Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Perkins, George Hamilton

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PERKINS, George Hamilton, naval officer, b. in Hopkinton, N. H., 20 Dec., 1836. His grandfather, Roger, was an early settler of Hopkinton, and one of the most public-spirited citizens of that town, and his father, Judge Hamilton, was the founder of the town of Contoocookville, N. H. George was graduated at the U. S. naval academy in 1856, and became 1st lieutenant in 1861. He served with gallantry as executive officer of the “Cayuga” at the passage of Fort St. Philip and Fort Jackson, and at the capture of New Orleans in April, 1862, and with Capt. Theodorus Bailey (q. v.) received the surrender of the city, passing through the streets in the midst of a hooting mob, who threatened them with drawn pistols and other weapons. He became lieutenant-commander in December, 1862, was in charge of the gun-boat “New London” in June, 1863, and conveyed powder and despatches between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, ran the batteries at Port Hudson successfully five times, and on 9 July had a severe skirmish with the enemy at Whitehall's point. He was on blockading duty on the “Scioto,” of the Gulf squadron, from July, 1863, till April, 1864, and at that time was relieved, but volunteered at the battle of Mobile Bay. In his official report of that engagement Admiral Farragut said: “I cannot give too much praise to Lieut.-Com. Perkins, who, although he had orders to return north, volunteered to take command of the ‘Chickasaw,’ and did his duty nobly.” He remained in charge of that ship in the subsequent operations that resulted in the taking of Mobile, the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan. He was superintendent of iron-clads in New Orleans in 1865-'6, became commander in 1871, was in charge of the store-ship “Relief,” to convey contributions to the French, from September, 1871, till January, 1872, and in 1882 was commissioned captain. See his “Letters,” edited and arranged by his sister, with a sketch of his life by Com. George E. Belknap (Concord, N. H., 1886).