John Rodgers


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(1812–82) Union naval officer. A native of Maryland, Rodgers entered the navy at sixteen. He served along the Florida coast in the Second Seminole War. Rodgers was captured by Confederate troops in 1861, during the evacuation of the Norfolk Navy Yard at the outbreak of the Civil War, but he was quickly released, since Virginia had not yet joined the Confederacy. He helped outfit a squadron of gunboats for service on the Ohio and Mississippi; then, back at sea, he participated in the capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, and the blockade of Savannah. He commanded an ironclad, the Galena, a poorly designed ship whose crew took heavy casualties. His next ironclad, Weehawken, did better, defeating the Confederate ironclad Atlanta in 1863. After the war, Rodgers commanded the Boston Navy Yard, served in Asia, and was superintendent of the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence.

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