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 Archibald Gracie, IV

Archibald Gracie, IV

Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, USA
Death 4 Dec 1912 (aged 54)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Catalpa Plot, Section 23/24
Memorial ID 5727 · View Source
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American Army Officer and Titanic Survivor. He is one of the few persons to have gone down with the ship, and survive the actual sinking. Born Archibald Gracie IV, in Mobile, Alabama, his father was a West Point Graduate who became a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army and was killed in the Battle of Petersburg, Virginia in 1865. Young Archibald Gracie attended the elite St. Paul's Academy in Concord, New Hampshire, and was admitted to the US Military Academy, Class of 1881, but did not graduate from the academy. However, its training did pay off, and he entered the Army, earning a commission and rising to the rank of Colonel. Independently wealthy from wise investments in real estate, he became a military historian, writing a book, "The Truth About Chickamauga" (1912), about the bloody Civil War battle that his father had survived. After spending seven years researching and writing his book, he decided he needed a vacation, and went to Europe, intending to return on the RMS Titanic. During the two hours between the iceberg collision and the ship's sinking, Gracie joined the crew in loading the lifeboats, and ensured that several unaccompanied single women were actually placed in the lifeboats, saving their lives. When the Titanic finally sunk, Gracie was pulled under and wedged against the side of the ship. He expected fully to drown, but rose to the surface, about 50 feet from an upside down Engelhardt lifeboat, and he was able to swim to the boat and climb aboard it, where he waited some seven hours for rescue. During this time, he pulled several men from the water to stand on the upside lifeboat, thus saving their lives. The upside down boat had some thirty people standing on it, pushing it down into the water so that the ice-cold water covered their ankles, and they remained in this manner for over seven hours. After his rescue by the SS Carpathia, he recognized that he had been an eyewitness to a major historical event, and began to record the events of the sinking. Gracie attended the numerous court hearings to obtain the official record, and during the summer of 1912, while not well from his near freezing exposure for seven hours, he struggled to finish the manuscript for a book about the Titanic sinking. Due to the effects of his ordeal and exposure to the icy waters of the Atlantic, he succumbed on December 4, 1912, at his home in New York City from fatigue and exhaustion. His funeral was attended by many survivors of the disaster, together with members of his military unit, the 7th Infantry Regiment. After his death, his completed manuscript was delivered to the publishers and it was published just three weeks later, as "The Truth about the Titanic," later to be republished as, "Titanic, A Survivor's Story." He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York, next to his wife and of his daughters.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

Family Members



Hero of S.S. Titanic

Son of Josephine Mayo and
General Archibald Gracie




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 13 Jun 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5727
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Archibald Gracie, IV (15 Jan 1858–4 Dec 1912), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5727, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .