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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CROSBY, Peiree, naval officer, born near Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, 16 January 1823. He was educated at a private school, and was appointed in 1838 midshipman from Pennsylvania. He sailed in 1842 on the frigate "Congress" to the Mediterranean, serving on her six months, when he returned to the United States. In May 1844, he was promoted to passed midshipman, and served on the coast survey in 1844-'6. He was six months on the " Decatur," in the Gulf of Mexico during the Mexican war, participated in the attack and capture of Tuxpan and Tobasco, and then served a year on the "Petrel." Peace being declared in 1848, he was transferred to other duties, and commissioned lieutenant, 3 September 1853. At the beginning of the civil war Lieutenant Crosby served in Chesapeake bay, keeping the communications open between Annapolis and Havre de Grace, was detailed, on the night prior to the battle of Big Bethel, to transport troops across Hampton creek, and also upon their return from their unsuccessful expedition. In the attack on Forts Hatteras and Clark he commanded the "Fannie," a !light-draught steamer, and superintended the landing of troops, until the surf swamped and broke his boats. He then took a ship's heavy launch and landed two more boatloads of men; but the sea became so heavy that the launch was dashed upon the shore and the crew hurled out. He succeeded in landing 300 men, but, on account of the bad weather, the squadron stood off seaward, leaving him and his companions upon shore. Lieutenant Crosby put out a strong picker in front of the enemy's batteries, thus preventing their making a reconnaissance and ascertaining his weakness. On the following day the squadron returned and captured the forts.
In the winter of 1861-'2 he took command of the gunboat "Pinola," and joined the Gulf squadron under Farragut. On his way he captured the "Cora," loaded with cotton. On arriving at the mouth of the Mississippi, he co-operated with the "Itasca" in breaking the chain barrier across the River below Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and participated in the capture of New Orleans, and also at the passage and re-passage of the batteries at Vicksburg, 30 June and 15 July. He was promoted to commander, 3 September 1862, and appointed fleet-captain of the North Atlantic squadron, and did good service in various expeditions. In the winter of 1863 he took command of the "Florida," destroyed two blockade-runners at Masonboro inlet, was transferred to the " Keystone State" in 1864, and captured five blockade-runners, causing many others to throw overboard their cargoes in order to escape. In 1864--'5 he was in command of the "Metacomet," and planned and superintended the removal, by the use of drag-nets, of 140 torpedoes which interfered with the approaches to Mobile, successfully clearing the track so that vessels passed up the River and forced the surrender of the City. In ]865 he was transferred to the command of the "Shamokin," and sailed in her for the coast of Brazil, where he remained until 1868. On 27 Nay, 1868, while yet in Brazilian waters, he was promoted to a captaincy, and returned to the United States, becoming inspector of ordnance at Norfolk navy yard. He was promoted to commodore, 3 October 1874, made rear admiral, 10 March 1882, and assigned to the command of the Asiatic squadron. In 1883 he was placed on the retired list. He had been in active service more than forty-eight years, over twenty-three of which were at sea.
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