George M. Bache

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George Mifflin Bache
Born (1841-11-12)November 12, 1841
Washington, D.C.
Died February 11, 1896(1896-02-11) (aged 55)
Washington, D.C.
Buried at Oak Hill Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1855–1875
Rank USN com rank insignia.jpg Commander
Commands held
Battles/wars American Civil War

George Mifflin Bache, Jr. (November 12, 1841 – February 11, 1896), was an officer in the United States Navy, fighting on the Union side in the American Civil War and continuing to serve for a decade after the war's end.

Early life and ancestors[edit]

He was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Lt. George Mifflin Bache, USN (1811-1846), and Elizabeth Catherine Patterson. He was the grandson of Richard Bache, Jr., who served in the Republic of Texas navy and was an elected representative in the Texas legislature, and Sophia Burrell Dallas, daughter of Arabella Maria Smith and Alexander James Dallas, who served as the U.S. Treasury Secretary under President James Madison.

He was also a great-grandson of Sarah Franklin Bache and Richard Bache, and a 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.

His uncles included Alexander Dallas Bache, Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey, and Admiral David Dixon Porter.[1]

Education and career[edit]

His father was killed in 1846, swept overboard during a gale while in command of the brig Washington, but despite this Bache joined the Navy in August 1855, serving as captain's clerk aboard the sloop Saratoga until May 1857. He then briefly served aboard the Coast Survey schooner Nautilus, as acting-master's mate under the command of Lieutenant Richard Wainwright, another uncle by marriage, before entering the Naval Academy[1] on 19 November 1857 with the rank of acting-midshipman. He graduated on 1 June 1861, just after the outbreak of the Civil War, with the rank of midshipman.[2]

Civil War and later life[edit]

During the war, he first served aboard the Jamestown.[3] Promoted to lieutenant on 16 July 1862,[2] he served briefly in the steam sloop Powhatan before transferring to the squadron on the Mississippi River late in 1862. On 8 November 1862, he received orders to assume command of the stern-wheel casemate gunboat Cincinnati. Bache commanded the gunboat during operations leading up to the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi, early in July 1863. During those operations, however, his ship was sunk on 27 May 1863 while dueling Confederate batteries defending the river approaches to the city.[3]

That summer, he took command of the sidewheel gunboat Lexington and led her in a number of engagements with Confederate forces. In 1864, he returned to the Atlantic blockade as executive officer of Powhatan. While assigned to that ship, Bache participated in both the unsuccessful and successful assaults on Fort Fisher, carried out in December 1864 and January 1865. In the latter attack, he was wounded but not severely.[3]

Promoted to lieutenant-commander on 25 July 1866,[2] he served in Sacramento until she was destroyed on a reef at the mouth of the Godavari River, Madras, India, on 19 June 1867. Between 1869 and 1872, Bache was assigned to the steam sloop Juniata on the European Station. After that, he went ashore to ordnance duty at the Washington Navy Yard until his retirement on 5 April 1875,[3] receiving promotion to commander the same day.[2]

Commander Bache was married to the former Harriet DuBois (1849-1931); they had three daughters and perhaps other offspring.[4]

Bache died on February 11, 1896, at Washington, D.C.

The destroyer Bache (DD-470) (1942–1968) was named in his honor.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Guide to the George Mifflin Bache Papers, 1821-1917, 1952, 1968". United States Naval Academy, Special Collections & Archives Department, Nimitz Library. 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "US Navy Officers: 1778-1900 (B)". Naval Historical Center. 2006. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Mann, Raymond A. (8 March 2006). "Bache (II)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Cmdr. George M. Bache, Jr.'s memorial on FindAGrave

External links[edit]