RADM Theodorus Bailey

RADM Theodorus Bailey

Plattsburgh, Clinton County, New York, USA
Death 10 Feb 1877 (aged 71)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Plot Amphitheater, Lot 44 East
Memorial ID 37192968 · View Source
Suggest Edits

He was the son of Judge William Bailey and Phoebe Platt. He was named after his uncle, Theodorus Bailey.

Naval Historical Center
Theodorus Bailey was born on April 18, 1805 at Chateaugay, New York and received his early education at nearby Plattsburgh before being appointed a midshipman in 1818 at age 12.

He saw his first sea duty in the frigate Cyane between 1819 and 1821 when she cruised to the western coast of Africa to protect the new colony of former slaves recently established by the United States. On the return voyage he saw service in the campaign to suppress the West Indian pirates. In 1821 Midshipman Bailey transferred to the ship-of-the-line Franklin and served in her during her entire cruise as flagship for the Pacific station, which lasted until 1824. His last tour of duty as a midshipman came between 1824 and 1826 when he voyaged back to the West Indies in the schooner Shark to protect shipping from pirates again.

In 1827 he moved to duty in the receiving ship at New York. It was while in this assignment that he received his commission as a Lieutenant on March 3, 1827 after almost a decade of service. Next he served briefly in the sloop Natchez and in the schooner Grampus in 1831 before being assigned to Vincennes in June 1833 for a three year cruise around the world in search of shipwrecked and stranded American seamen. Returning to the east coast in June 1836, Bailey saw duty in the ship-of-the-line Ohio before going ashore for a two year tour at the New York Navy Yard from 1838 to 1840. Bailey returned to sea in the frigate Constellation between 1840 and 1844. During that period, his ship served an extended tour on the East India station and carried Lieutenant Bailey on his second circumnavigation of the world. After returning from the East Indies, he went ashore again and spent time in 1845 and 1846 engaged in recruiting duty at the Rendezvous in New York.

After the Mexican War broke out in the spring of 1846 Lieutenant Bailey began a new phase of his Navy career when he assumed his first command afloat, that of the sloop Lexington that summer. He embarked an artillery company at New York and set sail for the Pacific coast. Sailing by way of Cape Horn and La Paz, Chile his ship arrived on the California coast late in the year. During the closing phase of the war Lieutenant Bailey led his command in a blockade of the coast around San Blas in Lower California and even made a successful raid on the town in January 1847, capturing several pieces of ordnance in the process.

In October 1848, Bailey left Lexington on the west coast to go ashore on a leave of absence from the service. He remained ashore waiting orders for almost five years, during which time on March 6, 1849, he received his promotion to Commander. Finally in 1853 he received orders to command the sloop-of-war St. Marys then under repair at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In her Commander Bailey cruised to the eastern and southern Pacific during 1854, 1855 and 1856, also receiving his promotion to Captain while in this assignment on December 15, 1855. Relieved at Panama on December 16, 1856, Captain Bailey spent the four years immediately preceding the Civil War ashore, first on some unspecified special duty and then awaiting orders.

The outbreak of the War Between the States brought Captain Bailey the orders he sought. On June 3, 1861, he put steam frigate Colorado back in commission at Boston and set sail a fortnight later to join the Gulf Blockading Squadron. Colorado arrived at Key West on July 9 and at Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island off Pensacola on the 15th. There Captain Bailey's ship became flagship of the Gulf Blockading Squadron on July 16 when Flag Officer William Mervine embarked.

Bailey patrolled the waters off the Florida panhandle until mid November, at which time his ship moved to a blockade station off the Mississippi delta. Though Captain Bailey technically retained command of Colorado until the beginning of May 1862 he was performing other duties in conjunction with the assault on the defenses of New Orleans by April 1862. When the push to take the city went off on April 24 Captain Bailey commanded one of the gunboat divisions during the fight to pass Forts Jackson and St. Philip. Once that feat had been accomplished, he continued on upriver to demand and receive the city's surrender on the 25th.

Captain Bailey relinquished command of Colorado officially on May 1, 1862 and returned north with dispatches. Promoted to Commodore on July 16, 1862, Bailey commanded the station at Sackett's Harbor, New York through the summer of 1862. Heading south again in November 1862, Commodore Bailey relieved Acting Rear Admiral Lardner as flag officer commanding the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. He held that post until the summer of 1864 when, after a bout with yellow fever, he was transferred to duty as the commandant at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in New Hampshire. About halfway through that assignment, he received his promotion to Rear Admiral on July 25, 1866. Though placed on the retired list on October 10, 1866, Rear Admiral Bailey served as the Commandant at Portsmouth until the latter part of 1867.

Rear Admiral Bailey died at Washington, D.C. on February 10, 1877.

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees


  • Created by: SLGMSD
  • Added: 17 May 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 37192968
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for RADM Theodorus Bailey (12 Apr 1805–10 Feb 1877), Find a Grave Memorial no. 37192968, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by SLGMSD (contributor 46825959) .