Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McCLUNEY, William J., naval officer, born about 1796; died in Brooklyn, New York, 11 February, 1864. He was appointed midshipman in the United States navy, 1 January, 1812, and was in the action between the "Wasp" and the "Frolic" on 18 October of that year. He was commissioned lieutenant, 1 April, 1818, commander, 9 December, 1839, and captain, 13 October, 1851, and placed on the retired list, 21 December, 1861. He took part in the Mexican war, and in 1853 was ordered to command the " Powhatan," of Commander Perry's Japan expedition. He returned to the United States in February, 1856, and after a brief respite was ordered to New York on duty as general supervisor of the construction of the Stevens battery. In 1858 he was placed in command of the Atlantic squadron, which office he held until May, 1860. He was commissioned commodore, 16 July, 1862.
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