John Henry Russell Sr. b. July, 1827 d. April, 1897
John Henry Russell, born at Frederick, Md., on 4 July 1827, was appointed midshipman 10 September 1841 and served in the sloop Cyane in the Pacific until 1843. He returned in the frigate United States in 1844 and served in St. Marys in the Gulf of Mexico from 1844 to 1846; participating in operations at Galveston, Corpus Christi, Brazos, Resaca, and Vera Cruz. After duty in Alleghany in 1847, he graduated at the Naval Academy in 1848.
Briefly assigned to coast survey duty, he made a cruise to Brazil in 1849, then served on the New York-West Indies mail line from 1853 to 1856, and served as navigator in Vincennes during explorations of the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Assigned to the Mediterranean Squadron at the end of the decade, he returned to the United States and ordnance duty at the Washington Navy Yard just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.
In April 1861, he assisted in preventing ships at Norfolk from falling to the enemy; and, in September, he led a boat expedition into Pensacola Harbor to destroy the Confederate privateer Judah. He next assumed command of Kennebec and in that gunboat participated in operations on the Mississippi up to Vicksburg and served in the blockade of Mobile. Commanding Pontiac in 1863, he returned to ordnance duty at Washington in 1864 and to the Pacific Squadron to serve as commanding officer of Cyane in 1864-65.
Various duties, afloat and ashore, on both coasts, Atlantic and Pacific, followed, and he completed his last assignment, 3 years as Commandant Mare Island Navy Yard, in 1886. Appointed rear admiral 4 March 1886, he retired on 27 August and resided in Washington, D.C., until his death 1 April 1897.
* excerpt's taken from the Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center