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File:Lewis Kimberly.jpg

Portrait of Kimberly, late 1880s

Rear Admiral Lewis Ashfield Kimberly (22 April 1830 – 28 January 1902) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the years following.

Early life and career[]

Kimberly was born in Troy, New York, and was appointed a Midshipman 8 December 1846. From 1847 to 1860. he was in the African, Pacific, and East-India Squadrons.

Civil War service[]

During the Civil War he served on Potomac in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and took part in the Mississippi River operations at Port Hudson, Grand Gulf, and Vicksburg. He was Executive Officer of Hartford in the Battle of Mobile Bay and was warmly commended for gallant and efficient service.

Post-war commands[]

During the period 1866 to 1889, he cruised in European, Atlantic, Pacific, and East Indian waters. He commanded Canonicus, Monongahela, and Omaha, before assuming the Presidency of the Naval Examining Board in 1885 with the rank of Commodore.

On 11 April 1887, he took command of the Asiatic Station, and two months later was promoted to Rear Admiral.

While Commander in Chief of the Pacific station, he was unable to save his flagship Trenton from the violent typhoon which struck Samoa from 15 to 17 March 1889. Guiding his men with the words, "If we go down, let us do so with our flag flying," Kimberly skillfully beached his flagship, losing only one man in the raging storm that wrecked Trenton.

Following his return to the United States in January 1890, Rear Admiral Kimberly was appointed President, Board of Inspection and Survey; and he held that post until retirement in April 1892.

Rear Admiral Kimberly died 28 January 1902 in West Newton, Massachusetts.


Two U.S. Navy ships have been named USS Kimberly in his honor.


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