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 Joseph Bullock Coghlan

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Joseph Bullock Coghlan

  • Birth 9 Dec 1844 Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky, USA
  • Death 5 Dec 1908 New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York, USA
  • Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Memorial ID 32874020

United States Navy Rear Admiral. At an early age his family moved to Bellville, St. Clair County, Illinois and it was there that he received his early education. On September 27, 1860 he received his appointment to the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Upon graduation he was promoted to Ensign on May 28, 1963 and was attached to the steam sloop "Sacramento" on special service from 1863 to 1865. In late 1865 Coghlan was promoted to master of the steam sloop "Brooklyn" the flagship of the Brazilian Squadron and served on the "Brooklyn" until 1867 when he was promoted to Lieutenant. Later that year he was assigned as Executive Officer of the "Pawnee" and later that same year was transferred to the steam frigate "Guerriere". On March 12, 1868 he received his commission as Lieutenant Commander, and being attache to the steam sloop "Richmond" joined the European Squadron where he remained until 1871. In 1873 he was assigned to the North Atlantic Squadron, and that same year was transferred to the "Colorado" then the "Monongahela" proceeding to the Asiatic Station, remaining in that capacity until 1879 where he returned home to join the Receiving Ship "Independence". In early 1882 Coghlan was commissioned Commander, commanding the "Adams" from 1883 to 1884 on the Pacific Station. Following this tour of duty he was reassigned to the Mare Island Navy Yard from 1886 to 1887 then ordered in 1888 to command the "Mohican" then the "Raleigh" a battleship which he served on during the historic battle of "Manila Bay". During the Spanish American War he led the expedition which captured the batteries at Cavite, and at Isla Grande, Subic Bay, Philippines. In 1898 Coghlan was at the War College and was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1902. In 1904 he became the Commandant of the Navy Yard at New York. He retired from the Navy on June 2, 1907 and shortly afterwards was appointed Chairman of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission and at his death was engaged in the preparation of the plans for the reconstruction of the famous old Clermont, the first steamboat with which Fulton navigated the Hudson River. It was reported in his obituary that at the time of his retirement he was the most famous officer in the American Navy with the exception of Admiral Dewey, Rear Admiral Evans and Rear Admiral Sperry. The Admiral also had a sense of humor. Speaking to sailors he repeated the story about the way he handled an Alderman who wanted to borrow a cruiser on which to entertain a party of friends. The Admiral dictated a prompt reply: "My Dear Alderman: I am, indeed, sorry, but the navy yard has just run out of cruisers, as several Aldermen who borrowed them recently have not returned them. In a few days maybe I can talk business. He asked how would a battleship or submarine do?"

Bio by: Saratoga


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Frank K.
  • Added: 12 Jan 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32874020
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Bullock Coghlan (9 Dec 1844–5 Dec 1908), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32874020, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .