Theodorus Bailey (officer) - American Civil War

American Civil War

The outbreak of the War Between the States brought Bailey the orders he sought. On 3 June 1861, he put the steam frigate Colorado back in commission at Boston and set sail a fortnight later to join the Gulf Blockading Squadron. Colorado arrived at Key West on 9 July and at Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island off Pensacola on the 15th. There, Colorado became flagship of the Gulf Blockading Squadron on 16 July when Flag Officer William Mervine embarked.

Bailey patrolled the waters off the Florida Panhandle until mid-November at which time his ship moved to a blockade station off the Mississippi Delta. Though Bailey technically retained command of Colorado until the beginning of May 1862, he was performing other duties in conjunction with the assault on the defenses of New Orleans by April 1862. When the push to take the city went off on 24 April, Bailey commanded one of the gunboat divisions during the fight to pass Forts Jackson and St. Philip. Once that feat had been accomplished, he continued on upriver to demand and receive the city's surrender on the 25th.

Bailey relinquished command of Colorado officially on 1 May 1862 and returned north with dispatches. Promoted to commodore on 16 July 1862, Bailey commanded the station at Sackett's Harbor, New York, through the summer of 1862. Heading south again in November 1862, Bailey relieved Acting Rear Admiral James L. Lardner as flag officer commanding the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. He held that post until the summer of 1864 when, after a bout of yellow fever, he was transferred to duty as the commandant at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. About halfway through that assignment, he received his promotion to rear admiral on 25 July 1866. Though placed on the retired list on 10 October 1866, Rear Admiral Bailey served as the commandant at Portsmouth until the latter part of 1867.

Rear Admiral Bailey died at Washington, D. C., on 10 February 1877.

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