(1808–1896) U.S. naval officer. Born in Virginia, Henry Walke entered the navy as a midshipman in 1827. He served on a bomb ketch during the Mexican War (1846–48), and was put on the reserve list in 1855. Recalled for the secession crisis, he was court-martialed in early 1861 for leaving his station in Pensacola, Florida to escort Union evacuees from that city. New Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles rescued Walke from lighthouse inspections and assigned him to duty with river gunboats in St. Louis. There Walke earned command of the new ironclad Carondelet, and performed exemplary service supporting Ulysses S. Grant's attacks on Forts Henry and Donelson and running Confederate batteries at Island Number Ten to enable John Pope's army to outflank and capture that installation. Walke commanded the ironclad ram Lafayette in operations around Vicksburg, and then too over the sloop of war Sacramento. Sent to European waters to find the Confederate raider Alabama, Walke instead helped blockade the raider Rappahannock in Calais. He rose to the rank of rear admiral before retiring in 1871 and moving to Brooklyn, New York, where he resided until his death.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.