Sunday, January 16, 2011
A Man Of Science And Ships
Charles Henry Davis was born January 16th 1807 in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard and showed an interest in the science. He started as a Midshipman 1823 on the frigate the “United States” in the Pacific. From 1830 -1833 he served on the sloop the “Ontario”. Davis was promoted Lieutenant and was serving on the ship the “Independence”. He was part of the United States Coast Survey from 1846 to 1849. Davis was promoted to Commander in 1854 and given command of the “St Mary’s”.
When the Civil War started Davis was appointed in June 1861 to the Blockade Strategy Board. He received a promotion November 15th 1861 to Captain and placed in command of the Western Gunboat Flotilla. His ships fought in the Battle of Memphis June 6th 1862, and was part of the attack on Vicksburg, Mississippi along with Officer David G Farragut. In August Davis took his ships up the Yazoo river where they seized Confederate munitions and supplies. Following this he returned to Washington, DC where he was made chief of the Bureau of Navigation. Davis was promoted to Rear Admiral February 7th 1863.
After the war and until 1867 Davis was the Superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory. He was placed in command of the South Atlantic Squadron in 1867. Davis returned home in 1869 where he served at the Naval Observatory and on the Lighthouse Board. He died February 18th 1877 in Washington, DC and is buried in Cambridge, Massachusetts.