Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RAMSAY, George Douglas, soldier, born in Dumfries, Virginia, 21 February, 1802; died in Washington, D. C., 23 May, 1882. His father, a merchant of Alexandria, Virginia, removed to Washington early in the 19th century. The son was graduated at the United States military academy in 1820, assigned to the artillery, and served on garrison and topographical duty till 25 February, 1835, when he was made captain of ordnance He then had charge of various arsenals till the Mexican war, when he was engaged at Monterey and brevetted major for gallantry there. He was chief of ordnance of General Taylor's army in 1847-'8, and again commanded arsenals till 1863, when he was a member of the ordnance board. He was made lieutenant-colonel, 3 August, 1861, and was in charge of Washington arsenal from that time till 1863. On 15 September of that year he was made chief of ordnance of the United States army with the rank of brigadier-general, and he was at the head of the ordnance bureau in Washington till 12 September, 1864, when he was retired from active service, being over sixty-two years of age. He continued to serve as inspector of arsenals till 1866, then in command of the arsenal at Washington till 1870, and afterward as member of an examining board. He was brevetted major-general, United States army, 13 March, 1865, "for long and faithful services." General Ramsay was an active member of the Protestant Episcopal church, and for many years served as senior warden of St. John's church, Washington.--His son, Francis Munroe, naval officer, born in the District of Columbia, 5 April, 1835, entered the navy as a midshipman in 1850. He became lieutenant in 1858, lieutenant-commander in 1862, participated in the engagements at Haines's bluff, Yazoo river, 30 April and 1 May, 1863, in the expedition up the Yazoo river, destroying the Confederate navy-yard and vessels, and in the fight at Liverpools' landing. He commanded a battery of three heavy guns in front of Vicksburg from 19 June till 4 July, 1863, and the 3d division of the Mississippi squadron from the latter date till September, 1864. He was in charge of the expedition up Black and Quachita rivers in March, 1864, and of that into Atchafalaya river in June of that year, and engaged the enemy at Simmsport, Louisiana He commanded the gunboat "Unadilla," of the North Atlantic squadron, in 1864-'5, participated in the attacks on Fort Fisher, for which he was commended in the official report for "skill, conduct, judgment, and bravery," and in the several engagements with Fort Anderson and other forts on Cape Fear river. He became commander in 1866, fleet-captain and chief of staff of the South Atlantic squadron in 1867-'9, captain in 1877, and was in command of the torpedo station in 1878-'80. He was superintendent of the United States naval academy from 1881 till 1886, and since 1887 has been in command of the "Boston." He was a member of the Naval examining board in 1886-'7.
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