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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MOORE, Edwin Ward, naval officer, born in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1811; died in New York city, 5 October, 1865. He entered the United States navy as a midshipman in 1825, and became lieutenant in 1835. His first cruise was in the sloop-of-war "Hornet," and he was much in service until the Texan war of independence of 1836, when he was selected by the new government of Texas for the chief command of its navy, with the rank of commodore. On 16 July, 1836, he resigned his commission in the United States service, and partly from the credit of the republic and partly from his own resources purchased in New Orleans two small ships, which he equipped as vessels-of-war. With these and a tender he set sail from New Orleans in the spring of 1843 for a trial of strength with the Mexican fleet awaiting him in the Gulf. This fleet consisted of eight or ten vessels, including two steamers, the "Guadaloupe" and" Montezuma," which had been constructed in England at an expense of $1,000,000. To save his ships from what he believed would be certain destruction, President Houston repeatedly ordered Commander Moore to seek shelter in Galveston bay; but, disregarding these orders, or failing to receive them, Moore put out to sea in search of the enemy. A series of hot engagements ensued, in which the enemy were routed, with heavy losses in ships and men. Notwithstanding this, Commander Moore was dismissed from the service by President Houston for disobedience of orders, but the Texan congress indemnified him for pecuniary losses, and granted him a large tract of land. After the annexation of Texas, Moore and his associate Texan naval officers unsuccessfully applied to congress to be reinstated in the United States navy, with the rank they had held in that of Texas. A compromise was finally passed in the shape of an appropriation to these officers of leave pay from the day of annexation to the passage of the bill. Of this appropriation in 1855, the share accruing to Commander Moore was about $17,000. He subsequently resided in New York city engaged in mechanical experiments and inventions.
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