Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PICKERING, Charles Whipple, naval officer, born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 23 December, 1815; died in St. Augustine, Florida, 29 February, 1888. He was appointed midshipman on 22 May, 1822, became lieutenant on 8 December, 1838, and was attached to the Pacific squadron. In 1854 he served as executive officer of the "Cyane," which conveyed Lieutenant Isaac G. Strain (q. v.) and his exploring party to Darien, and afterward rescued them and brought them to New York. He was at the bombardment of Grey-town, Nicaragua, in 1854, which was reduced to ashes after four hours' siege. On 14 September, 1855, he became commander, and in 1859-'61 he was inspector of a light-house district near Key West, Florida He was commissioned captain on 15 July, 1862, commanded the "Kearsarge " in the Mediterranean and in the West Indies, and was in charge of the " Housatonic" when that vessel was destroyed by a submarine torpedo near Charleston on 17 February, 1865. When he had recovered from his wounds he took command of the "Vanderbilt," and in 1865 he was ordered to Portsmouth navy-yard. He was placed on the retired list on 1 February, 1867, and made commodore on 8 December of the same year.
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