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George Washington Rodgers (October 30, 1822–August 17, 1863) was a United States Navy officer.

Rodgers was born in Brooklyn, the son of George Washington Rodgers (1787–1832) and Anna Maria Perry. His maternal grandfather was Christopher Raymond Perry and he came from a family with an extensive history in the Navy.[1]

Rodgers was warranted midshipman in the Navy on April 30, 1836 and was promoted to passed midshipman on July 1, 1842. He served in the West Indies, Africa, and Mediterranean.[1] During the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), Rodgers served in the Gulf of Mexico as acting master on the steamer Colonel and frigate John Adams. Rodgers served with the Coast Survey from 1849 to 1850 and was promoted to lieutenant on June 4, 1850. Rodgers was assigned to duty on the sloop Germantown from 1851 to 1853.[1]

In 1861 Rodgers became Commandant of Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, replacing his brother Christopher Raymond Perry Rodgers (1819–1892). In April 1861 he prevented capture of the USS Constitution by secessionists; he also transferred the Naval Academy to Newport, Rhode Island, where it would remain until returning to Annapolis in 1865, after the end of the American Civil War. Rodgers was promoted to commander on January 16, 1862. In 1863, seeking an active post in the Union Navy, left his post and took command of a new ship, the Toga, patrolling the James River.[1]

Rodgers served in the West Indies enforcing the Union blockade against Confederate blockade runners. Rodgers commanded the ironclad monitor USS Catskill in two unsuccessful attacks on Charleston Harbor, in October 1862 and on April 7, 1863, at the First Battle of Charleston Harbor. Rodgers was appointed chief of staff to Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren on July 4, 1863, and "was distinguished for his bravery in the silencing of Fort Sumter and the batteries on Morris Island."[1]

Rodgers was killed aboard the Catskill on August 17, 1863 after a shot pierced the pilothouse while Rodgers commanded the attack on Fort Wagner in the Second Battle of Charleston Harbor.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Twentieth century biographical dictionary of notable Americans, vol. 9. Eds. Rossiter Johnson and John Howard Brown. 1904.