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Francis Hoyt Gregory
[[Image:Portrait of Francis H. Gregory during the Civil War|center|200px|border]]'
Personal Information
Born: October 9, 1780(1780-10-09)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: October 4, 1866 (aged 85)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname:
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Union
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Navy
Union Navy
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Rear Admiral
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit:
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Battles: War of 1812
Mexican–American War
American Civil War
Awards:
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}


Francis Hoyt Gregory (October 9, 1780 – October 4, 1866) was an officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812 through to the Civil War, serving then as a Rear Admiral.

Early life; service during the War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Gregory was born in Norwalk, Connecticut. While in the merchant service, he was impressed by the British in an incident typical of those which led in part to the War of 1812. After escaping, Gregory was appointed a midshipman 16 January 1809, by President Jefferson and reported to Revenge, commanded by Oliver Hazard Perry.

In March 1809 he was transferred to the Gulf Squadron at New Orleans. While serving in Vesuvius and as captain of Gun Boat 162, Gregory participated in the capture of an English brig smuggling slaves into New Orleans and three Spanish pirate ships.

During the War of 1812, he served on Lake Ontario under Commodore Isaac Chauncey and participated in attacks on Toronto, Kingston, and Fort George. In August 1814 Gregory was captured by the British; refused parole, he was sent to England and remained there until June 1815.

Command assignments, 1820s to early 1830s[edit | edit source]

After he was released by the British, Gregory joined the Mediterranean Squadron and operated along the North African coast until 1821. In that year, he became captain of Grampus and spent the following two years cruising the West Indies to suppress piracy. While in the Indies, Gregory captured the notorious pirate brig Panchita and destroyed several other pirate ships. After fitting out the frigate Brandywine, destined to carry the Marquis de la Fayette back to France, in 1824, Gregory sailed a 64-gun frigate to Greece for the revolutionary government. From 1824-1828 he served at the New York Navy Yard, and in 1831 reported to the Pacific Station for a three-year cruise in command of Falmouth. Gregory served as commander of the Station for one year.

Command assignments, late 1830s to 1850s[edit | edit source]

From the Pacific Ocean, Gregory—appointed a Captain in 1838—sailed to the Gulf of Mexico, where he commanded North Carolina and Raritan and served in the blockade of the Mexican coast during the Mexican-American War.

After the Mexican War, Gregory commanded the squadron off the African coast, with Portsmouth as his flagship, until June 1851. Returning to the United States, he became Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard in May 1852 and served there through February 1856. His subsequent retirement ended a Navy career that had spanned nearly 50 years.

Civil War duty and last years[edit | edit source]

When the Civil War rolled across the land, Gregory returned to naval service to superintend the construction and fitting-out of naval vessels in private shipyards. Promoted to Rear Admiral 16 July 1862, he served throughout the four years of war and then retired again.

Rear Admiral Gregory died in Brooklyn, New York, on 4 October 1866 and was buried at New Haven, Connecticut.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Two ships were named USS Gregory for him.

There is an old family story related to Admiral Gregory during his imprisonment in England during the War of 1812.

He had been placed under "house arrest" at a country estate, where he lived by a gentleman's agreement not to attempt escape by passing beyond certain boundaries, one of which was defined by a large stone marker. At some point, there was a formal dinner party at another estate a mile or so away that the captain wished to attend, yet was beyond the set boundary.

The dinner guests were surprised during the party by the arrival of the American captain, and he was accused of violating the terms of his incarceration by going beyond the marker.

The captain smilingly ushered the complaintants outside...where they found a wheelbarrow parked at the far corner of the house containing the large marker stone.

Admiral Gregory was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Captain John Shaw, an early naval commander and a hero of the 1st Barbary Coast campaign and the War of 1812.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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