Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Parker, Foxhall Alexander

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PARKER, Foxhall Alexander, naval officer, b. in New York city, 5 Aug., 1821; d. in Annapolis, Md., 10 June, 1879. He was graduated at the naval school in Philadelphia in 1843, served against the Florida Indians, and was commissioned lieutenant, 21 Sept., 1850. He was executive officer at the Washington navy-yard in 1861-'2, co-operated with the Army of the Potomac on several occasions in command of seamen, built Fort Dahlgren, and drilled 2,000 seamen in the exercise of artillery and small arms, thereby promoting the success of Admiral Andrew H. Foote's operations with the Mississippi flotilla. He became commander on 16 July, 1862, had charge of the steam gun-boat “Mahaska” in active service off Wilmington and Yorktown, and of the “Wabash,” off Charleston, from June to September, 1863, and from the latter date till the close of the war commanded the Potomac flotilla, which consisted at one time of forty-two vessels, and frequently engaged the enemy. In July, 1866, he was promoted captain for “good service during the rebellion.” He became commodore in 1872, was on special duty in Washington in August of that year to draw up a code of signals for steam tactics, and in 1873-'6 was chief signal officer of the navy. He was chief of staff of the united fleets, under Admiral Augustus L. Case that assembled for instruction in the Florida waters in December, 1874, and was one of the founders of the U. S. naval institute. He died while superintendent of the U. S. naval academy, to which he was appointed in 1878. He was for many years a contributor to newspapers and magazines, and published “Fleet Tactics Under Steam” (New York, 1863); “Squadron Tactics Under Steam” (1863); “The Naval Howitzer Afloat” (1865); “ The Naval Howitzer Ashore” (1865) all of which are text-books in the U. S. naval academy; “The Fleets of the World: The Galley Period” (1876); and “The Battle of Mobile Bay and the Capture of Forts Powell, Gaines, and Morgan, under the Command of David G. Farragut and Gordon Granger” (Boston, 1878). — His brother, William Harwar, naval officer, b. in New York city, 8 Oct., 1826, was graduated at the U. S. naval academy in 1848, became a lieutenant in 1855, and in 1861 entered the Confederate service. He has published “Instructions for Naval Light Artillery” (New York, 1862) and “Recollections of a Naval Officer” (1883).