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For an article on the Victorian actor of the same name, see Edward O'Connor Terry

Edward A. Terry (January 24, 1839 – June 1, 1882) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. Following the war, he served several tours of duty at the United States Naval Academy, including a tour in the 1870s as Commandant of Cadets.

Early life and career[]

Born at Hartford, Connecticut, Terry was appointed midshipman at the United States Naval Academy on September 21, 1853 and graduated on June 10, 1857. He served in the sloop Germantown, attached to the East India Squadron, from 1857 to 1859.

Civil War[]

By 1861, he was assigned to the steam sloop Richmond and served in her with the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron throughout the Civil War. He participated in the engagement with the Confederate ram Manassas on October 12, 1861, the artillery duel with Fort McRee and other shore batteries on 22 November, the passage of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and the capture of New Orleans in late April 1862.

After New Orleans, David Farragut's force moved up the Mississippi, and Terry was present when the salt water fleet ran the gauntlet at Vicksburg and joined Flag Officer Charles Henry Davis' riverine fleet above the Southern stronghold. In January 1863, Terry was promoted to lieutenant commander. On March 14, his ship joined others of the fleet in bombarding the batteries surrounding Port Hudson so that Farragut could dash past them and establish a blockade cutting the Confederacy's Red River supply line. In his last major engagement, the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, Terry helped to close the last major Conferederate port on the Gulf of Mexico.

Post-war assignments[]

Following the Civil War, Terry alternated between sea duty and a series of shore assignments at the Naval Academy. In 1866 and 1867, he served in the Pacific Squadron in the steam frigate Powhatan.

His first tour of duty at the Naval Academy followed in 1868 and 1869. He assumed his first command, Saco, in 1870 and cruised with the Asiatic Fleet until 1872. During that assignment, on October 30, 1871, he was promoted to commander.

He returned to the Naval Academy in 1873 and, by 1875, was appointed commandant, a post he held until 1878.

Commander Terry was then ordered to the Pacific Squadron as Flag Captain in Pensacola, Florida; first to Rear Admiral C. R. Perry Rodgers and in 1880 and 1881, to Rear Admiral Thomas H. Stevens.

In 1881, he went on leave due to illness. On June 1, 1882, Commander Terry died at Manitou Springs, Colorado.


Two ships in the United States Navy have been named USS Terry for him.

See also[]


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.