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Andrew Hull Foote
[[Image:Andrew Hull Foote|center|200px|border]]'Admiral Foote'
Personal Information
Born: September 12, 1806(1806-09-12)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: June 26, 1863 (aged 56)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: File:Flag of the United States.svg United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Navy
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Rear Admiral
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Commands: USS Perry,
USS Portsmouth,
Western Gunboat Flotilla
Battles: Second Opium War
  • Battle of the Pearl River Forts

American Civil War

Awards: Thanks of Congress
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Andrew Hull Foote (September 12, 1806 – June 26, 1863) was an American naval officer who was noted for his service in the American Civil War and also for his contributions to several naval reforms in the years prior to the war.

When the war came, he was appointed to command of the Western Gunboat Flotilla, predecessor of the Mississippi River Squadron. In that position, he led the gunboats in the Battle of Fort Henry. For his services with the Western Gunboat Flotilla, Foote was among the first naval officers to be promoted to the then-new rank of rear admiral.[1]

Early life[]

Foote was born at New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Senator Samuel Augustus Foote (or Foot) and Eudocia Hull.[2] As a child Foote was not known as a good student, but showed a keen interest at one day going to sea.[3] His father compromised and had him entered at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.[4] Six months later in 1822, he left West Point and accepted an appointment as a midshipman in the U.S. Navy.[4]

Antebellum naval service[]

Between 1822 and 1843, Foote saw service in the Caribbean, Pacific, and Mediterranean, African Coast and at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Foote first began as a midshipman on the USS Grampus. In 1830, Foote was commissioned a lieutenant, and was stationed in the Mediterranean.[3] In 1837, Foote circumnavigated the globe in the USS John Adams. After serving on sea, Foote was put in charge of the Philadelphia Naval Asylum. After serving on land Foote went back to sea, and organized a Temperance Society aboard the USS Cumberland.[3] This group developed into a movement that resulted in ending the policy of supplying grog to U.S. Naval personnel.[5]

From 1849 to 1851, Foote commanded the USS Perry, cruising the waters off the African coast. He was active in suppressing the slave trade there.[3] This experience persuaded him to support the cause of Abolition, and in 1854, he published a 390 page book, Africa and the American Flag. In this book, Admiral Foote described the geography of the African continent, the customs of many of the African people, the establishment of American colonies in Africa, the slave-trade and its evils and the need to protect American citizens and commerce abroad. He also became a frequent speaker on the Abolitionist circuit.[3]

Foote was promoted to Commander in 1856, and took command of the USS Portsmouth in the East India Squadron. With this command, Foote was assigned the mission of observing British operations against Canton, China, during the Second Opium War. This eventually resulted in his being attacked from Chinese shore batteries.[3] Foote led a landing party that seized the barrier forts along the Pearl River in reprisal for the attack.[6] This led to a short occupation by the U.S. Navy of Chinese territory.[3]

Foote returned to the Continental United States in 1858, and took command of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in Brooklyn, New York, a post he held until the outbreak of the hostilities of the Civil War.[3]

Civil War and his death[]

When the American Civil War began in 1861, Foote quickly enlisted in the Union Navy. From 1861 to 1862, Foote commanded the Mississippi River Squadron with distinction, organizing and leading the gunboat flotilla in the capture of Forts Henry, Donelson, and Island No. 10. He received the Thanks of Congress for his actions at these three battles. Foote was wounded in action at Fort Donelson. Later in 1862, Foote was promoted to rear admiral.[3] In 1863, on his way to take command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, he suddenly died. His untimeley death in New York shocked the nation.[7] He was interred at Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven.[8]


Three ships were named USS Foote for him. Civil War Fort Foote on the Potomac,[9] now a National Park, was also named for him.


  1. Three others were nominated at the same time as Foote but stood higher on the list submitted to Congress: David G. Farragut, Samuel Francis Du Pont, and Louis M. Goldsborough.
  2. Hoppin's pg. 15
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Davenport's/Scudder's pg. 86-88
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hoppin's pp. 24-25
  5. Hoppin's pp. 58-59
  6. Hoppin's pg. 122
  7. Hoppin's pg. 379
  8. Crofut's pg. 592
  9. Hoppin's pg. 209


  • Hoppin, James Mason; "Life of Andrew Hull Foote: rear-admiral United States Navy", Harper & Brothers, (1874)
  • Davenport, Charles Benedict, Scudder, Mary Theresa; "Naval officers: their heredity and development", Carnegie Institution of Washington, (1919)
  • Crofut, Florence S. Marcy; "Guide to the history and the historic sites of Connecticut, Volume 2", Yale university press, (1937)
This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

Further reading[]

  • Fowler, William M., Under Two Flags: The American Navy in the Civil War, Norton and Company, 1990, ISBN 0-393-02859-3.
  • Gott, Kendall D., Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862, Stackpole Books, 2003, ISBN 0-8117-0049-6.
  • Tucker, Spencer C., Andrew Foote: Civil War Admiral on Western Waters, Library of Naval Biography, Naval Institute Press, 2000, ISBN 1-55750-820-8.

External links[]

da:Andrew Hull Foote de:Andrew Hull Foote fr:Andrew Hull Foote ja:アンドリュー・H・フット