French Ensor Chadwick

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French Ensor Chadwick : biography

February 28, 1844 – January 27, 1919

Rear Admiral French Ensor Chadwick USN (February 28, 1844 – January 27, 1919) was a United States Navy officer who became prominent in the naval reform movement of the post-Civil War era. He was particularly noted for his contributions to naval education, and served as President of the Naval War College from 1900-1903.

A native of Morgantown, West Virginia, he attended the United States Naval Academy from 1861 to 1864. During the Civil War years, the Academy was relocated from Annapolis, Maryland to Newport, Rhode Island, due to concerns about secessionist sympathy in Maryland, a border state. In 1881, Lt Commander Chadwick led the investigation into the fog signals at Little Gull Island Light in Long Island Sound after the Galatea ran around in the fog during the evening of May 12, 1881.NY Times, "Don’t Believe your Ears", Feb 22, 1891History of American Steam Navigation, John H. Morrison, W. F. Sametz & CO., New York, 1908, pg 587

Major sea commands included the gunboat USS Yorktown, commissioned in 1889. He served in the Spanish-American War, fighting at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba.

He served as President of the United States Naval War College from 1900 to 1903.

As commander of the South Atlantic Squadron he played a major part in the Perdicaris incident of 1904 in Morocco.

He was also a noted historian who wrote several published books, including a noted work on The Causes of the Civil War.


Chadwick was portrayed by Roy Jenson in the 1975 film The Wind and the Lion.