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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

U.S.S. Octorara; U.S.S. Indianola; U.S.S. Itasca


RADM George Brown

RADM. George Brown was born in Rushville, Indiana, and entered the navy as a midshipman on February 5, 1849 and graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1855. He subsequently served aboard USS Cumberland and USS St. Lawrence. He served throughout the Civil War, first as inspector of ordnance for USS Powhatan (rank lieutenant), then as commander of the USS Octorara with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, during which time he was promoted to lieutenant commander on 16 July 1862. He especially distinguished himself on the night of February 24, 1863, when, in command of the river gunboat USS Indianola at Palmyra Island, he defended himself for an hour and a half against four Confederate gunboats. He was wounded and taken prisoner, and his vessel was destroyed. He was held at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia until exchanged in May 1863. He commandeered and armed the civilian vessel SS Union at Marion, Indiana for defense against Morgan's Raiders in July 1863. Later he commanded the USS Itasca at the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. After the war he conveyed the former CSS Stonewall to Japan, to which it had been sold. Brown remained in the navy and served in various positions; he retired on June 19, 1897, as an admiral. He died on June 29, 1913.
Image from Carte-de-Visite by Porterís, Cincinnati, Ohio. Image Courtesy Wilsonís Creek National Battlefield; WICR 30268
Octorara
This Manhattan .36 caliber revolver belonged to Lieutenant Commander George Brown, U. S. Navy; it has ivory grips with an engraved eagle. Image Courtesy Wilsonís Creek National Battlefield; WICR 30266