Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PATTERSON, Thomas H., naval officer, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in May, 1820. He entered the United States navy in 1836 as midshipman, became lieutenant in 1849, and commanded the steamship " Chocura" in Hampton roads, Virginia, in the early part of 1862. He was present at the siege of Yorktown, made a reconnoissance to West Point, Virginia, and opened the way up the Pamunkey river in support of General George B. McClellan's army. He cooperated with General George Stoneman's advance, at the White House, in checking the approach of the enemy at that point, and from June till October was senior officer of the naval forces in York and Pamunkey rivers, being in constant co-operation with the Army of the Potomac. He was commissioned commander in July, 1862, was in charge of the steamer "James Adger" till 1865, on blockade duty off Wilmington, North Carolina, and cut out the steamer "Kate" from under the Confederate batteries at New Inlet in July, 1863. He participated in the capture of a flying battery above Fort Fisher in August, 1863, captured the " Cornubia" and the "Robert E. Lee," both filled with arms and stores for the Confederate army, and the schooner "Ella." He became senior officer of the outside blockade off Charleston, South Carolina, in September, 1864. He was commissioned captain in 1866, commodore in 1871, commanded the navy-yard at Washington, D. C., was president of the naval board of examiners in 1876-'7, and in the latter year became rear-admiral. He was retired in 1883.
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