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William Nicholson Jeffers
[[Image:File:William Nicholson Jeffers NH 60824.jpg|center|200px|border]]William Jeffers
Personal Information
Born: October 6, 1824(1824-10-06)
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Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
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Branch: United States Navy
United States Army
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Rank: Commodore
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Commands: USS Philadelphia (1861)
USS Roanoke (1855)
USS Underwriter (1861)
Battles: American Civil War
Mexican-American War
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Commodore William Nicholson Jeffers (6 October 1824 – 23 July 1883) was a U.S. Navy officer of the 19th century. He took part in combat operations during the Mexican-American War and the Civil War, and during the 1870s and early 1880s served as Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance.

Early life and career[]

Jeffers was born in Swedesboro, New Jersey, and was appointed midshipman 23 September 1840. His early service was in frigates Congress and United States, and during the Mexican-American War he took part in the attack on Alvarado, the capture of Tobasco, and the bombardment of Vera Cruz.

In the 1850s he was engaged in numerous expeditions to Central America, and was responsible for a preliminary survey of the isthmus of Honduras.

Civil War[]

During the early months of the Civil War, Jeffers commanded Philadelphia in the Potomac River and served in frigate Roanoke off Charleston and Hatteras Inlet. In December 1861 he took command of Underwriter and soon afterward took part in the capture of Roanoke Island and the destruction of the Confederate squadron at Elizabeth City. After the wounding of Captain John Lorimer Worden of USS Monitor during her historic engagement with Virginia, Jeffers commanded her, taking part mainly in shore bombardment in the James River.

For the remainder of the war he was on ordnance duty in Philadelphia and Washington.

Post-war career[]

Jeffers commanded Swatara in the Mediterranean and in African waters, and in 1873 was made Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. Commodore Jeffers served in this capacity for eight years and contributed much to the science and literature of naval ordnance. He died at Washington 23 July 1883, and was buried in the cemetery of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.


The destroyer USS Jeffers (DD-621) was named in his honor.

External links and resources[]


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