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First Name: Elie

Last Name: Lavelette

Birthplace: Alexandria, VA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Augustus Frederick

Date of Birth: 21 May 1790

Date of Death: 18 November 1862

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Elie Augustus Frederick Lavalette

•  Mexican-American Wars (1846 - 1848)
•  American Civil War (1861 - 1865)


Elie Augustus Frederick Lavalette
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Elie A.F. Lavalette (also spelled "Lavallette") was born on 21 May 1790 in Alexandria, VA.

The son of a clergyman who served as a U.S. Navy Chaplain, he got his first taste of the sea when he accompanied his father on a cruise on the USS Philadelphia that, at the time, was commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur, Sr.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy out of the Merchant Marine on 25 June 1812 and was commissioned as a Sailing Master. Stationed on board the USS Saratoga under Captain Thomas MacDonough, he was serving as an Acting Lieutenant during the 11 September 1814 Battle of Lake Champlain. His performance there was exemplary, receiving the praise of Captain MacDonough, garnering him a medal, and facilitating his promotion to full Lieutenant on 9 December 1814.

He remained in the Navy for the rest of his life, receiving promotions to Commander on 3 March 1831, and to Captain on 23 February 1840. When Commodore Isaac Hull was dispatched in 1837 to assume command of the U.S. Navy's Mediterranean Squadron in 1837, he brought along Elie Lavalette to be his second command, having served with him on the USS Constitution from 1824 to 1828. During the 1846-48 Mexican War, he commanded the first the USS Independence and later the sloop USS Congress (which was destined to be destroyed by the ironclad CSS Merrimac during the Civil War), and served as Military Governor of Mazatlan. He headed the Navy's East Indian, the African, and the Mediterranean Squadrons before retiring in the 1850s.

During the Civil War, he was appointed to be one of the first Rear Admirals on 16 July 1862 after President Abraham Lincoln authorized that rank for the Navy. He died four months later, having spent 50 years in the naval service of his country.


• Two U.S. Navy destroyers (DD-315 and DD-448) were named USS La Vallette in his honor.

• The resort town of Lavalette, NJ, was named for him by his son, who co-founded the shore municipality.

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Elie A.F. Lavalette died on 18 November 1862. He is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.

Honoree ID: 2737   Created by: MHOH




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