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Edward Simpson Edit Profile

Naval officer

Edward Simpson served as an officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War, eventually attaining the rank of rear admiral.


Simpson, Edward was born on March 3, 1824 in New York City. Son of Edmund Shaw and Julia Elizabeth (Jones) Simpson.


Graduated from the United States Naval Academy, 1846.


His service included being assigned as commanding officer of several Navy ships and serving with distinction in various shore assignments. Simpson was appointed midshipman in the United States Navy in February 1840, shortly before his sixteenth birthday. Pre-Civil War service\r\nAfter graduation on July 9, 1846, Simpson reported to USS Vixen and participated in numerous bombardments during the Mexican-American War.

During the next 15 years, he served afloat in the Brazil Squadron and the China Squadron and with the U.S. Coast Survey, and ashore in two tours at the U.S. Naval Academy: first as gunnery instructor, then in 1860 as head of the department of ordnance and gunnery. Civil War service\r\nIn May 1861, shortly after the outbreak of the American Civil War, Simpson moved with the Naval Academy to Newport, Rhode Island, where it was relocated for the duration of the war. In 1862 he became Commandant of Midshipmen.

In June 1863 he took command of the monitor, USS Passaic. He participated in bombardments at Charleston, South Carolina from July to November 1863. From July to December 1864, he commanded Isonomia in the East Gulf Blockading Squadron.

And, then served from February to April 1865 as Fleet Captain of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and of the forces attacking Mobile, Alabama. Post-war activity\r\nAfter the war, he alternated tours of command ashore and afloat with tours of ordnance duty, including a mission to Europe in 1870-72, and command of the Naval Torpedo Station in 1873 and again from 1874 to 1875. As of 1880, he was the officer in charge of the naval station in New London, Connecticut.

In 1883, he was appointed president of a board to select a site for a government gun factory and made another study trip to Europe. Promoted to Rear Admiral on February 9, 1884, he served as President of the Naval Advisory Board and President of the Board of Inspection and Survey until his retirement on March 3, 1886. Rear Admiral Simpson died in Washington, D.C., December 1, 1888.

Midshipman - 11 February 1840\r\nPassed Midshipman - 11 July 1846\r\nMaster - 10 July 1854\r\nLieutenant - 18 April 1855\r\nLieutenant Commander - 16 July 1862\r\nCommander - 3 March 1865\r\nCaptain - 15 August 1870\r\nCommodore - 26 April 1878\r\nRear Admiral - 9 February 1884\r\nRetired List - 3 March 1886\r\nThe destroyer USS Simpson (DD-221), commissioned on November 3, 1920, was named for in his honor.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Treatise on Ordnance and Naval Gunnery, 1859. Report on a Naval Mission to Europe Especially Devoted to the Material and Construction of Artillery, 1873.


He served afloat until late 1845, when he became a member of the first class of midshipmen to be trained at the new United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.


Married Mary Ann Ridgely, 1853, 5 children.

Edmund Shaw Simpson

Julia Elizabeth (Jones) Simpson

Mary Ann Ridgely