Saturday, September 24, 2011

Garrett J. Pendergrast, USN

From Wikipedia.

From Dec. 5, 1802. Died November 7, 1862. One of the oldest officers in the Union Navy during the war.

He was a flag officer on the USS Cumberland during the action at Gloucester Point and it was under his orders that Lt. Thomas O. Selfridge reconnoitered the Confederate defenses. He was the uncle of Austin Pendergrast, the hapless commander of the USS Water Witch when it was captured.

During the Mexican War, Pendergrast commanded the USS Boston He was also the commanding officer of the USS Merrimack (which later became the ironclad CSS Virginia) when it was commissioned.

Starting April 24th, the Cumberland and supporting ships began seizing Confederate ships and privateers off Fort Monroe in the Chesapeake Bay, capturing 16. The first major blockade operation of the war.

When the Cumberland was sunk by the CSS Virginia, Pendergrast was no longer the ship's commander.

In July, 1862, Pendergrast became a commodore and was assigned to the command of the Philadelphia Naval Yard where he died November 7, 1862, of a paralytic stroke.

He is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. Find-A-Grave shows a large obelisk with an anchor on it. It also says that Austin Pendergrast is buried at the same spot and that Garrett was his father.

I had Never Heard of Him. --Old B-Runner

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