag-Officer, you know as well as I do that to blockade this port efficiently with this ship alone is next door to an impossibility.” How true were his words? By 10 Sep of that year over one third of the Squadron’s vessels lay in yards for repairs.

Post Civil War[edit]

The War ended earl for “Captain Mercer” shortly after the action off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina he was relieved from active command due to age, and was serving on the Navy Retiring Board when he died in March 1862. He is buried with his son Marine Corps Captain “Samuel Mercer” at Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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