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 • Virginia
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John Mercer Brooke
Birth: Dec. 18, 1826
Death: Dec. 14, 1906

Confederate States Naval Commander, Inventor, Professor. He was born at an army base near Tampa, Florida. He entered the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1841 and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1847. As a result of his surveying work, he invented a deep-sea sounding apparatus for mapping the ocean bottom. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1855, he was using his invention to survey North Pacific waters when the Civil War began. Resigning his commission on April 20, 1861, he entered the Virginia state navy, then the Confederate navy, with the rank of Lieutenant. Early in June, he met with Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory to discuss the possible use of ironclads. After he assured Mallory that the South was capable of building its own, the secretary appointed him his inspecting officer for the conversion of the USS Merrimack into an armored ship. He found that armor placed at an angle of about 38 degrees from the horizontal offered good protection against projectiles traveling along a flat trajectory. With this discovery, the Merrimack could become the CSS Virginia, the South's first ironclad. During the project, friction developed when the ship's constructor, John L. Porter, claimed credit for the Virginia's design. Though Mallory interceded to credit him, he loss of interest in the ironclad program. Promoted to Commander on September 13, 1862, he became chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography in March 1863, an office he held until war's end. He also was the inventor of the Brooke Rife. After the war, he was professor of physics and astronomy at the Virginia Military Institute until 1899.  (bio by: Ugaalltheway) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Catherine Carter Corbin Brooke (1839 - 1919)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery
Lexington (Lexington City County)
Lexington City
Virginia, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Feb 13, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8383821
John Mercer Brooke
Added by: Anonymous
 
John Mercer Brooke
Added by: Tom Denardo
 
John Mercer Brooke
Cemetery Photo
Added by: RosalieAnn
 
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Remembering and Honoring a True Southern Hero. A Confederate Sailor who Bravely and Proudly Fought for Southern Independence During the War of Northern Aggression. Deo Vindice.
- Tony Smith SCV Camp 38, North Charleston S.C.
 Added: Jun. 20, 2014

- Angel
 Added: Apr. 24, 2014

- Dixie Home Georgia
 Added: Mar. 1, 2014
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