About Rear Admiral Edward Simpson
Edward Simpson (March 3, 1824-December 1, 1888) served as an officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War, eventually attaining the rank of rear admiral. His service included being assigned as commanding officer of several Navy ships and serving with distinction in various shore assignments.
Edward Simpson was born on March 3, 1824 in New York City, New York.
U.S. Navy career
Simpson was appointed midshipman in the United States Navy in February 1840. He served afloat until late 1845, when he became a member of the first class of midshipmen to be trained at the new United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
Pre-Civil War service
After graduation on July 9, 1846, Simpson reported to USS Vixen and participated in numerous bombardments during the Mexican-American War.
During the next 15 years, he served afloat in the Brazil Squadron and the China Squadron and with the U.S. Coast Survey, and ashore in two tours at the U.S. Naval Academy: first as gunnery instructor, then in 1860 as head of the department of ordnance and gunnery. Finally, he became Commandant of Midshipmen in 1862.
Civil War service
During the American Civil War, Simpson took command of the monitor, Passaic, in June 1863. He participated in bombardments at Charleston, South Carolina from July to November 1863. From July to December 1864, he commanded Isonomia in the East Gulf Blockading Squadron; and, then served from February to April 1865 as Fleet Captain of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and of the forces attacking Mobile, Alabama.
After the war, he alternated tours of command ashore and afloat with tours of ordnance duty, including a mission to Europe in 1870-72, and command of the torpedo station in 1873 and again in 1874-75. In 1883, he was appointed president of a board to select a site for a government gun factory and made another study trip to Europe.
Promoted to Rear Admiral on February 9, 1884, he served as President of the Naval Advisory Board and President of the Board of Inspection and Survey until his retirement on March 3, 1886.
Rear Admiral Simpson died in Washington, D.C., December 1, 1888.
Honored in ship naming
The destroyer USS Simpson (DD-221), commissioned on November 3, 1920, was named for in his honor.