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Charles Stanhope Cotton

February 15, 1843
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
date unknown
Lester Holt Cotton

Mary Ann White
Brothers and Sisters:


Additional Information:
"He received his preparatory education in Milwaukee and Detroit and was appointed an acting midshipman in the U.S. navy, entering the naval academy, Sept. 23, 1858. He was promoted ensign, Nov. 11, 1862; lieutenant, Feb. 22, 1864; lieutenant commander, July 25, 1866; commander, April 25, 1877, and captain, May 28, 1892. In May, 1861, he was detached from the naval academy and detailed for active duty. He served on board the frigate St. Lowrence when she captured the Confederate privateer Petrel; on board the Minnesota, flagship of the North Atlantic blockading squadron, from November, 1861, to February, 1863; participating in the naval engagement in Hampton Roads, Va., when the fight between the Monitor and Merrimac occurred; was in the battle of Mobile Bay on board the Oneida; on board the Shenandoah in the East India and China seas, 1865-69; attached to the Ticonderoga as executive officer on the Brazil station, 1871-74; on duty at the New York navy yard, 1876-80; commanded the U.S.S. Monocacy and Alert, Asiatic station, 1880-83; was inspector of ordnance, Norfolk, Va., 1884-87; lighthouse inspector 15th district, 1887-90; commanded the Mohican, 1891-92; commanded the receiving ship Independence, Mare Island, Cal., from May, 1892, to August, 1894; and commanded the U.S.S. Philadelphia, flagship of the Pacific station, from August, 1894, to September, 1897. He commanded the U.S. auxiliary cruiser Harvard from April 25 to Sept. 12, 1898, in scouting to ascertain the whereabouts of the Spanish squadron under Admiral Cervera and in prosecuting the war with Spain. On May 11, 1898, the Harvard reached Martinique, W.I., a few hours before the arrival there of Admiral Cervera's squadron: Captain Cotton at once cabled the information to the navy department. This was the first official cablegram to that department indicating the movements and location of the Spanish squadron after its departure from the Cape Verde islands on April 29, 1898. On June 26 the Harvard left Newport News with the 9th Massachusetts and two battalions of the 34th Michigan regiments and successfully landed the troops at Siboney, Cuba, July 1, in time to reinforce General Shafter in his attack on Santiago. On July 3, 1898, after the destruction of Cervera's squadron the officers and crew of the Harvard rescued nearly 700 of the officers and crews of the Maria Teresa and the Almirante Oquendo, many of the rescued having been wounded, some of them mortally, and on July 10, the Harvard left Guantanimo, Cuba, with more than 1000 prisoners of war, landing the enlisted men at Portsmouth navy yard, N.H., and the officers at the Naval academy, Annapolis. In August the Harvard arrived from Santiago, Cuba, with the 33rd Michagan regiment, at Montauk Point, N.Y. Captain Cotton reported Oct. 4, 1898, for duty as captain of the United States navy yard, Mare Island, Cal."

--From The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume II

The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume II

Buffalo newspaper article about Admiral Charles Stanhope Cotton

Last Updated:
26 September 1999

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