Rear Admiral George Henry Wadleigh (28 September 1842 – 11 July 1927) served in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War.
Wadleigh was born in Dover, New Hampshire. He attended the Naval Academy in 1860-1863, then had Civil War service in the Gulf of Mexico on the steam sloops Lackawanna and Richmond. In 1866-1869 Wadleigh was in European, Mediterranean and African waters as an officer of Ticonderoga, and received promotions to the ranks of Lieutenant and Lieutenant Commander during that time. During the following decade he had shore duty at the Naval Academy and several other facilities and was Executive Officer of the gunboat Shawmut, monitor Canonicus, schoolship USS St. Mary's and sloop Pensacola. In 1881 he commanded Alliance during an arduous Arctic cruise searching for survivors of the ill-fated Jeannette expedition.
Commander Wadleigh spend most of the 1880s in shore positions. He returned to duty afloat in 1889-1891 as Commanding Officer of the Great Lakes gunboat Michigan. Promoted to Captain in mid-1894, he commanded the receiving ship Richmond until late in that year, then took command of the new cruiser Minneapolis, in which he cruised in U.S., West Indian and European waters into 1897.
Captain Wadleigh served at the Boston Navy Yard until June 1898, including some very busy months near the end of that tour as the Navy prepared ships for Spanish-American War operations. From July 1898 until December 1901 he was Commanding Officer of the cruiser Philadelphia, in the Pacific, and the receiving ship Wabash at Boston.
He achieved the rank of Rear Admiral in February 1902 and was briefly Commandant of the Philadelphia Navy Yard and President of the Board of Inspection and Survey before retiring from active duty in June of that year. In retirement, Rear Admiral Wadleigh made his home at Dover, New Hampshire. He died on 11 July 1927.
The destroyer Wadleigh was named in honor of Rear Admiral Wadleigh.