John R. Goldsborough papers  1861-1867
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John R. Goldsborough

Rank : Captain

Regiment : United States. Navy.

John Rodgers Goldsborough was born in Washington, D.C., in 1808. His father was navy department official Charles Washington Goldsborough, and his brother was the famed Civil War Rear Admiral Louis M. Goldsborough who captured Roanoke Island in 1862. John Goldsborough received an appointment as midshipman on the sloop Warren , of the Mediterranean Squadron in 1824. He remained in this position until 1830. In September 1837, he was promoted to lieutenant, and between 1844 and 1850, he was attached to the Coast Survey charting the eastern seaboard of the United States.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Goldsborough commanded the U.S. Steamer Union and participated in the blockade of Savannah, Georgia. On October 5, 1861, Goldsborough was put in command of the newly commissioned sidewheel steamship, the Florida . He was appointed captain in 1862 and served as senior naval officer in the blockade of Charleston, South Carolina. In the summer of 1862, he was placed in charge of a settlement of former slaves at St. Simons Island, Georgia. Next he commanded the blockade off Mobile, Alabama, from onboard the Colorado (March to September, 1863). From the last months of 1863 to the end of the war, he was an ordinance duty officer at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. From 1865 to 1868, John Goldsborough commanded the U.S. Steamer Shenandoah , a wooden hull sloop that was then part of the Asiatic Squadron that voyaged from South America, around Africa, to India, Siam (present-day Thailand), and Japan. During this mission, he was promoted to commodore.

Goldsborough married Mary Pennington around 1833; she lived in Philadelphia during his navy service. He died in Philadelphia in June 1877.