William Mervine (14 March 1791 – 15 September 1868) was a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy, whose career included service in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mervine was appointed midshipman in January 1809. Serving on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812, he later cruised off Africa and South America, in the West Indies and in the Pacific.

While in command of the USS Savannah during the war with Mexico, 1846–47, he led a detachment of sailors and United States Marines against Monterey, California, 7 July 1846, took possession and hoisted the American flag over the city. Later in 1846 between Oct 7th and 9th, Mervine led 203 US Marines, 147 American sailors and volunteers in the invasion of Los Angeles, California where he lost the Battle of Dominguez Rancho. 14 US Marines were killed. José Antonio Carrillo, a Californio rancher, led 50 Spanish Californio lancers in that defeat of Mervine and the American forces.

Serving also during the Civil War, he commanded the Gulf Blockading Squadron from 6 May 1861, until obliged by ill health to give up the command 22 September 1861. He died at Utica, New York.

Namesake[edit | edit source]

The Navy has named several ships USS Mervine in his honor.

References[edit | edit source]

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