Captain Charles Vernon Gridley

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Charles Vernon Gridley

Birthplace: Logansport, Cass County, Indiana, United States
Death: June 05, 1898 (53)
Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan (Died of an illness on his ship near KobePrefecture, Japan)
Immediate Family:

Son of Franklin Gridley and Ann Eliza Gridley
Husband of Harriet F Gridley
Father of John P Gridley and Katherine Vincent Buddy
Brother of Lucius Egbert Gridley and Helen Gridley

Cenotaph: An Empty grave in Hillsdale County, Michigan
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Captain Charles Vernon Gridley

Charles Vernon Gridley (24 November 1844 – 5 June 1898) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

Gridley was directly descended from Thomas Gridley (1612–1653), who emigrated from England to the New England area in 1633. Gridley was born in Logansport, Indiana on 24 November 1844.

After attending Hillsdale College, Gridley was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1860. Reporting for duty with his class in September 1863, Gridley joined the sloop-of-war Oneida with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and distinguished himself with David Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864.

Gridley was promoted to lieutenant in 1867 and lieutenant commander on March 12, 1868. From 1871 to 1875, Gridley was stationed on the only United States Navy ship based on the Great Lakes at the time, the Michigan, at Erie, Pennsylvania. While stationed in Erie, he married the daughter of Judge John P. Vincent and had three children. Gridley's wife was also a cousin of Civil War hero Brigadier General Strong Vincent. Gridley was promoted to commander in 1882. Gridley also served a tour as instructor at the Naval Academy and another with the Cruiser Training Squadron.

Gridley was promoted to captain in March 1897 and took command of Olympia, Admiral George Dewey's famous flagship on June 10, 1897 in Yokohama, Japan. During the Battle of Manila Bay on 1 May 1898, Dewey gave his famous command, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," immortalizing the captain.

After the destruction of the Spanish fleet and the capture of Manila, Gridley was obliged to leave his command because of his health, and died en route to the United States at Kobe, Japan.

Gridley was a member of the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Four ships in the United States Navy have been named for him.

A monument to Gridley was erected in Erie and placed in the center of a city park, which was named Gridley Park. The engraved plaque affixed to the monument is made of a metal panel retrieved from the Maine.

A seashell is depicted on the coat-of-arms of Gridley's original alma mater, Hillsdale College, in honor of his heroism at the Battle of Manila Bay.


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Captain Charles Vernon Gridley's Timeline

November 24, 1844
Logansport, Cass County, Indiana, United States
June 5, 1898
Age 53
Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan