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File:Henry K. Thatcher.jpg

Admiral Thatcher, USN

Henry Knox Thatcher (26 May 1806 - 5 April 1880) was an admiral in the United States Navy, who served during the American Civil War.


Born in Thomaston, Maine, Thatcher was grandson of Major General Henry Knox. He was appointed a cadet in the West Point Class of 1826. He left shortly thereafter, and was appointed as a midshipman on 4 March 1823. He was promoted to lieutenant on 28 February 1833; commander on 14 September 1855; captain in 1861; commodore on 3 July 1862; and to rear admiral on 25 July 1866.

Thatcher cruised on the Mediterranean, African, and Pacific Stations and held important positions at various shore installations from 1823 to 1862. In 1862 and 1863, he commanded Constellation in the Mediterranean. In 1864 and 1865, he commanded Colorado and a division of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in the attacks on Fort Fisher in December 1864 and January 1865. After the fall of Fort Fisher, he was appointed to command the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and immediately began active operations in cooperation with the Army against Mobile, which surrendered on 12 April 1865. On 10 May 1865, the Confederate Naval Forces in the waters of Alabama surrendered to Admiral Thatcher. Sabine Pass and Galveston capitulated in May and June.

Admiral Thatcher was relieved of the command of the West Gulf Squadron and ordered north in early 1866. His last duty was that of port admiral, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from 1869 to 1870. He was placed on the retired list on 26 May 1868 and died at Boston, Massachusetts.


Two ships, USS Thatcher were named for him.


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