(1800–74) U.S. and Confederate naval officer, born in Baltimore, Maryland. Buchanan was the first superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy (1845–47). He commanded the sloop Germantown in the Mexican War (1846–48), the steam frigate Susquehanna on Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japan (1852), and commanded the Washington Navy Yard (1859–61). In the Civil War, he resigned his U.S. commission and was commissioned a captain in the Confederate Navy. Commanding the ironclad Virginia, he attacked and destroyed the wooden frigates Congress and Cumberland (March 8, 1862). He commanded the naval defenses of Mobile Bay, which he surrendered to Adm. David Farragut (August 5, 1864).
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.