Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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QUACKENBUSH, Stephen Platt, naval officer, born in Albany, New York, 23 January, 1823. He entered the United States navy as a midshipman in 1840, became lieutenant in 1855 and lieutenant-commander in 1862. During the civil war he was in charge of the "Delaware," the " Unadilia," the "Pequot," the "Patapsco," and the "Mingo," of the blockading squadron. He covered General Ambrose E. Burnside's army in failing back from Aquia creek and the landing at Roanoke island, scattering a large body of the enemy, took part in the battles at Elizabeth City and New Berne, North Carolina, flying the divisional flag of Commander Stephen C. Rowan, and engaged the Confederate batteries and a regiment of riving infantry at Winton, North Carolina, where 700 or 800 Union men had been reported, and a white flag displayed as a decoy for the naval vessels. He was then ordered to deliver to the people General Burnside's and Admiral Louis M. Goldsborough's proclamation concerning the 700 or 800 men reported. When the " Delaware" was close to the shore a body of armed Confederates was reported. She opened fire, and Winton was destroyed according to orders, in consequence of the display of the white flag. He subsequently was in action at Sewell's Point landing, Wilcox landing, and Malvern hill, on James river, where he commanded the "Pequot," and received a shot that took off his right leg. He afterward covered the rear-guard of the army in the retreat to Harrison's landing. While in charge of the steam gun-boat " Unadilla," of the South Atlantic squadron, in 1863, he captured the "Princess Royal," which contained machinery for shaping projectiles, engines for an iron-clad [hen building in Richmond, and a large quantity of quinine. When commanding the "Patapsco," of the North Atlantic squadron, in 1864, he was engaged in ascertaining the nature and position of the obstructions in Charleston harbor, and, while dragging for torpedoes, his ship was struck by one and sunk in twenty seconds, He was then in charge of the steamer "Mingo," protecting Georgetown, South Carolina, and, with a force of light-draught vessels, prevented the re-erection of a fort by the enemy, He became commander in 1866, captain in 1871, and commodore in 1880. In 1861-'2 he was in charge of the navy-yard at Pensacola, Florida, and in 1885 he was retired as rear-admiral.
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