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[38]

Capt. William Henry Murdaugh. Naval career and Reminiscences of this distinguished officer.

One of the most interesting contributions to Portsmouth war history was the sketch of the naval career of Capt. Murdaugh, one of the most distinguished officers sent out by Portsmouth during the Civil War, delivered by Mayor J. Davis Reed before Stonewall Camp, C. V., recently. The address was as follows: Commander, Veterans, Ladies and Gentlemen: I feel highly honored at being asked by Stonewall Camp, Confederate Veterans, to deliver an address on the naval career of my kinsman, Capt. William Henry Murdaugh, who served both in the United States and Confederate States navies.

No task you might have given me could have been more cheerfully done, but I regret that one better qualified than myself had not been assigned this work.

Fortunate, Capt. Murdaugh wrote something about his naval career, and much of this I will use.

The subject of this paper should really be the ‘Naval Career and Reminiscences of Capt. Murdaugh.’

William Henry Murdaugh was the eldest son of John D. Murdaugh, who, after graduating at the College of William and Mary, came to this city from his ancestral home in Nansemond county to practice law.

He was a man ever active in city affairs, representing it in the General Assembly for years and also in the State Senate. Among the few instances of father and son meeting in the same service his was one. He was an elector for this district at the election of Harrison and Tyler. President Tyler offered the appointment of midshipman to his son, the subject of this sketch, whose naval career began first on the frigate Constitution, which sailed from here in October, 1841. After an absence of three months she returned disabled and the whole ship's crew and officers transferred to the Brandywine.

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