George Dewey
Overview
 
George Dewey was an admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay
Battle of Manila Bay (1898)
The Battle of Manila Bay took place on 1 May 1898, during the Spanish-American War. The American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón...

 during the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

. He was also the only person in the history of the United States to have attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy
Admiral of the Navy (United States)
Admiral of the Navy is a rank in the United States Navy that has only been held once in history, by George Dewey. In recognition of his victory at Manila Bay in 1898, Congress authorized a single officer to hold the rank of Admiral, and promoted Dewey to this rank in March 1899...

, the most senior rank in the United States Navy.
Dewey was born in Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier is a city in the U.S. state of Vermont that serves as the state capital and the shire town of Washington County. As the capital of Vermont, Montpelier is the site of the Vermont State House, seat of the legislative branch of Vermont government. The population was 7,855 at the 2010...

, directly opposite the Vermont State House
Vermont State House
The Vermont State House, located in Montpelier, is the state capitol of Vermont and the seat of the Vermont General Assembly. The current Greek Revival structure is the third building on the same site to be used as the State House...

 to Julius Yemans Dewey
Julius Yemans Dewey
Dr. Julius Yemans Dewey was an American doctor of medicine and businessman in the state of Vermont during the 19th century. He was born in Berlin, Vermont. He attended Washington County Grammar School and then the University of Vermont....

 and his first wife, Mary Perrin. Julius was a physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

, having received his degree from The University of Vermont.
Encyclopedia
George Dewey was an admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay
Battle of Manila Bay (1898)
The Battle of Manila Bay took place on 1 May 1898, during the Spanish-American War. The American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón...

 during the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

. He was also the only person in the history of the United States to have attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy
Admiral of the Navy (United States)
Admiral of the Navy is a rank in the United States Navy that has only been held once in history, by George Dewey. In recognition of his victory at Manila Bay in 1898, Congress authorized a single officer to hold the rank of Admiral, and promoted Dewey to this rank in March 1899...

, the most senior rank in the United States Navy.

Family

Dewey was born in Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier is a city in the U.S. state of Vermont that serves as the state capital and the shire town of Washington County. As the capital of Vermont, Montpelier is the site of the Vermont State House, seat of the legislative branch of Vermont government. The population was 7,855 at the 2010...

, directly opposite the Vermont State House
Vermont State House
The Vermont State House, located in Montpelier, is the state capitol of Vermont and the seat of the Vermont General Assembly. The current Greek Revival structure is the third building on the same site to be used as the State House...

 to Julius Yemans Dewey
Julius Yemans Dewey
Dr. Julius Yemans Dewey was an American doctor of medicine and businessman in the state of Vermont during the 19th century. He was born in Berlin, Vermont. He attended Washington County Grammar School and then the University of Vermont....

 and his first wife, Mary Perrin. Julius was a physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

, having received his degree from The University of Vermont. He was among the founders of the National Life Insurance Company
National Life Insurance Company
National Life Insurance Company was chartered on November 13, 1848 “upon the principle of mutual participation in the funds or profits” of the company. As such, the National Life of Vermont was a mutual company even though that fact was not apparent from its name...

 in 1848 and a member of the Episcopal Church and was among the founders of the Christ Episcopal Church
Christ Episcopal Church (Montpelier, Vermont)
Christ Episcopal Church is an historic church located at 64 State Street in Montpelier, Vermont in the United States. It was founded in 1840. Among its founders was Dr...

 in Montpelier. George was baptized and attended Sunday school there. George had two older brothers and a younger sister.

Education

Young Dewey went to school in the nearby town of Johnson
Johnson (town), Vermont
Johnson is a town in Lamoille County, Vermont, United States. The population was 3,274 at the 2000 census. Johnson is home of Johnson State College, a part the Vermont State Colleges system...

. When he was fifteen years old he went to the Norwich Military School. The school, better known as Norwich University
Norwich University
Norwich University is a private university located in Northfield, Vermont . The university was founded in 1819 at Norwich, Vermont, as the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy. It is the oldest of six Senior Military Colleges, and is recognized by the United States Department of...

, had been founded by Alden Partridge
Alden Partridge
Alden Partridge, was an American author, legislator, officer, surveyor, an early superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and a controversial pioneer in U.S...

 and aimed at giving cadets a well-rounded military education. Dewey attended for two years (1852–1854).
Dewey found a military role model when he read a biography of Hannibal.

Naval Academy

Dewey entered the Naval Academy in 1854. The conventional four-year course had just been introduced in 1851 and the cadet corps was quite small, averaging about one hundred Acting Midshipmen
Midshipman
A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya...

. Out of all that entered in his year, only fourteen stayed through the course. He stood fifth on the class roll at graduation. He graduated from the academy on June 18, 1858.

Midshipman

As midshipman, Dewey first took a practice cruise in the ship Saratoga
USS Saratoga (1842)
USS Saratoga, a sloop-of-war, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for the Battle of Saratoga of the American Revolutionary War. Her keel was laid down in the summer of 1841 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard...

 and here he earned recognition as a cadet officer
Officer Cadet
Officer cadet is a rank held by military and merchant navy cadets during their training to become commissioned officers and merchant navy officers, respectively. The term officer trainee is used interchangeably in some countries...

. As a result, he was assigned to one of the best ships of the old navy — the steam frigate USS Wabash
USS Wabash (1855)
USS Wabash was a steam screw frigate of the United States Navy that served during the American Civil War. She was based on the same plans as . Post-war she continued to serve her country in European operations and eventually served as a barracks ship in Boston, Massachusetts, and was sold in...

. The Wabash under Captain Samuel Barron was the new flagship of the Mediterranean Squadron. On July 22, 1858, the ship left Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

 for Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.

The Wabash reached her first port of call, Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, on August 17, 1858. She cruised in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, and the cadet officers visited the cities of the old world
Old World
The Old World consists of those parts of the world known to classical antiquity and the European Middle Ages. It is used in the context of, and contrast with, the "New World" ....

 accessible to them, often taking trips inland. Dewey was assigned to keep the ship's log
Logbook
A logbook was originally a book for recording readings from the chip log, and is used to determine the distance a ship traveled within a certain amount of time...

. The Wabash returned to the New York Navy Yard on 16 December 1859 and decommissioned there on 20 December 1859. Dewey served on two short-term cruises in 1860.

During the Civil War, the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, was engaged in the blockade of the mouths of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. At the end of 1861 Commander David D.Porter
David Dixon Porter
David Dixon Porter was a member of one of the most distinguished families in the history of the United States Navy. Promoted as the second man to the rank of admiral, after his adoptive brother David G...

 urged action upon the Navy Department
United States Department of the Navy
The Department of the Navy of the United States of America was established by an Act of Congress on 30 April 1798, to provide a government organizational structure to the United States Navy and, from 1834 onwards, for the United States Marine Corps, and when directed by the President, of the...

. By that time the Confederates had formed immensely strong defenses along the river delta. The plan, which was put into operation in the spring of 1862, proposed a naval expedition, intended to reduce the fortifications near the mouth of the river, and to capture New Orleans, to be followed by an army under General Benjamin Franklin Butler
Benjamin Franklin Butler (politician)
Benjamin Franklin Butler was an American lawyer and politician who represented Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and later served as the 33rd Governor of Massachusetts....

 which would then take possession of that city and region, after which the war vessels would proceed up the river, reduce the forts along its banks and co-operate with the gunboats already commanding the upper part of the valley, and later with the Union armies operating in Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 and northern Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

. This plan was ultimately carried out, but it required more time, cost of life and material, and combat than were anticipated; and it gave Dewey invaluable experience.

Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip

The defenses of the river consisted of two immensely strong forts, Jackson
Fort Jackson, Louisiana
Fort Jackson is a decommissioned masonry fort located some up river from the mouth of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. It was constructed as a coastal defense of New Orleans between 1822 and 1832, and was a battle site in the American Civil War. It is a National Historic...

 and St. Philip
Fort St. Philip
Fort St. Philip is a decommissioned masonry fort located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, about up river from its mouth in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana...

, on the banks nearly opposite one another and about midway between the mouth of the river and New Orleans. Farther up there was also a series of strong waterside batteries at Chalmette
Chalmette, Louisiana
Chalmette is a census-designated place in and the parish seat of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 32,069 at the 2000 census. It is part of the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area...

. In addition to this the Confederates had established a line of obstructions across the river below the forts. The defenses were such as it was supposed no naval expedition would try to attack. The attack was aided by Porter's preliminary bombardment to weaken the Confederate works. This was accomplished with mortar boats that fired a thirteen-inch shell. They were anchored under protection of the banks and forest some distance below the forts, and for many days rained upon them continual fire as to half destroy the fortifications, and overcome a large part of the Confederate garrisons. This conflict is known as the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip
Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip
The Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip was the decisive battle for possession of New Orleans in the American Civil War. The two Confederate forts on the Mississippi River south of the city were attacked by a Union Navy fleet...

.

Capture of New Orleans

The Capture of New Orleans followed. At the end of this preliminary bombardment an attempt was made to run past the forts and the Confederate vessels gathered near them. This was begun on April 24, 1862, the fleet moving forward in three divisions, the first under command of Captain Theodorus Bailey in the Cayuga
USS Cayuga (1861)
The first USS Cayuga was a in the United States Navy.Cayuga was launched 21 October 1861 by Gildersleeve and Son, East Haddam, Connecticut; outfitted at New York Navy Yard; commissioned 21 February 1862, Lieutenant N. B...

, followed closely by the Pensacola (afterward under Dewey's command), and that by the Mississippi
USS Mississippi (1841)
USS Mississippi, a paddle frigate, was the first ship of the United States Navy to bear that name. She was named for the Mississippi River. Her sister ship was . Her keel was laid down by the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1839; built under the personal supervision of Commodore Matthew Perry. She was...

, in which Dewey was executive lieutenant. These big ships kept near the west bank where the current was weaker and the water deeper; but this brought them right under the muzzles of the guns of Fort St. Philip, which had been little damaged by the mortar boats. Dewey guided the Mississippi, in shallow water where he expected to run aground any moment, to a successful attack against the fortifications.

CSS Manassas

The Confederates had afloat there an iron-covered ram called Manassas
CSS Manassas
CSS Manassas, formerly the steam icebreaker Enoch Train, was built as a twin-screw towboat at Medford, Massachusetts, by James O. Curtis in 1855. A New Orleans commission merchant, Captain John A...

 — a cigar-shaped craft, almost wholly submerged but the nose was a sharp iron prow, designed to pierce the hull, beneath the water line, of an enemy's ship. She had rushed down the river had struck at everything in her way. Appearing suddenly from behind the Pensacola, when that vessel was slowing up opposite Fort St. Philip to enable her men to fire more effectively into the faces of the garrison, she had made a rush for the Mississippi; but Dewey steered his helm so as to avoid her prow and escape. Then, her upper structure pierced with his shot, but her machinery uninjured, the ram continued and nearly destroyed both the Brooklyn and Hartford before she was driven away. Then she turned and ran up the river, in chase of Bailey's ships, which were leading the way toward New Orleans, and Farragut signaled to the Mississippi to run her down. He gave the order and the Mississippi attacked. But just as the Union vessel was to override it, it dodged the blow by a quick turn of the helm and ran ashore, where the crew deserted the stranded vessel. Commander Smith sent a boat's crew to set fire to it and when they had returned, it was scuttled with cannon-fire.

Having got past the forts, the Mississippi sailed up the river with the leading ships, until they came to the Chalmette batteries, where they destroyed their garrisons; then the ship was sent back with some others to a waiting position near the forts, to protect the landing of Butler's troops. This was Dewey's first battle in which he distinguished himself. For the remainder of that year all that Farragut's fleet attempted to do was to patrol the lower river — a dangerous duty, for the banks swarmed with sharpshooters, lying in wait among the trees. Here and there, also, an interval of quiet, would give the Confederates an opportunity to erect a concealed battery
Artillery battery
In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of guns, mortars, rockets or missiles so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems...

. They had also a way of running two or three field guns up behind the natural breastworks afforded by the levee, and unexpectedly opening fire upon some ship passing near the shore, or lying at anchor.

Battle of Port Hudson

At Port Hudson, Louisiana
Siege of Port Hudson
The Siege of Port Hudson occurred from May 22 to July 9, 1863, when Union Army troops assaulted and then surrounded the Mississippi River town of Port Hudson, Louisiana, during the American Civil War....

, the Confederates had been constructing and strengthening their second line of defense of the river valley, until they considered it impregnable. The national forces had been unable to prevent this but, when the spring campaign of 1863 began, it was so important for the river to be opened, that Farragut resolved to attempt to run by the Port Hudson batteries, if he could not demolish them. The whole fleet was arranged for this attempt on March 14, 1863, at midnight, when Dewey saw fiercer fighting than he ever saw again.

Port Hudson was a small town on the east bank of the Mississippi, 13 miles upriver from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and is the second-largest city in the state.Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South...

, at a point where the river makes the passage there a subject of anxiety to pilots even in daylight and in time of peace. In the spring of 1863 a crescentic series of powerful fortifications, having a concentric field of fire, bordered the outside of the bend. The gunners were aided at night by the illumination of the water afforded by setting fire to huge beacons and rafts of pine knots; and had the assistance of submarine torpedoes in the channel and of several armed vessels and rams which together made the attempt of an enemy's fleet to attack or run by very hazardous. Nevertheless Flag-Oflicer Farragut, with the consent of his captains, prepared to try it.

The fleet, led by the Hartford
USS Hartford (1858)
USS Hartford, a sloop-of-war, was the first ship of the United States Navy named for Hartford, the capital of Connecticut.Hartford was launched 22 November 1858 at the Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Miss Carrie Downes, Miss Lizzie Stringham, and Lieutenant G. J. H...

, stole up the river in midnight darkness and quiet, and were not discovered until opposite the forts. Following the flagship, came the Richmond
USS Richmond (1860)
The USS Richmond was a wooden steam sloop in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.-Service in the Caribbean :Richmond was launched on 26 January 1860 by the Norfolk Navy Yard; sponsored by a Miss Robb. Richmond, commanded by Captain D. N. Ingraham, departed Norfolk, Virginia 13...

, her guns blazing and then came the Monongahela
USS Monongahela (1862)
USS Monongahela was a barkentine–rigged screw sloop-of-war that served in the Union Navy during the American Civil War. Her task was to participate in the Union blockade of the Confederate States of America...

, the Kineo
USS Kineo (1861)
USS Kineo was a built for the United States Navy during the American Civil War.-Service during the US Civil War:The first Kineo in the service of the Navy, she was launched on 9 October 1861 at Portland, Maine, by J. W. Dyer; sponsored by Miss Eunice C. Dyer, daughter of the builder, and...

 and the Mississippi — the last with George Dewey as executive officer, under Melancton Smith as commander. A furious battle ensued and the battle of Port Hudson has been pronounced by officers and seamen who were engaged in it, and who were present at the passage of Fort St. Philip and Fort Jackson, as the severest in the naval history of the civil war.

The Hartford got past and sailed on, but an accident to her machinery compelled the Richmond to try to turn around and escape before it was too late. She did so successfully, but when at the center of the semicircle of batteries, the Mississippi, close behind her, ran aground, and there was concentrated upon her the whole of the enemy's fire. This continued for half an hour, riddling her hull, ruining her upper works and smashing her machinery. All this time the vessel was replying with such vigor that more than two hundred and fifty shots were sent ashore in spite of the damage to the vessel. Then Captain Smith, seeing that there could be no hope of saving the ship, ordered an evacuation. The boats were then manned, the wounded were transported to the Union gunboat Genessee
USS Genesee (1862)
USS Genesee was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederacy to prevent the South from trading with other countries....

, which had approached to render assistance; the men were mostly landed in safety on the west bank, and a journey was made to and from the Richmond to place wounded men and officers on that vessel.

All of this time, the fire of the batteries continued, and Captain Smith and Lieutenant Dewey stayed on board and directed operations. A man was next sent to set fire to the fore storeroom, and
did so; but before his blaze got well started, three of the enemy's cannon-balls came through that part of the ship and let in enough water to drown the flames. Then other fires were started elsewhere in the cabins and hull, and the last boatload waited to see that they got well going, to prevent Confederate capture of a good ship. Then both officers escaped by boat to the Richmond, a mile below. Lightened in weight by the fire and by the removal of some three hundred men, the ship lifted from the mud and floated down the river, firing her still shotted guns and exploding one by one the shells that lay upon her decks, until she became dangerous to the Richmond and other Federal vessels near which she drifted.

Assignment to the USS Agawam

Dewey was highly complimented, not only by his immediate superiors, but by Farragut himself, who now appointed him executive officer of the Agawam — a small gunboat, which the admiral made frequent use of as a dispatch boat, and for his personal reconnoitering. This little vessel was frequently fired at, by concealed sharpshooters or temporary batteries. In July of that year these attacks brought about a small engagement at Donaldsonville, Louisiana
Donaldsonville, Louisiana
Donaldsonville is a city in and the parish seat of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, United States, along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The population was 7,605 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:Acadians began to settle in the area in...

, in which Captain Abner Read
Abner Read
Abner Read was an officer of the United States Navy who distinguished himself in the American Civil War. He died of injuries sustained while patrolling the Mississippi River, in command of the...

, commander of the Monongahela, was killed and his executive officer severely wounded. Dewey was present, and was so conspicuous for gallantry that he was recommended for promotion on the strength of it; and meanwhile he was given temporary command of the frigate.

Assignment to the USS Colorado

In the latter part of 1864, after some service in the James River
James River (Virginia)
The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is long, extending to if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. The James River drains a catchment comprising . The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million...


under Commander McComb, Lieutenant Dewey was made executive officer of the first-rate wooden man-of-war Colorado
USS Colorado (1856)
The first USS Colorado — a -class, three-masted steam screw frigate — was launched on 19 June 1856 by the Norfolk Navy Yard. It was sponsored by Ms. N. S. Dornin, and commissioned on 13 March 1858, Captain W. H...

, which was stationed on the North Atlantic blockading squadron under command of Commodore Henry Knox Thatcher
Henry K. Thatcher
Henry Knox Thatcher was a rear admiral in the United States Navy, who served during the American Civil War.-Early life and career:...

.

Battles of Fort Fisher

The blockade was an exceedingly important part of the plan of the war. The blockade was never made so perfect that no vessels could pass through, but it became nearly so toward the close of the war, and this was a matter of international importance as well as belligerent value in stopping the Confederates from receiving the foreign supplies upon which they so largely depended.

Large numbers of blockade runners were captured or driven ashore and wrecked. The profit on a single cargo that passed either way in safety was very great, and special vessels for blockade running were built in England. The Confederate government enacted a law providing that a certain portion of every cargo thus brought into its ports must consist of arms or ammunition, otherwise vessel and all would be confiscated. This ensured a constant supply. Clothing and equipments, too, for the Confederate armies came from the same source. To pay for these things, the Confederates sent out cotton, tobacco, rice, and the naval stores produced by the North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 forests. Strenuous efforts were constantly made to shut off this trade and communication, which made the traders of Great Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 and other European nations practically allies of the confederacy, and such officers as Lieutenant George Dewey had shown himself to be were needed, especially in the North Atlantic division, which covered such ports as Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is a port city in and is the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. The population is 106,476 according to the 2010 Census, making it the eighth most populous city in the state of North Carolina...

, where blockade running flourished.

It was to close the port of Wilmington, as much as to reduce the only coast fortification left to the South, that a powerful expedition, in which the navy was to co-operate with the army, was organized against Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher was a Confederate fort during the American Civil War. It protected the vital trading routes of the port at Wilmington, North Carolina, from 1861 until its capture by the Union in 1865....

, at the mouth of Cape Fear River
Cape Fear River
The Cape Fear River is a long blackwater river in east central North Carolina in the United States. It flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Fear, from which it takes its name. The overall water quality of the river is continuously measured and monitored by and conducted by the , , and the...

, in the early winter of 1864 to 1865. An attack delivered at Christmas proved a failure, and the land forces were largely withdrawn for service elsewhere. This conflict is known as the First Battle of Fort Fisher
First Battle of Fort Fisher
The First Battle of Fort Fisher, was a siege fought from December 23 to December 27, 1864, was a failed attempt by Union forces to capture the fort guarding Wilmington, North Carolina, the South's last major port on the Atlantic Ocean...

 (December 7–27, 1864). It was followed by the Second Battle of Fort Fisher
Second Battle of Fort Fisher
The Second Battle of Fort Fisher was a joint assault by Union Army and naval forces against Fort Fisher, outside Wilmington, North Carolina, near the end of the American Civil War...

 (January 13–15, 1865).

The navy remained and in the middle of January made a second attack, assisted by some soldiers under Terry
Alfred Terry
Alfred Howe Terry was a Union general in the American Civil War and the military commander of the Dakota Territory from 1866 to 1869 and again from 1872 to 1886.-Early life and career:...

, who were reinforced by marines and sailors from the ships. This was one of the hardest fought engagements on land and sea of the civil war and it resulted in a Federal victory, in which the navy, afloat and ashore, carried off the principal honors. The Colorado, being a wooden ship, was placed in the line outside the monitors and other armored vessels but got a full share of conflict. Toward the end of the second engagement, when matters were moving the right way, Admiral Porter signaled Thatcher to close in and silence a certain part of the works. As the ship had already received considerable damage, her officers remonstrated. But Dewey, who, had now acquired marked tactical ability, was quick to see the advantage to be gained by the move and the work was taken in fifteen minutes. The New York Times, commenting upon this part of the action, spoke of it as 'the most beautiful duel of the war.' When Admiral Porter came to congratulate Commodore Thatcher the latter said generously : 'You must thank Lieutenant Dewey, sir. It was his move.' Nevertheless Thatcher was promoted to be a rear-admiral and tried to take Dewey with him as his fleet captain when he went to supersede Farragut at Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, lying within the state of Alabama in the United States. Its mouth is formed by the Fort Morgan Peninsula on the eastern side and Dauphin Island, a barrier island on the western side. The Mobile River and Tensaw River empty into the northern end of the...

. This was not permitted, but Dewey was promoted to lieutenant-commander
Lieutenant commander (United States)
Lieutenant commander is a mid-ranking officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, with the pay grade of O-4 and NATO rank code OF-3...

.

Post-war life

After the end of the Civil War, then Lieutenant-Commander Dewey remained in active service, and was sent to the European station as executive officer of the Kearsarge
USS Kearsarge (1861)
USS Kearsarge, a Mohican-class sloop-of-war, is best known for her defeat of the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama during the American Civil War. The Kearsarge was the only ship of the United States Navy named for Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire...

 — the famous old ship that had sunk the privateer Alabama
CSS Alabama
CSS Alabama was a screw sloop-of-war built for the Confederate States Navy at Birkenhead, United Kingdom, in 1862 by John Laird Sons and Company. Alabama served as a commerce raider, attacking Union merchant and naval ships over the course of her two-year career, during which she never anchored in...

.

Marriage

After a year of this, he was assigned to duty in the navy yard at Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire in the United States. It is the largest city but only the fourth-largest community in the county, with a population of 21,233 at the 2010 census...

, and there met the woman who became his wife. His wife was Susan "Susie" Boardman Goodwin (1844–1872), daughter of New Hampshire's war governor, Ichabod Goodwin
Ichabod Goodwin
Ichabod Goodwin was the 27th governor of the state of New Hampshire from 1859 to 1861.Goodwin was born at North Berwick, Maine and educated in South Berwick...

, a Republican who fitted out troops for the war at his own expense. The Deweys were married on 24 October 1867 and had a single son, George Goodwin Dewey (December 23, 1872 - February 10, 1963). Susie died on December 28, 1872, five days after giving birth.

Peacetime assignments

Dewey's next tour of duty was in 1867 and 1868 as executive officer of the Colorado
USS Colorado (1856)
The first USS Colorado — a -class, three-masted steam screw frigate — was launched on 19 June 1856 by the Norfolk Navy Yard. It was sponsored by Ms. N. S. Dornin, and commissioned on 13 March 1858, Captain W. H...

 — the same vessel in which he had won his honors at Fort Fisher, and now the flagship of the European Squadron
European Squadron
The European Squadron, also known as the European Station, was a part of the United States Navy in the late 19th century and the early 1900s. The squadron was originally named the Mediterranean Squadron and renamed following the American Civil War...

. The admiral in command of the ship and squadron was Goldsborough
Louis M. Goldsborough
Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough was a rear admiral in the United States Navy during the Civil War. He held several sea commands during the Civil War, including the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron...

, and one of Dewey's companions was John Crittenden Watson
John C. Watson
John Crittenden Watson was an admiral of the United States Navy.-Biography:Watson was born in Frankfort, Kentucky on August 24, 1842, the grandson of renowned Kentucky politician John J. Crittenden. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy on 15 June 1860...

 — the same man, who, as rear-admiral, relieved Admiral Dewey of his duties at Manila, when he wished to return to the United States in the summer of 1899."

Some tranquil years followed the end of Dewey's cruise in the Colorado. For two years, from 1868 to 1870, he was an instructor at the Naval Academy. The next year he did special surveying work in the steamer Narragansett, and in 1872 was given command of that vessel, and spent nearly four years in her, engaged in the service of the Pacific Coast Survey."

Lighthouse Board

This entitled him to a period of rest ashore; and he was ordered to Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and made lighthouse inspector in 1880, and subsequently secretary of the lighthouse board
United States Lighthouse Board
The United States Lighthouse Board was the agency of the US Federal Government that was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all lighthouses in the United States...

, a service in which he took great interest. Meanwhile he had been promoted to the grade of commander
Commander (United States)
In the United States, commander is a military rank that is also sometimes used as a military title, depending on the branch of service. It is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the military, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Naval rank:In the United States...

. This residence in Washington as a bureau officer of high rank gave him an extensive acquaintance, and he became one of the most popular men in the capital. He was a member of the Metropolitan Club, the leading social club of Washington.

Assignment to the USS Dolphin

In 1882, this leave of absence in Washington came to an end by his being sent to the Asiatic station
Asiatic Squadron
The Asiatic Squadron was a squadron of United States Navy warships stationed in East Asia during the latter half of the 19th century, it was created in 1868 when the East India Squadron was disbanded...

 in command of the Juniata, where he studied the situation with care and acquired information of immense importance ten years later.

The rank of captain was reached in 1884, and he was ordered home and given command of the Dolphin
USS Dolphin (PG-24)
USS Dolphin —a gunboat/dispatch vessel—was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the dolphin. Dolphins keel was laid down by John Roach & Sons of Chester, Pennsylvania. She was launched on 12 April 1884, with Captain George Dewey in command, and commissioned on 8 December 1885...

 — one of the first four of the original white squadron
Squadron of Evolution
The Squadron of Evolution " —sometimes referred to as the "White Squadron"— was a transitional unit in the United States Navy, during the late 19th century. Composed of the cruisers , , , USS Yorktown, and dispatch boat . Having both full rigged masts and steam engines, it was influential in the...

, which formed the basis of the new and modern navy of the United States. The Dolphin was intended as a dispatch boat, and was often used as the president's yacht.

In 1885, Captain Dewey undertook another tour of sea service, and for three years was in command of the Pensacola, familiar to him in the New Orleans battles, now flagship of the European squadron."

Asiatic Squadron

Returning to Washington in 1893 he resumed the life of a bureau officer, being attached to the lighthouse board, and remained there until 1896. when he was commissioned commodore, and transferred to the board of inspection and survey
Board of Inspection and Survey
The Board of Inspection and Survey is a U.S. Navy organization whose purpose is to inspect and assess material condition of Naval vessels.The Board is currently headquartered at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia.- INSURV teams :...

.

Dewey felt, in 1897, that his health was suffering in the climate and inaction of Washington, and applied for sea duty. It was granted to him, and he was assigned to the command of the Asiatic station. He felt certain, as did so many others at Washington that year, that war with Spain
Spain under the Restoration
The Restoration was the name given to the period that began on December 29, 1874 after the First Spanish Republic ended with the restoration of Alfonso XII to the throne after a coup d'état by Martinez Campos, and ended on April 14, 1931 with the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic.After...

 was imminent although few had thought of the Philippines
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

 as a field of serious war.

The Commodore hoisted his pennant at Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 in December, 1897, and immediately began preparations for wartime service. As early as January 1898 the Navy Department began to send him instructions, as it was doing to other commanders under the administration of Secretary of Navy John D. Long
John Davis Long
John Davis Long was a U.S. political figure. He served as the 32nd Governor of Massachusetts between 1880 and 1883. He later served as the Secretary of the Navy from 1897 to 1902....

 and Assistant Secretary of Navy Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

. Dewey was ordered in January to retain all enlisted men whose terms had expired; and a month later was told to keep the Olympia
USS Olympia (C-6)
USS Olympia is a protected cruiser which saw service in the United States Navy from her commissioning in 1895 until 1922. This vessel became famous as the flagship of Commodore George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The ship was decommissioned after...

, instead of sending her back to San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

. He was instructed to assemble all his squadron at Hong Kong, and to fill all the bunkers with coal. At the same time the cruiser Baltimore
USS Baltimore (C-3)
The fourth USS Baltimore was a United States Navy cruiser, the second protected cruiser to be built by an American yard. Like the previous one, , the design was commissioned from the British company of W...

 was dispatched to him from the United States, via Hawaii
Republic of Hawaii
The Republic of Hawaii was the formal name of the government that controlled Hawaii from 1894 to 1898 when it was run as a republic. The republic period occurred between the administration of the Provisional Government of Hawaii which ended on July 4, 1894 and the adoption of the Newlands...

; and at Honolulu
Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu is the southernmost major U.S. city. Although the name "Honolulu" refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and county government are consolidated as the City and...

 was met by the steamer Mohican
USS Mohican (1883)
The second USS Mohican was a steam sloop of war in the United States Navy. She was named for the Mohican tribe.-Construction:Mohican was laid down by Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 4 September 1872, funded with the repair money allocated for the first ; launched 27 December 1883; sponsored by...

 from San Francisco, which transferred to her a shipload of ammunition, sent far in advance of its possible use.

Dewey's ships were scattered up and down the Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

tic coast; but by the end of March the whole squadron, except the antiquated wooden Monocacy
USS Monocacy (1864)
-External links:*...

, had been gathered in the port of Hong Kong, their coal and stores replenished. Then came a period of waiting, the commodore was constantly making ready. First he sent the fleet paymaster over to the consignees of the English steamship Nanshan
USS Nanshan (AG-3)
USS Nanshan was a collier in the service of the United States Navy.Nanshan was launched in 1896 by Grangemouth Dockyard Company, Grangemouth, Scotland for merchant service as a collier in the Far East; purchased at Hong Kong on 6 April 1898 from Frank Smythe; and placed in service the same day,...

, and bought her as she was, with 3,300 tons of coal on board. Then he bought the Zafiro
USS Zafiro (1884)
USS Zafiro was a collier that served in the United States Navy from 1898-1904.Zafiro was constructed in 1884 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland by Hall, Russell & Company at Aberdeen, Scotland. Admiral George Dewey purchased her for the U.S...

, a steamship of the Manila-Hong Kong line, just as she was, with all her fuel and provisions, and on her was placed all the spare ammunition, so that she became the magazine of the fleet.

On April 18, the McCulloch
USS McCulloch (1897)
Built by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, USS McCulloch commissioned 12 December 1897 as a cruising cutter of the Revenue Cutter Service, Capt. D. B. Hogsdon, RCS, in command....

 came in and joined the squadron. She was a revenue cutter but she was as good as a gunboat, being built of steel, having 1,500 tons displacement, and carrying four 4-inch guns and a crew of one hundred and thirty men. On the 21st, when General Woodford
Stewart L. Woodford
Stewart Lyndon Woodford was an American politician.-Life:He studied at Yale University and Columbia College . At the latter he graduated in 1854 and was a member of St. Anthony Hall...

 was leaving Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, and Señor Luís Polo de Bernabé was slipping out of Washington, the Baltimore
USS Baltimore (C-3)
The fourth USS Baltimore was a United States Navy cruiser, the second protected cruiser to be built by an American yard. Like the previous one, , the design was commissioned from the British company of W...

 appeared, a powerful addition to the fleet, and bringing also her load of ammunition, so that she was doubly welcome.

As the news now daily published in Hong Kong made war seem certain, all the white vessels were repainted war-gray, and the last possible preparations made when the cable brought word of the declaration of war, to date from April 22 and also of England's declaration of neutrality. Word was therefore sent to the American commander by the Governor of Hong Kong
Wilsone Black
Major-General Sir Wilsone Black KCB was a British military officer and colonial administrator.-Military career:...

 that his vessels could no longer be harbored there. That was no hardship, for they were as completely outfitted as they cared to be, and only a few miles away were the Chinese waters of Mirs Bay
Mirs Bay
Mirs Bay is a bay in the northeast of Crooked Island and Sai Kung Peninsula of Hong Kong. Ping Chau stands in the midst of the bay...

, where nobody would or could interfere with their anchorage. Thither Dewey took his ships on April 25, leaving the McCulloch to bring last dispatches; and the next day she joined the fleet in a hurry, taking to the commander the following fateful message from the Government of the United States:

'Dewey, Asiatic Squadron: "War has commenced between the United States and Spain. Proceed at once to Philippine Islands. Commence operations at once, particularly against the Spanish fleet. You must capture vessels or destroy. Use utmost endeavors. Long."

This was on the 26th. At 2:00 p.m. the next day, April 27, Dewey's squadron was leaving Mirs Bay for the Philippine Islands, in search of another squadron of warships as large and as new and as well-armed as itself, to seek the first naval encounter of modern ships and with modern ordnance.

Battle of Manila Bay

On April 27, 1898, he sailed out from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 with orders to attack the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 at Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila , in the Philippines.The bay is considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world...

. He stopped at the mouth of the bay late the night of April 30, and the following morning he gave the order to attack at first light, by saying the now famous words "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley
Charles Vernon Gridley
Charles Vernon Gridley was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War.-Early life:...

." Within 6 hours, on May 1, he had sunk or captured the entire Spanish Pacific fleet under Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón and silenced the shore batteries at Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, with the loss of only one life on the American side.

Dewey aided General Wesley Merritt
Wesley Merritt
Wesley Merritt was a general in the United States Army during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War. He is noted for distinguished service in the cavalry.-Early life:...

 in taking formal possession of Manila on August 13, 1898. In the early stages of the war the Americans were greatly aided by the Filipino nationalists led by Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role during the Philippines' revolution against Spain, and the subsequent Philippine-American War or War of Philippine Independence that resisted American occupation...

 who had been attacking the Spanish by land as Dewey was attacking them by sea. Dewey and Aguinaldo at first enjoyed a cordial relationship, and Dewey wrote that the Filipinos were “intelligent” and well "capable of self-government"; however the McKinley administration soon decided otherwise, and by the start of 1899, Dewey had to threaten to shell Aguinaldo's forces to allow American troops to land in Manila.

Hero

The totality of Dewey's victory brought the world to a sharp awareness of the United States as a naval power. Returning to the United States in 1899, he received a hero's welcome. New York City's September 1899 welcome home celebration for Dewey was a two-day parade served more to promote the potential of American colonialism in Asia than to honor Dewey's heroism in the Philippines. Newspapers transformed Dewey into the epitome of American superiority by highlighting his leadership capabilities and accentuating the strength and masculinity of his features. Dewey's swift easy victory encouraged the William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

 administration in its decision to place the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 under American control.

Dewey returned to America to a hero's welcome, and by act of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 was made Admiral of the Navy
Admiral of the Navy (United States)
Admiral of the Navy is a rank in the United States Navy that has only been held once in history, by George Dewey. In recognition of his victory at Manila Bay in 1898, Congress authorized a single officer to hold the rank of Admiral, and promoted Dewey to this rank in March 1899...

 in 1899. A special military decoration
Awards and decorations of the United States military
Awards and decorations of the United States Military are military decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces...

, the Battle of Manila Bay Medal (commonly called the Dewey Medal
Dewey Medal
The Dewey Medal was a military decoration of the United States Navy which was established by the United States Congress on June 3, 1898. The medal recognizes the leadership of Admiral of the Navy George Dewey, during the Spanish-American War, and the sailors and marines under his command.The Dewey...

), was struck in his honor of his achievement at Manila Bay and awarded to every officer, sailor and Marine present at the battle.

The U.S. Congress awarded the title of Admiral of the Navy
Admiral of the Navy
Admiral of the navy is a senior-most rank of a naval service.Some navies use the term admiral of the navy as a title bestowed upon a fleet admiral or other senior naval official...

 to Dewey in 1903. In 1900 he was named president of the newly established General Board of the Navy Department, which set basic policy. He served in this post until his death in Washington, January 16, 1917. He is interred in the Bethlehem Chapel, on the crypt level, at the Washington National Cathedral
Washington National Cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral, officially named the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church located in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Of neogothic design, it is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, the second-largest in...

, Washington, DC.

Dewey was energetic, competent and vain. He wore spiffy clothes and a glorious handlebar mustache; thanks to inherited wealth he lived in style. He often went horseback riding with Roosevelt in Washington's Rock Creek Park and he was a fellow member of Washington's prestigious Metropolitan Club.

Presidential candidate

After Dewey's return from the Spanish-American War, many suggested he run for President
United States presidential election, 1900
The United States presidential election of 1900 was a re-match of the 1896 race between Republican President William McKinley and his Democratic challenger, William Jennings Bryan. The return of economic prosperity and recent victory in the Spanish–American War helped McKinley to score a decisive...

 on the Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 ticket in 1900. However, his candidacy was plagued by public relations missteps. Newspapers started attacking him as naïve after he was quoted as saying the job of president would be easy since the chief executive was merely following orders in executing the laws enacted by Congress and that he would "execute the laws of Congress as faithfully as I have always executed the orders of my superiors." Shortly thereafter he admitted to never having voted in a presidential election. He drew yet more criticism when he offhandedly told a newspaper reporter that "Our next war will be with Germany."

Dewey also angered some Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 by marrying Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 Mildred McLean Hazen (the widow of General William Babcock Hazen
William Babcock Hazen
William Babcock Hazen was a career United States Army officer who served in the Indian Wars, as a Union general in the American Civil War, and as Chief Signal Officer of the U.S. Army...

 and daughter of Washington McLean
Washington McLean
Washington McLean was an American businessman of Scottish ancestry best known as the owner of the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1848 Washington McLean and his brother S.B.W. McLean acquired a share position in the Cincinnati Enquirer to be partners with editor James...

, the owner of The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

) in November 1899 and giving her the house that the nation had given him following the war.

Dewey withdrew from the race in mid-May 1900 and endorsed William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

.

Dates of Rank

  • Midshipman
    Midshipman
    A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya...

     - June 11, 1854
  • Passed Midshipman — January 19, 1861


In the era of the Civil War, it was a common practice for officers to be granted shipboard commissions based on the need to fill certain jobs or billets. Dewey was therefore made a Lieutenant once he "signed on" with David Farragut. He never held the rank of Ensign and skipped the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade (which in the 1860s was known as "Master").
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...

Commander
Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

Captain
O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6
April 19, 1861 March 3, 1865 April 13, 1872 September 27, 1884
Commodore
Commodore (rank)
Commodore is a military rank used in many navies that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. Non-English-speaking nations often use the rank of flotilla admiral or counter admiral as an equivalent .It is often regarded as a one-star rank with a NATO code of OF-6, but is not always...

Rear Admiral
Rear admiral (United States)
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. The uniformed services of the United States are unique in having two grades of rear admirals.- Rear admiral :...

Vice Admiral
Vice admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, and the United States Maritime Service, vice admiral is a three-star flag officer, with the pay grade of...

Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

Admiral of Navy
Admiral of the Navy (United States)
Admiral of the Navy is a rank in the United States Navy that has only been held once in history, by George Dewey. In recognition of his victory at Manila Bay in 1898, Congress authorized a single officer to hold the rank of Admiral, and promoted Dewey to this rank in March 1899...

O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 Special Rank
February 28, 1896 May 10, 1898 Never Held March 2, 1899 March 24, 1903 Retroactive to March 2, 1899


Most of the earlier ranks displayed above used different insignia when worn by Dewey in the Civil War. The current U.S. Navy stripe system was not formalized until 1889.
Admiral Dewey's final rank was Admiral of the Navy which is considered a Six-Star Admiral. He was the only person ever to hold this rank. Admiral of the Navy is equal to General of the Armies, also considered to be a Six-Star Rank. General Pershing and General Washington held this rank, Washington long after his death.

Honors

Medals Awarded by the United States Government

(Dates indicate the year the medal was awarded.)

Civil War Campaign Medal
Civil War Campaign Medal
The Civil War Campaign Medal is considered the first campaign service medal of the United States military. The decoration was awarded to members of the United States military who had served in the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865.-Establishment:...

 (1908)

Battle of Manila Bay Medal (aka. "Dewey Medal
Dewey Medal
The Dewey Medal was a military decoration of the United States Navy which was established by the United States Congress on June 3, 1898. The medal recognizes the leadership of Admiral of the Navy George Dewey, during the Spanish-American War, and the sailors and marines under his command.The Dewey...

") (1898)

Spanish Campaign Medal
Spanish Campaign Medal
The Spanish Campaign Medal was a military award of the United States Armed Forces which recognized those members of the U.S. military who had served in the Spanish-American War. Although a single decoration, there were two versions of the Spanish Campaign Medal, one for members of the United...

 (1908)

Philippine Campaign Medal
Philippine Campaign Medal
The Philippine Campaign Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces which was created to denote service of U.S. military members in the Philippine-American War between the years of 1899 and 1913. Although a single service medal, the Philippine Campaign Medal was issued under...

 (1908)

Other Honors

In 1898, the Borough of Hellertown, Pennsylvania, formed its fire department naming it Dewey Fire Company No. 1 in honor of George Dewey.

Also in 1898, the city of Boston, Massachusetts named the square besides the nearly complete South Central Station
South Station
South Station, New England's second-largest transportation center , located at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street in Dewey Square, Boston, Massachusetts, is the largest train station and intercity bus terminal in Greater Boston, a prominent train station in the northeastern...

 as Dewey Square
Dewey Square
Dewey Square is a square in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It lies at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue, Summer Street, Federal Street, Purchase Street and Surface Artery, with the Central Artery passing underneath in the Dewey Square Tunnel and Big Dig...

 in his honor.

Three ships of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 have borne the name USS Dewey
USS Dewey
USS Dewey may refer to one of these ships of the United States Navy named in honor of Admiral George Dewey, best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War:, a floating drydock at U.S...

, including an Arleigh Burke-class
Arleigh Burke class destroyer
The Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers is the United States Navy's first class of destroyer built around the Aegis combat system and the SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar. The class is named for Admiral Arleigh "31-Knot" Burke, the most famous American destroyer officer of...

 destroyer, USS Dewey (DDG-105)
USS Dewey (DDG-105)
USS Dewey is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy. Dewey is the third Navy ship named after Admiral of the Navy George Dewey, hero of the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War....

 that began construction in 2005 and christened on 26, January 2008.

Thomasville
Thomasville, Georgia
Thomasville is the county seat of Thomas County, Georgia, United States. The city is the second largest in Southwest Georgia after Albany.The city deems itself the City of Roses and holds an annual Rose Festival. The town features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, contains the Dewey City "subdivision," an area settled in the late 1880s by former slaves.

The column in the center of San Francisco's
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 Union Square
Union Square, San Francisco, California
Union Square is a plaza of bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets in San Francisco, California. "Union Square" also refers to the central shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds the plaza for several blocks. The area got its name because it was once used for rallies and...

 is dedicated to Dewey's victory at Manila Bay.

Dewey Beach, Delaware
Dewey Beach, Delaware
As of the census of 2000, there were 301 people, 161 households, and 83 families residing in the town. The population density was 876.6 people per square mile . There were 1,369 housing units at an average density of 3,986.9 per square mile...

, is named in honor of Admiral Dewey.

Dewey Street, in St. Paul, Minnesota, was renamed in his honor.

In 1899, Mills Novelty released a slot machine
Slot machine
A slot machine , informally fruit machine , the slots , poker machine or "pokies" or simply slot is a casino gambling machine with three or more reels which spin when a button is pushed...

 named The Dewey, in honor of Admiral Dewey.

The main town of Culebra
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Isla Culebra is an island-municipality of Puerto Rico originally called Isla Pasaje and Isla de San Ildefonso. It is located approximately east of the Puerto Rican mainland, west of St. Thomas and north of Vieques. Culebra is spread over 5 wards and Culebra Pueblo...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, was named in his honor, however it is known by many locals simply as Pueblo.

The Dewey School in the Castle Rock Business Corridor in Castle Rock, Colorado
Castle Rock, Colorado
The Town of Castle Rock is the county seat of Douglas County, Colorado, United States and is named for the prominent castle tower-shaped butte near the center of town. It is part of Colorado's Front Range Urban Corridor and is located roughly 28 miles south of Denver and 37 miles north of...

 was named after Admiral Dewey. The Admiral wrote a warm letter of thanks to the school children that was framed and on the wall of the school for many years until the school closed.

Dewey Avenue in Wharton
Wharton, New Jersey
Wharton is a Borough in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2000 United States Census, the borough population was 6,298.What is now Wharton was originally incorporated as the borough of Port Oram by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on June 26, 1895, from portions of Randolph...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, is named in honor of Admiral Dewey.

Dewey Blvd, now known as Roxas Blvd
Roxas Boulevard
Roxas Boulevard is a boulevard in Metro Manila, and an eight-lane arterial road that connects the center of Manila with Pasay City, Parañaque City. It is one of the major arteries in the city's metropolitan network, designated as Radial Road 1...

, a major seaside thoroughfare in Manila, Philippines, was named after him; George Dewey High School at the former U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay
U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay
U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay was a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Zambales, Philippines. It was the largest U.S...

 in the Philippines was named after him.

A settlement in Newton County, Texas
Newton County, Texas
Newton County is the easternmost county in the U.S. state of Texas. In of 2000, its population was 15,072. Its county seat is Newton. Newton county is named for John Newton, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War...

, was established as a sawmill site by the Sabine Tram Company in 1898. It was named Deweyville after George Dewey.

Dewey Lake, a lake in St. Louis County, Minnesota
St. Louis County, Minnesota
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2010, the population was 200,226. Its county seat is Duluth. It is the largest county by total area in Minnesota, and the second largest in the United States east of the Mississippi River; in land area alone, after Aroostook...

, is named after Admiral Dewey.

Admiral Dewey (tugboat)
Admiral Dewey (tugboat)
The Admiral Dewey, also known as the Georgetown and today as the Helen McAllister, is a tugboat built in 1900 at the Burlee Drydock in Port Richmond, New York. She is currently part of the South Street Seaport Museum in Manhattan, New York and docked at Pier 16 in the East River...

 was named for him.

Further reading

  • Brody, David. "Celebrating Empire on the Home Front: New York City's Welcome-home Party for Admiral Dewey." Prospects 2000 25: 391-424. Issn: 0361-2333
  • Chadwick, French Ensor. The Relations of the United States and Spain: The Spanish-American War (1911) online edition
  • Graves, Ralph. "When a Victory Really Gave Us a New World Order." Smithsonian 1992 22(12): 88-97. Issn: 0037-7333 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Spector, Ronald. Admiral of the New Empire: The Life and Career of George Dewey. 1974. 220 pp. the standard scholarly biography

Primary sources

  • Dewey, George. Autobiography of George Dewey, Admiral of the Navy (1913) full text online written in collaboration with journalist Frederick Palmer as ghostwriter using the reports of Dewey's aide, Nathan Sargent,

External links


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