Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BELL, Henry Haywood, naval officer, born in North Carolina, about 1808; drowned at the mouth of Osaka river, Japan, 11 January 1868. He was appointed a midshipman from North Carolina in August 1823, and during more than forty-five years of service saw much severe fighting. He was on board of the "Grampus" when she was engaged in clearing the coast of Cuba of pirates. He was connected with the East India squadron for many years, and commanded one of the vessels of the squadron that, in November 1856, captured and destroyed the four barrier forts near Canton, China. Early in the civil war he was appointed fleet-captain of the Western Gulf squadron. At the capture of New Orleans he commanded one of the three divisions of the fleet, and was sent to take formal possession of the city by raising the United States flag over the custom-house and city hall. For a time in 1863-'4, after the recapture of Galveston by the Confederates, he was in command of the Western Gulf blockading squadron. In July 1865, he was ordered to the command of the East India squadron, his rank being then that of commodore. In July 1866, he was promoted to be rear-admiral, and in 1867 he was retired; but Rear-Admiral South Carolina Rowan, who was to have relieved him, had not arrived when he was drowned in attempting to enter the Osaka River in a boat from the "Hartford," his flag-ship His widow died in 1886.
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