Louis M. Goldsborough
February 18, 1805(1805-02-18) – February 20, 1877 (aged 72)
Louis M. Goldsborough
Nickname "Guts"[1]
Place of birth Washington, D.C.
Place of death Washington, D.C.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1812-1877
Rank Rear Admiral, U.S.N.
Commands held North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
European Squadron
Battles/wars Mexican War
American Civil War
Other work superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy
File:Louis M. Goldsborough - Brady-Handy.jpg

Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough (February 18 1805February 20 1877) was an admiral in the United States Navy during the Civil War. He held several sea commands during the Civil War, including the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He was also noted for contributions to nautical scientific research.


Born in Washington, D.C, Goldsborough was appointed midshipman in the United States Navy by Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton on June 28, 1812. At the time of his appointment, he was seven years old, and Goldsborough did not actually begin serving until February 13, 1816, when he reported for duty at the Washington Navy Yard.

He led a four-boat night expedition from Porpoise in September 1827 to rescue British merchant brig Comet from Mediterranean pirates. In 1830 he was appointed first officer in charge of the newly created Depot of Charts and Instruments at Washington, the crude beginning of the United States Hydrographic Office. Goldsborough suggested creation of the depot and initiated the collection and centralization of the instruments, books and charts that were scattered among several Navy yards. After two years he was relieved by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes.

Goldsborough led German emigrants to Wirt's Estates near Monticello, Florida in 1833. He then took leave from the Navy to command a steamboat expedition and later mounted volunteers in the Seminole War.

After cruising the Pacific in the frigate United States, he participated in the bombardment of Veracruz in Ohio during the Mexican-American War. He served consecutively as: commander of a detachment in the expedition against Tuxpan; senior officer of a commission which explored California and Oregon (1849-1850); superintendent of the United States Naval Academy (1853-1857); and commander of the Brazil Squadron (1859-1861).

During his command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from October 1861 to September 1862, he led his fleet off North Carolina, where in cooperation with troops under general Ambrose Burnside, he captured Roanoke Island and destroyed a small Confederate fleet.

After special administrative duties in Washington, D.C., he took command of the European Squadron in the last year of the U.S. Civil War, returning to Washington in 1868 to serve as commander of the Washington Navy Yard until his retirement in 1873.

Rear Admiral Goldsborough died on February 20 1877.

The grandson of the Admiral, Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough, was the murderer of novelist David Graham Phillips.


The United States Navy has named three ships USS Goldsborough in honor of Admiral Goldsborough.

See alsoEdit

List of Superintendents of the United States Naval Academy


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
  1. Eicher p.258
Preceded by
Cornelius K. Stribling
Superintendent of United States Naval Academy
Succeeded by
George S. Blake
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