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First Name: Edward

Last Name: Simpson

Birthplace: New York, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 03 March 1824

Date of Death: 01 December 1888

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Edward Simpson

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


Edward Simpson
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Edward Simpson was born on 3 March 1824 in New York, NY.

His first service was as a midshipman in 1840, on board the sloop of war USS Decatur which was on patrol along the coast of Brazil. His next assignment was on the frigate USS Congress in the Mediterranean and Brazil squadrons. After a year on the station, he returned to Annapolis.

In 1846 he was promoted to the rank of Midshipman and next served on the USS Vixen during the Mexican War. He was present at the attack on the forts of Alvarado under Commodore Connor, and at two attacks on Tabasco under Commodore Perry, at the capture of Tampico. He was also involved in the siege of Vera Cruz. After the Mexican war, he returned to the Brazil squadron and a short time later returned to the Naval Academy, where he was assigned as an Instructor in Naval Gunnery and Infantry Tactics.

Prior to the Civil War, he was promoted to Master, then Lieutenant. In 1862 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and, in 1863, he was in command of the ironclad USS Passaic in the South Atlantic Squadron, and took part in the attack on Fort Wagner in July and August 1863 and Fort Sumter in August and September of 1863. He was promoted to Commander in 1865 and as Captain in 1870. The next two years were spent in Europe on special duty.

During 1877 he was detailed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as Captain, and in 1878, having been promoted to Commodore, he was the Commanding Officer of the New London Naval Station. In 1881, Simpson took over as Commanding Officer of the League Island Navy Yard and in 1884 was appointed President of the Gun Foundry Board. He then traveled to Europe for several months, again for advisory purposes. Upon his return he was promoted to Rear Admiral and next became President of the Advisory Board, which position he gave up in 1885 for that of President of the Board of Inspection.

Simpson was regarded as an authority on all matters pertaining to ordnance. He was the author of three books on the subject that are now used as text books at the Academy. Throughout his career, he acted in an advisory capacity on issues relating to ordnance, and one of his last offices was that of member of the advisory boards which designed the cruisers USS Boston, USS Chicago and USS Atlanta. At the time of Simpson's retirement, he had served forty-six years in the Navy.


In 1920, the Navy commissioned the destroyer USS Simpson in honor of the service Simpson gave to his country.

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Edward Simpson died on 1 December 1888 in Washington, DC. He is buried at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.

Honoree ID: 3087   Created by: MHOH




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