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DAVIS, John Lee, naval officer, born in Carlisle, Sullivan County, Indiana, 3 September 1825. He entered the U. S. service as a midshipman on 9 January 1841, was warranted passed midshipman on 10 August 1847, and, while serving as acting lieutenant, commanding one of the boats of the " Preble," of the East India squadron, he boarded a piratical Chinese junk off Macao in November 1849, with another officer and sixteen men, and captured the vessel and crew. He was commissioned lieutenant on 15 September 1855, was attached to the Gulf squadron in 1861, and, as executive officer of the "Water Witch," took part in engagements with the Confederate ram "Manassas" at the head of the Mississippi passes and the squadron near Pilot Town on the same day, 12 October 1861. He was commissioned lieutenant commander on 16 July 1862, and attacked Fort McAllister on 19 November when his vessel was pierced by a solid shot below water. the leak was stopped temporarily, and after the action the vessel was taken on shore and patched at the falling of the tide. He again engaged the fort on 27 Jan. and 1 February 1863, and on 28 February when the privateer "Nashville" was destroyed. On 19 March he sank the blockade runnning steamer "Oeorgiana" when she attempted to enter Charleston harbor. He was transferred to the command of the ironclad "Montauk," and took part in the engagements with Forts Sumter, Gregg, Moultrie, and Battery Bee, in the beginning of September 1863, and in the attacks on Fort Sumter on 5, 9, and 10 November and that on Fort Moultrie on 16 November 1863. In 1864'5 he commanded the steamer " Sassacus," of the North Atlantic blockading squadron, which towed the powder boat "Louisiana" from Norfolk to Fort Fisher in December and engaged that fort on 24 and 25 December 1864, 13 and 14 January 1865; Fort Anderson, in Cape Fear River, on 18 February ; and Fort Strong on 20 and 21 February on which last day the vessel was struck under the waterline, but the leak was kept under till dark, and then effectually stopped. He was commissioned commander on 25 July 1866, promoted captain on 14 February 1873, and was a member of the lighthouse board in 1876, and of the board of inspection in 1882. He was promoted commodore on 4 February 1882, commanded the Asiatic station in 1883'6, and on 30 October 1885, received his commission as rear admiral, and was in November 1886, relieved of his command of the Asiatic squadron and placed on the retired list.
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