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Capt William Lewis Maury

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Capt William Lewis Maury

Birth
Caroline County, Virginia, USA
Death
27 Nov 1878 (aged 65)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial
Bowling Green, Caroline County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID
5764690 View Source

United States Navy Officer and later, Confederate States Navy officer and scientist; cousin of Matthew Fontaine Maury. Named after his uncle, US Navy Commander William Lewis Herndon, (who was the first US Navy officer to explore the entire Amazon River, and chose to go down with his ship on September 12, 1857 while other lives were still aboard and while in command of the steamer Central America, which sank in a 3 day hurricane off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina). From 1838 to 1842, as a Lieutenant in the US Navy, he was part of the Wilkes Expedition which was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean conducted by the US Navy. During this time, Maury Island, a small island in Puget Sound in Washington state was named after him. He married a cousin, Ann Fontaine Maury, the daughter of Matthew Fontaine Maury, in 1856. Resigning from the US Navy on June 10, 1861 he was commissioned into the CS Navy as a 1st Lieutenant, commanding the naval battery at Sewells Point, Virginia; later that year he was stationed in Wilmington, North Carolina, serving on the CSS United States. In 1862 he was stationed at Charleston, South Carolina, in the torpedo service (laying mines to prevent Union entry into the harbor). After he was promoted to Commander on February 17, 1863, he was sent "on vacation" to Dumbarton, Scotland, where he oversaw the refitting of the Scottish merchant ship Clyde, which had been secretly bought by the Confederacy, into an armed raider. He sailed her to Brest, France where the raider ship was armed and recommissioned as the CSS Georgia. He commanded this ship through early 1864, seizing 9 US merchant ships in 6 months, removing their cargo, and setting them on fire for a total of $406,000 in damages.

United States Navy Officer and later, Confederate States Navy officer and scientist; cousin of Matthew Fontaine Maury. Named after his uncle, US Navy Commander William Lewis Herndon, (who was the first US Navy officer to explore the entire Amazon River, and chose to go down with his ship on September 12, 1857 while other lives were still aboard and while in command of the steamer Central America, which sank in a 3 day hurricane off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina). From 1838 to 1842, as a Lieutenant in the US Navy, he was part of the Wilkes Expedition which was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean conducted by the US Navy. During this time, Maury Island, a small island in Puget Sound in Washington state was named after him. He married a cousin, Ann Fontaine Maury, the daughter of Matthew Fontaine Maury, in 1856. Resigning from the US Navy on June 10, 1861 he was commissioned into the CS Navy as a 1st Lieutenant, commanding the naval battery at Sewells Point, Virginia; later that year he was stationed in Wilmington, North Carolina, serving on the CSS United States. In 1862 he was stationed at Charleston, South Carolina, in the torpedo service (laying mines to prevent Union entry into the harbor). After he was promoted to Commander on February 17, 1863, he was sent "on vacation" to Dumbarton, Scotland, where he oversaw the refitting of the Scottish merchant ship Clyde, which had been secretly bought by the Confederacy, into an armed raider. He sailed her to Brest, France where the raider ship was armed and recommissioned as the CSS Georgia. He commanded this ship through early 1864, seizing 9 US merchant ships in 6 months, removing their cargo, and setting them on fire for a total of $406,000 in damages.

Bio by: BigFrench


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