Civil War Confederate Navy Officer. A veteran of 27 years in the United States Navy, he switched his allegiance to the Confederacy once the Civil War began. On May 26, 1862 he was given command of the ram "CSS Arkansas." He was absent sick when the crew blew it up when it's cranky engines broke down. Promoted to Commander, he commanded the ironclad "CSS Charleston" in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina until the fall of the city.