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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NORRIS, George Upham, naval officer, born in Massachusetts, 3 June, 1830: died in Jordan Alum Springs, Virginia, 15 August, 1875. He entered the navy and was commissioned midshipman, 14 August, 1846, lieutenant, 16 September, 1855, and commander, 25 July, 1866. He distinguished himself by his defence of the "Cumberland," of which he was in temporary command, when attacked by the iron-clad ram "Merrimack" in Hampton Roads, Virginia, 8 March, 1862. "As her guns approached the water's edge," said the secretary of the navy in his report for that year, "her young commander, Lieutenant Norris, and the gallant crew stood firm at their posts and delivered a parting fire, and the good ship went down heroically with her colors flying." Many of the officers and men, Lieutenant Morris among them, were able to reach the shore, but a large number perished with the vessel, in the following May, while in command of the steam gun-boat "Port Royal," he took part in an engagement with a nine-gun battery on James river, and he was subsequently wounded at Fort Darling. He also participated in the attack on Fort Powell, at Grant's Pass, in February, 1864. He was retired from active service, 21 October, 1874.
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