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George Brown Edit Profile

military personnel

Rear admiral George Brown was an officer of the United States Navy who served during the American Civil War.


Brown, George was born on June 19, 1835 in Rushville, Indiana, United States. Son of William J. and Susan (Tompkins) Brown.


Appointed to the United States Naval Academy from Indiana, 1849.


He subsequently served aboard the Cumberland and St. Lawrence. He served throughout the Civil War, first as inspector of ordnance for the Powhatan (rank lieutenant), then as commander of the Octorara with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, during which time he was promoted to lieutenant commander. 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 Union at Marion, Indiana for defense against Morgan's Raiders in July 1863. Later he commanded the 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. He also was elected a First Class Companion of the Indiana Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. He became a captain in April 1877, after being appointed to command the Department of Alaska, and was promoted to rear admiral in September 1893.

In June and July 1891 he was in Chilean waters involved in the Itata Incident which was a diplomatic affair and military incident involving the United States and Chile during the 1891 Chilean Civil War. The incident concerned an attempted arms shipment by the rebel ship Itata from the U.S. to Chile. He was accused by opponents of the administration of having gone beyond his public orders to become involved in intrigues with the combatants.

He commanded the naval forces in the Philippines in 1889–92, and the Norfolk Navy Yard in 1886–90, and again in 1893–97, when he retired. Midshipman - 5 February 1849\r\nPassed Midshipman - 12 June 1855\r\nMaster - 16 September 1855\r\nLieutenant - 2 June 1856\r\nLieutenant Commander - 16 July 1862\r\nCommander - 25 July 1866\r\nCaptain - 25 April 1877\r\nCommodore - 4 September 1887\r\nRear Admiral - 27 September 1893\r\nRetired List - 19 June 1897.


He especially distinguished himself on the night of February 24, 1863, when, in command of the river gunboat Indianola at Palmyra Island, he defended himself for an hour and a half against four Confederate gunboats. Theodore Roosevelt defends Brown from these charges in his book, Campaigns and Controversies.


Married Kate Morris, October 4, 1871.

William J. Brown

Susan (Tompkins) Brown

Kate Morris