Thomas Oliver Selfridge

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Thomas O. Selfridge
Born (1804-04-24)April 24, 1804
Died October 15, 1902(1902-10-15) (aged 98)
Waverly, Massachusetts
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1818–1866
Rank Rear Admiral
Commands held Dale
Battles/wars Mexican–American War
American Civil War
Relations Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr. (son)
Thomas Etholen Selfridge (grandson)

Rear Admiral Thomas Oliver Selfridge (24 April 1804 – 15 October 1902) was an officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War and was the father of Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr.


Selfridge was appointed midshipman on 1 January 1818, at the age of 13. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1827, he served in the East India, Mediterranean, and Pacific Squadrons. He took command of sloop Dale, in May 1847 and participated in the capture of Mazatlán and Guaymas. Badly wounded in the latter engagement, he was invalided home in June 1848.

He was promoted to captain in 1855 and was subsequently assigned to the Boston Navy Yard, where he remained until 1861. He commanded Mississippi, flagship of the Gulf Squadron, on blockade duty off Mobile, Alabama and off the passes of the Mississippi River.


His old wound forced him to relinquish his command in February 1862, and he served ashore until retiring in October 1866 after 48 years of service.

After his retirement, he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral to date from 25 July 1862 in honor of his long and distinguished career.

He was a Companion of the First Class of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and a Veteran Companion of the Military Order of Foreign Wars.

Rear Admiral Selfridge died in Waverly (now part of Belmont, Massachusetts) in 1902 at the age of 98.


Dates of Rank[edit]

  • Midshipman - 1 January 1818
  • Lieutenant - 3 March 1827
  • Commander - 11 April 1844
  • Captain - 14 September 1855
  • Commodore - 16 July 1862
  • Retired - 10 October 1866
  • Rear Admiral on Retired List - 25 July 1866