Francis Asbury Roe
Rear Admiral, United States Navy
Asbury Roe, naval officer, was born in Elmira, New York, 4 October, 1823.
He entered the navy as midshipman, 19 October, 1841, and was at the Naval
Academy at Annapolis in 1847-'8. He left the service for eleven months
from June, 1848. In 1851-52 he served in the mail-steamer "Georgia," on
the New York and West India line. He was attached to the brig "Porpoise"
in the North Pacific exploring expedition.
He was commissioned Master, 8 August, 1855, and Lieutenant, 14 September, 1855. In 1857-58 he served in the coast survey. In 1862 he was executive officer of the "Pensacola" in Farragut's squadron, and, on account of the illness of his commanding officer, took charge of the ship in passing Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. He was commissioned Lieutenant Commander, 16 July, 1862, had charge of the steamer "Katahdin" in 1862-63 in the operations on Mississippi river, defeated General John C. Breckinridge's attack on Baton Rouge, and assisted in the destruction of the Confederate ram "Arkansas," 7 August, 1862.
In 1864 he commanded the steamer "Sassacus" in the North Atlantic blockading squadron, and captured and destroyed several blockade runners in the sounds of North Carolina, and co-operated in the defeat of the Confederate iron-clad ram "Albemarle," 5 May, 1864. In this engagement Roe gallantly rammed the iron-clad, which then fired a 100-pound rifle-shell through the "Sassacus," killing and scalding many of the crew by exploding in the boiler. In the confusion that was caused by escaping steam, Roe skilfully handled his ship and compelled the "Albemarle's" consort, the "Bombshell," to surrender. After the war he commanded the steamer "Michigan" on the lakes in 1864-66.
He was commissioned Commander, 25 July, 1866, and in 1866-67 commanded the steamer "Tacony" on a special mission to Mexico. His firmness as senior officer prevented a bombardment of Vera Cruz. On 3 August, 1867, he was detached, and in recognition of his services was ordered as Fleet Captain of the Asiatic station, where he served until December, 1871.
He was commissioned Captain, 1 April, 1872, and was attached to the Boston Navy Yard in 1872-'3. His last cruise was in command of the "Lancaster" on the Brazil station in 1873-'5. He was attached to the naval station at New London in 1875-76, on special duty at Washington in 1879-80, and promoted to Commodore, 26 November, 1880. In 1883-84 he was Governor of the Naval Asylum at Philadelphia.
He was commissioned Rear Admiral, 3 November,
1884, and placed on the retired list, 4 October, 1885.
Born 4 Oct 1823 in Elmira, New York, son of Isaac and Hanna (Drake) Roe. Received his early education at Elmira Academy. Married Eliza J. Snyder September 1849. Died 28 December 1901 in Washington, DC.
He received appointment from New York, 19 October 1841. Acting Midshipman, 19 October 1841; Midshipman, 3 February 1842; Passed Midshipman, 10 August 1847; dismissed from the service, 23 October 1849; reappointed to previous rank, 27 September 1850; Master, 8 August 1855; Lieutenant, 14 Sep 1855; Lieutenant Commander, 6 August 1862; Commander, 25 July 1866; Captain, 1 April 1872; Rear Admiral, 3 Nov 1884; placed on the retired list, 4 October 1885.
Participated in 5 May 1864 action against the Confederate ram Albermarle, being commended by the Secretary of the Navy and advanced five numbers for his action. During the Mexican revolution, which ousted Prince Maximilian in 1867, he witnessed the last evacuations of French troops and escorted Generalissimo Santa Anna as a prisoner to Mexico. Acted as negotiator between various factions and the new revolutionary government at Vera Cruz and assisted in preserving order, efforts which warranted thanks and a congratulatory note from President Andrew Jackson. President, Board of Examiners, Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island, July-August 1883; Governor, Naval Asylum, Philadelphia, October 1883-October 1885. In The Line. 1823-1901.
His gravestone in Section 2 of Arlington National
Cemetery "Erected by his surviving comrades, Farragut Fleet, and his family.
ROE, ELIZA J W/O FRANCIS A
ROE, F A