From the Richmond Dispatch, 6/24/1883, p. 5, c. 5

[For the Dispatch.]
Admiral John Randolph Tucker

Died at his residence, in Petersburg, of heart-disease, on the 12th instant. Born in Alexandria in the year 1812, he entered the navy of the United States as a midshipman in 1826, and made his first cruise in the frigate Brandywine. In 1837 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and in 1855 to that of commander. During the Mexican war he commanded the comb-brig “Stromboli.” In 1861, when commanded so to do by the Virginia Convention, he resigned his commission in the United States navy and entered the Confederate service, with the rank of commander. He commanded the Confederate States steamer Patrick Henry at the naval conflict in Hampton Roads; and at Drewry’s Bluff, having landed his crew and mounted the guns of his vessel on the bluff, he materially aided in repulsing the Federal squadron. Soon after the battle of Drewry’s Bluff he was promoted to the rank of captain and ordered to Charleston, where he commanded the Confederate naval forces as flag officer of the station. When Charleston was evacuated he returned to Drewry’s Bluff, which station he commanded until Richmond was evacuated, when he reported with his command to General Lee.

His services in the civil war ended at Sailor’s Creek, where, after a most gallant resistance, he surrendered to General Keifer who some years after the close of the war returned him his sword.

During the war between the republics of Peru and Chili and Spain Admiral Tucker commanded, with the commission of rear-admiral, the combined fleets of the two republics. His last active service was the exploration and survey of the upper Amazon and its tributaries, being president of the Peruvian Hydrographic Commission of the Amazon.

It would require a volume to do anything like justice to the character and career of this most noble and gallant man. His firmness on all occasions of duty was of proof, though no one was more gentle in the intercourse of private life. None served with him without feeling that he was a man fitted for high destinies, for he was of a nature, an experience, and a professional skill, to command respect and inspire confidence. The present writer has had extensive opportunities of hearing character discussed among sea officers; few escape criticism of some sort or other for their professional acts, and fewer still as men; yet he does not remember a single instance in which he has ever heard a whisper of complaint against the professional or private conduct of John Randolph Tucker. R.


Go to top