Saturday, December 01, 2012


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Commander George Upham Morris was born in Massachusetts, June 3, 1830, and died at the Jordan Alum Springs, in Virginia, in August, 1875. He was the son of Commodore Charles Morris, one of the best known and most respected of our older naval officers, both on account of personal character and professional ability.

Commander Morris entered the navy as midshipman in August, 1846; became lieutenant in September,1855;, and was promoted commander July 25, 1866.

When the iron-clad ram " Merrimac" came out from Norfolk, on the 8th of March, 1862, and attacked the " Congress" and " Cumberland" at Newport News, Morris, who was executive-officer of the last-named ship, was in temporal command, and distinguished himself in the highest degree by his conduct on that occasion. "As her guns approached the water's edge," said the Secretary of the Navy in his annual report, " her young commander, Lieutenant Morris, and the gallant crew stood firm at their posts and delivered a parting fire, and the good ship went down heroically, with her colors Flying."

It was but a very few minutes from the time the " Merrimac's" ram struck the vessel until she was at the bottom. A large number perished with the vessel, but m. in)- of the officers and men, Lieutenant Morris among them, managed to reach the shore, where they manned the batteries in the intienchnients, to resist Magrudcr's force, coming from Yorktown to cooperate with the " Merrimac."

In May, 1862, Commander Morris was ordered to the command of the steam gun-vessel " Port Royal." In her he had an engagement with a nine-gun battery on the James River, and was subsequently wounded during an engagement with Fort Darling.

In February, 1864, he was engaged with Fort Powell, at Grant's Pass, in the " Port Royal."

Commander Morris was retired less than a year before his death, the date of which is given above.

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