FOOTE, ANDREW HULL (1806–1863), American admiral, was born at New Haven, Connecticut, on the 12th of September 1806, his father, Samuel Augustus Foote (1780–1846), being a prominent lawyer and Whig politician, who as U.S. senator moved in 1829 “Foote’s resolutions” on public lands, in the discussion of which Daniel Webster made his “reply to Hayne.” He entered the U.S. navy in 1822, and was commissioned lieutenant in 1830. After cruising round the world (1837–1840) in the “John Adams,” he was assigned to the Philadelphia Naval Asylum, and later (1846–1848) to the Boston Navy Yard. In 1849 he was made commander of the “Perry,” and engaged for two years in suppressing the slave trade on the African coast. In 1856, as commander of the “Portsmouth,” he served on the East India station, under Com. James Armstrong, and he captured the Barrier Forts near Canton. From October 1858 to the outbreak of the Civil War, he was in charge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, becoming a full captain in 1861. In August 1861 he was assigned to the command “of the naval operations upon the Western waters.” His exploit in capturing Fort Henry (on the right bank of the Tennessee river) from the Confederates, on the 6th of February 1862, without the co-operation of General Grant’s land forces, who had not arrived in time, was a brilliant success; but their combined attack on Fort Donelson (12 m. off, on the left bank of the Cumberland river), whither most of the Fort Henry garrison had escaped, resulted, before its surrender (Feb. 16), in heavy losses to Foote’s gunboats, Foote himself being severely wounded. In March-April he co-operated in the capture of New Madrid (q.v.) and Island No. 10. In June he retired from his command and in July was promoted rear-admiral, and became chief of the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting. On the 26th of June 1863 he died at New York.
See the life (1874) by Professor James Mason Hoppin (1820–1906).