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William Thornton Glassell
Birth: Jan. 15, 1831
Culpeper County
Virginia, USA
Death: Jan. 28, 1879
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Civil War Confederate Naval Officer. The Great Uncle of General George S. Patton, and the commander of the first Confederate Submarine, he founded and laid out the city of Orange, California. He was born on a Virginia plantation to parents with deep southern roots. When the Civil War started he was a member of the Union Army but promptly resigned his commission professing allegiance to the Confederacy. Glassell was imprisoned for this act at Ft. Warren in Boston for a year and then exchanged as a prisoner of war. He then joined the Navy of the Confederacy. He volunteered to captain a recently constructed underwater torpedo boat named the "David", intended to fight the Union's ironclad ships. On Oct 5, 1863, the David sneaked up on the Union frigate New Ironsides which was blockading Charleston Harbor. It rammed the warship with its single torpedo blowing a hole in the Union ship's side that took a year to repair The force of the blast knocked the crew of the David overboard and they were captured . William Glassell spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. However, one crewman remained aboard the David and was able to return to port, her maiden voyage a stunning success. After the civil war, he moved to Los Angeles joining his brother Andrew in business. In 1869, a large parcel of land was turned over to him by the family enterprises and he laid out a town which is today known as Orange, California. His health worsened from tuberculosis which he contracted in Union prisons which eventually took his life at the age of 48. He was unmarried and childless.  (bio by: Paul S.) 
Family links: 
  Andrew Glassell (1793 - 1873)
  Andrew Glassell (1827 - 1901)*
  William Thornton Glassell (1831 - 1879)
  Susan Thornton Glassell Smith (1835 - 1883)*
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Tuberculosis
Angelus Rosedale Cemetery
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Oct 20, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 3704
William Thornton Glassell
Added by: Glenn and Tracy Morrow
William Thornton Glassell
Added by: Edwin Lewis
William Thornton Glassell
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Seidelman
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- Gary Holcomb, Sr.
 Added: May. 1, 2017

- Cheryll Cotten
 Added: Apr. 3, 2015

- McCash
 Added: Sep. 8, 2013
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