George Mifflin Bache, Jr. (1840 - 1896)

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Commander George Mifflin Bache, Jr. (USN)'s Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Washington, DC, USA
Death: Died
Occupation: US naval officer
Managed by: Michael Reid Delahunt, art teacher & lexicographer
Last Updated:

About George Mifflin Bache, Jr.

George Mifflin Bache was born in Washington, D.C. on November 12, 1840, the son of George Mifflin Bache [Sr.], a lieutenant in the Navy, and Eliza (Patterson) Bache, daughter of Commodore Daniel Todd Patterson. Benjamin Franklin was his great-great-grandfather. Bache was also related to Alexander James Dallas, Secretary of the Treasury under President James Madison, and George Mifflin Dallas, Vice President of the United States from 1845 to 1849. Among his uncles were Alexander Dallas Bache, who became superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey in 1843, and naval officer David Dixon Porter, son of Commodore David Porter.

In 1846, the elder Bache was swept overboard during a gale while in command of the U.S.S. Washington (brig), engaged on duty with the Coast Survey. Despite his father 's tragic death at sea, George Mifflin Bache embarked upon a naval career. Undoubtedly, both his father's and mother's connections aided him in his choice of vocation. He served as captain's clerk aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga (sloop-of-war) from August 1855 to May 1857. The same month he left the Saratoga, he was appointed Acting Master's Mate of the Coast Survey schooner Nautilus, under the command of Lieutenant Richard Wainwright, an uncle by marriage. In November 1857, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating on June 1, 1861.

George Mifflin Bache had a distinguished career during the Civil War. He received his lieutenant's commission in July 1862 and in November took command of the U.S.S. Cincinnati (sternwheel casemate gunboat). That vessel was invovled in the operations against Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1863 and was sunk during an engagement with Confederate batteries defending the approaches to the city. The Secretary of the Navy wrote a letter to Bache commending him and the Cincinnati's surviving officers and crew for their bravery in action. Bache subsequently took command of the U.S.S. Lexington (sidewheel gunboat) and in late 1864 assumed the duties of executive officer aboard the U.S.S. Powhatan (steam sloop-of-war) in the North Atlantic Squadron. That ship was involved in the attacks on Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Bache was wounded in the shoulder while taking part in the land assault on that post.

On July 25, 1866, Bache was commissioned a lieutenant commander. He served as the executive officer of the U.S.S. Sacramento (steam sloop-of-war) from September 1866 until June 1867, when the vessel ran aground on reefs at the mouth of the Godavary River on the east coast of India. All hands survived, but the ship was lost. A Navy General Court Martial held in New York in January 1868 suspended Bache and Captain Napoleon Collins. On March 11, 1869, Navy Department General Order No. 102 revoked the sentence of the court martial and restored Bache's pay.

From 1869 to 1872, Bache served aboard the U.S.S. Juniata (steam sloop-of-war) during that vessel's cruise in European waters. His final post was at the Washington Navy Yard. Bache retired with the rank of commander in 1875. He died on February 11, 1896, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C. He was survived by his wife, the former Harriet DuBois of Hallstead, Pennsylvania, and three daughters.

The destroyer Bache (DD-470), commissioned on November 14, 1942, was named for Commander George Mifflin Bache.

Source: Downloaded Jan. 1, 2011, from http://www.usna.edu/Library/SpecialCollections/findingaids/bache.html

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Commander George Mifflin Bache, Jr. (USN)'s Timeline

1840
November 12, 1840
Washington, DC, USA
1896
February 11, 1896
Age 55
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Washington, DC, USA