Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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WAINWRIGHT, Richard, naval officer, born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, 5 January, 1817; died near New Orleans, 10 August, 1862. He entered the navy as a midshipman, 11 May, 1831, attended the naval school at Norfolk in 1837-'8, and became a passed midshipman, 15 June, 1837. In 1838-'41 he served on the coast survey in the brig "Consort." He was commissioned lieutenant, 8 September, 1841, commanded the steamer "Water-Witch " on the home station in 1848-'9, served again on coast survey in 1851-'7, and cruised in the steam frigate "Merrimack" in 1857-'60. He was stationed at the Washington navy-yard on ordnance duty in 1860-'1, promoted to commander, 24 April of the latter year, and given the flag-ship " Hartford" of Admiral Farragut's fleet, fitted out for the capture of New Orleans. During the passage of the forts the Confederate tug "Mosher" pushed a fire-raft alongside of the " Hartford," which threatened the destruction of the ship. Wainwright distinguished himself in this conflict with the flames and continued to fight the forts on 24-25 April. He participated in the operations of Farragut's fleet below Vicksburg, and was highly commended by the admiral. At the time of his death he still commanded the "Hartford."
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