Originally from Mobile, Alabama; he joined the US Navy in 1826 as a midshipman. Serving as a US Navy captain in the Mexican-American War, he commanded the USS Somers.
While still serving in the US Navy, he returned to Mobile to work as a lawyer on extended leave. In 1855, he was promoted to Commander in the US Navy and assigned lighthouse duties until 1860.
In 1861, he joined the Confederate States Navy (CSS). During the civil war, he commanded both CSS Sumter (captured by the US Navy in Gibraltar January 1862) and CSS Alabama (sunk by the USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France in June 1864) during the Civil War.
He was promoted to Rear Admiral in February 1865, when took command of all Confederate Navy’s James River Squadron protecting Richmond.
In April 1865, he was given the rank as Brigadier General in the Confederate Army after is sailors formed the “Navy Brigade” when their services were no longer needed by the navy.
Statue is located in Downtown Mobile, AL
At the end of the civil war, he held both the rank of Rear Admiral in the CS Navy and Brigadier General in the CS Army.
After the war, he returned to Mobile and continued his law practice. He died in 1877 and is buried in the Old Catholic Cemetery.