Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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POOR, Charles Henry, naval officer, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 11 June, 1808; died in Washington, D. C., 5 November, 1882. He entered the navy as a midshipman, 1 March, 1825, and was promoted lieutenant, 22 December, 1835, commander, 14 September, 1855, captain, 16 July, 1862, and commodore, 2 January, 1863. After serving with different squadrons, and in the Washington and Norfolk navy-yards, he was given command of the "St. Louis," of the home squadron, in 1860-'1, and in the latter year had charge of an expedition that was sent to reenforce Fort Pickens. During 1861-'2 he was in command of the frigate "Roanoke," of the North Atlantic blockading squadron. He was ordered to use the steamer "Illinois" as a ram against the "Merrimac," but did not have an opportunity to test its strength. He subsequently passed the Confederate batteries under fire in the "Roanoke," while proceeding from Hampton Roads toward Newport News, to assist the "Congress" and "Cumberland." From 1863 till 1865 he was in command of the sloop-of-war "Saranac," of the Pacific squadron, and compelled the authorities at Aspinwall to release a United States mail-steamer that had been detained there until she should pay certain illegal dues. He also obliged the authorities at Rio Hacha, New Granada, to hoist and salute the American flag after it had been insulted. In 1866-'8 he was in charge of the naval station at Mound City, Illinois, and he was made rear-admiral, 20 September, 1868. After serving as commandant of the Washington navy-yard in 1869, and commanding the North Atlantic squadron in 1869-'70, he was retired on 9 June, 1870. In 1871-'2 he was a member of the retiring-board. Admiral Poor saw twenty-three years and six months of sea-service, and was employed fourteen years and five months in shore duty.
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