Open main menu

Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Schley, Winfield Scott

< Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography

SCHLEY, Winfield Scott, naval officer, b. in Frederick county, Md., 9 Oct., 1839. He was graduated at the U. S. naval academy in 1860, served on board the frigate “Niagara” in 1860-'1, was attached to the frigate “Potomac” of the Western Gulf squadron in 1861-'2, and subsequently took part, on board the gun-boat “Winona” and the sloops “Monongahela” and “Richmond,” in all the engagements that led to the capture of Port Hudson, being promoted lieutenant on 16 July, 1862. He served on the “Wateree” in the Pacific in 1864-'6, quelling an insurrection of Chinese coolies on the Middle Chincha islands in 1865, and later in the same year landing at La Union, San Salvador, to protect American interests during a revolution. He was instructor at the naval academy in 1866-'9, served on the Asiatic station in 1869-'72, taking part in the capture of the Corean forts on Salee river, after two days of fighting, in June, 1871, and was again at the naval academy in 1874-'6, being promoted commander in June, 1874. In 1876-'9 he was on the Brazil station, and during the cruise sailed in the “Essex” to the vicinity of the South Shetland islands in search of a missing sealer, and rescued a shipwrecked crew on the islands of Tristan d'Acunha. In 1884 he commanded the relief expedition that rescued Lieut. Adolphus W. Greely and six of his companions at Cape Sabine in Grinnell Land, passing through 1,400 miles of ice during the voyage. He was commissioned chief of the bureau of equipment and recruiting at the navy department in 1885, and promoted captain in 1888, commodore in 1898, and assisted in destroying Admiral Cervera's Spanish squadron off Santiago in July, 1898.