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 William Nicholson Jeffers

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William Nicholson Jeffers

United States Naval Officer. He joined the United States Navy as a Midshipman in September 1840, serving on the frigates United States and Congress for five years. Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1846, he took part in Mexican War combat operations as an officer of the steamer Vixen. He was an instructor at the Naval Academy during the later 1840s and engaged in survey work in Central and South America in the 1850‘s. As Lieutenant he was Commanding Officer of the steamer Water Witch when she was fired upon by a Paraguayan fort in 1855. From 1858 to 1860, he served as gunnery officer on the Plymouth and sloops Brooklyn and Saratoga. During the Civil War, he commanded the steamer Philadelphia on the Potomac River. He was an officer on the frigate Roanoke, then commanded the steamer Underwriter in operations on the North Carolina Sounds in 1861. In May 1862, he served on Monitor during her historic action with the Confederate CSS Virginia and as her commander in the action with Fort Darling. Promoted Commander in July 1862, he was employed on technical ordnance duties for the rest of the war. Commissioned Captain in July 1870, he became Navy Chief of the bureau of ordinance in April, 1873. He was made Commodore of the Navy on February 28, 1878 and from 1881, until his death he had special duty in Europe. The Destroyer USS Jeffers (DD-621) was named in his honor in 1942.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
  • Added: 20 Apr 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14010823
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Nicholson Jeffers (16 Oct 1824–23 Jul 1883), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14010823, citing United States Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .