Naval officer; born in Camden, N. J.
. June 19, 1844; was appointed a midshipman in the navy, Nov. 30, 1861; was at the Naval Academy
in 1861-64; promoted ensign, Nov. 1, 1866; master, Dec. 1 following; lieutenant, March 12, 1868; lieutenant-commander
, March 26, 1869; commander, Nov. 3,
1884; and captain, March 3, 1899.
In 1890, while commander of the Enterprise
, he was tried by court-martial on five charges, found guilty, and sentenced to suspension for three years and to retain his number on the list of commanders during suspension.
During the war with Spain
he was in command of the Marblehead
, and so distinguished himself, especially by his services in Guantanamo Bay
, that the President
cancelled the court-martial's sentence of suspension at the request of the Secretary of the Navy
, and the written petition of all his classmates.
After his promotion to captain he was given command of the protected cruiser Newark
, with orders to prepare her for the run to the Philippines.
For the speed with which he accomplished this duty he was officially complimented by the Navy Department.
When the Boxer
troubles in China
called for foreign intervention, Captain McCalla
was ordered to Taku
, and there was placed in command of the first American detachment ordered on shore duty.
On the march headed by Admiral Seymour
, of the British
navy, planned for the relief of the foreign legations in Peking
, it was Captain McCalla
's tactical skill that enabled the small force to get back to Tientsin
, after the failure of the attempt.
Concerning this movement Admiral Seymour
said: “That my command pulled out in safety is due to Captain McCalla
The credit is his, not mine, and I shall recommend the Queen
that he and his men be recommended by her to the President
of the United States
,” and in his official report he said: “I must refer specially to Commander McCalla
, of the American cruiser Newark
, whose services were of the greatest value to me and all concerned.
He was slightly wounded in three places, and well merits recognition.”
On Sept. 22, 1900, the Secretary of the Navy
officially commended him for his services in the operations in China
, and on March 16, 1901, he was further honored by being assigned to the command of the new battle-ship Kearsarge
, considered one of the most enviable commands in the navy.