Several times the title of the highest rank in the United States
Prior to the Civil War
the highest rank was that of commodore.
In 1862 Congress established the rank of rear-admiral: in 1864 that of vice-admiral; and in 1866 that of admiral, in each case the office being bestowed on David G. Farragut
On the death of David D. Porter
(1891), who by law had succeeded to the titles of vice-admiral and admiral, both these grades were abolished, and the grade of rear-admiral remained the highest till 1899, when that of admiral was again ereated by Congress and conferred on George Dewey
Further legislation by Congress in that year increased the number of rear-admirals from six, to which it bad been reduced in 1882, to eighteen, and divided these officers into two classes of nine each, the first nine corresponding in rank to major-generals in the army, and the second to brigadier-generals.
The same act made the increase in the number of rear-admirals possible by abolishing the grade of commodore, and advancing the holders of that grade to rear-admirals.