Sunday, February 20, 2011

Porter and Semmes in FINAL Poll!

Union Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter and Confederate Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes won this past week's semifinal poll asking readers, "Who Was the Greatest Civil War Naval Officer?"  While Porter was the clear winner for the Union, Semmes went through a slight struggle in the final days of the poll to win 7 votes to 5 (Matthew F. Maury). 

In an effort to gain a pulse to what readers and enthusiasts of the CWN 150 are looking for in these polls, a short "stat sheet" for each officer will be included for the final poll on the left hand side of the blog.  The poll will be left up for two weeks, with the ultimate winner decided in early March.

 David Dixon Porter (1813-1891)

 Greatest Achievements:
  • Second man to be promoted to rank of Admiral, next to adoptive brother David G. Farragut
  • Superintendent at the United States Naval Academy 
  • Commander, Mississippi River Squadron
  • Vicksburg Campaign, Fort Fisher Assault
Service Record:
  • Began naval service at age 10 under his father, Commodore David Porter
  • Midshipman in Mexican Navy, 1824
  • Midshipman in U.S. Navy, USS United States (Peacetime Navy)
  • Promoted to Lieutenant (1841) during his time at the Coast Survey and U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office
  • Mexican American War Service, awarded Captain of Spitfire
  • Commanding Officer, USS Supply
  • Commanding Officer, USS Powhatan
  • Promoted to Commander (Civil War)
  • Commanding Officer, Mortar Boat Flotilla
  • New Orleans Campaign, Vicksburg Campaign, Red River Expedition, Fort Fisher
  • Mississippi River Squadron Commander (1862)
  • North Atlantic Blockading Squadron Commander (1864)
  • Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy (1865)
  • SECNAV advisor under President U.S. Grant
Raphael Semmes (1809-1877)

Greatest Achievements:
  • As Captain of the commerce raider CSS Alabama, he took a record 69 prizes
  • Only American to have the distinction of holding positions as a General and Admiral simultaneously
  • Destruction of USS Hatteras
  • Accomplished lawyer and professor of philosophy and literature at LSU
  • Member of the Alabama Hall of Fame
Service Record:
  •  Entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1826
  • Commanding Officer, USS Somers in Mexican American War (1846)
  • Promoted to Commander (1855)
  • Resigns from U.S. Navy (1861)
  • Accepts rank of Commander in Confederate Navy (1861)
  • Commanding Officer CSS Sumter
  • Promoted to Captain (1862)
  • Commanding Officer, CSS Alabama
  • Lost battle against USS Kearsarge off the coast of France; avoided capture
  • Promoted Rear Admiral (1865)
  • Commanding Officer, James River Squadron (1865)
  • Appointed Brigadier General in the CSA (1865)
The new poll will be posted on the left side of the blog page for the next two weeks.  Happy voting!

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