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John Carson Febiger (14 February 1821 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 9 October 1898 Londonderry, Maryland) was a distinguished admiral on the Union side in the American Civil War.


Febiger's father was the adopted son of American Revolutionary War soldier Christian Febiger. Febiger entered the United States Navy from Ohio as a midshipman on 14 September 1838, and was in the “Concord” of the Brazil Squadron, when she was wrecked on the eastern coast of Africa in 1843. He became passed midshipman on 20 May 1844, and lieutenant on 30 April 1853. He was on the “Germantown” of the East India Squadron 1858-1860, and on the sloop “Savannah” in 1861. On 11 August 1862, he was commissioned commander, and assigned to the steamer “Kanawha,” of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron.

After commanding various vessels in that and the Mississippi Squadron, in 1864 he was given the “Mattabeset,” of the North Atlantic Squadron. In that steamer on 5 May 1864, he took part in the fight between the little fleet of wooden vessels under Capt. Melancton Smith, and the Confederate ram “Albemarle,” in Albemarle Sound, North Carolina In this engagement the ram was defeated, and her tender, the “Bombshell,” captured, and Febiger was commended for his “gallantry and skill” by Capt. Smith and Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee.

He commanded the “Ashuelot,” of the Asiatic Squadron 1866-1868, and in May 1868 was promoted to captain. He was inspector of naval reserve lands 1869-1872, was made commodore on 9 August 1874, was a member of the board of examiners 1874-1876, and commandant of the Washington Navy Yard 1876-1880. He was promoted to rear admiral on 4 February 1882, and on 1 July 1882 was retired on his own application, having been in the service over forty years.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.



  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Febiger, Christian". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900.