Rear Admiral, United States Navy
Washington, DC, December 17, 1849. Parents: Commander Richard (USN) &
Sallie Franklin (Bache) Wainwright. He was appointed to the United States
Naval Academy by the President at-large, and graduated in 1868. He also
earned an LLB, Columbian (now George Washington) University, 1884, LLD,
1900. Married: Evelyn Wotherspoon, September 11, 1873.
Promoted to Ensign, Apr 19, 1865, Master, July 12, 1870, Lieutenant, September 25, 1873, Lieuteanant Commander, September 16, 1894, Commander, Mar 3, 1899, Captain, August 10, 1903, Rear Admiral, July 11, 1908. He served on USS Jamestown and USS Colorado, at the Hydrographic Office, Coast Survey on Asiatic Station and USS Richmond, 1868-80. At the Bureau of Navigation, 1880-84. USS Tennessee, 1884-86. USS Galena, 1886-87, USNA, 1887-90, USS Alert, 1890-93, Hydrographic Office, 1893-96, chief, Intelligence Office, 1896-97, Executive Officer, USS Maine, November 17, 1897 until she was blown up in Havana Harbor, February 15, 1898.
Commander USS Gloucester during the Spanish-American War and took part in the destruction of Admiral Cevera's squadron off Santiago, Cuba, July 3, 1898. He was advanced 10 numbers in rank "for eminent and conspicuous conduct in this battle." He was presented with a silver loving cup by the citizens of Gloucester, Massachusetts and a sword by the citizens of Washington, DC Cdr of ships at USNA, 1899- 1900. Supt USNA, 1900-02.
Commander USS Newark, 1902-04. Member of the General Board, 1904-07. Commander USS Louisiana, 1907-08, 2nd Division, Atlantic Fleet, 1908-09. Aide for Operations to the Secretary of the USN, 1910. He retired by operation of law, December 17, 1911. Died: March 5, 1926. He is buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery with his wife, Evelyn Wotherspoon Wainwright (1853-1937).
Appointed to USNA by President Lincoln at recommendation of Admiral Farragut. His services as chief of the intelligence office were commended by Theodore Roosevelt in November 1897 when he left these duties to become XO of USS ME. As such, he was next in command to Admiral Charles D. Sigsbee when the ship was blown up on Feb 15, 1898. A few months later was given command of USS Gloucester, an unarmored vessel that had formerly been private yacht. In Battle of Santiago attacked the Spanish destroyers Furor and Pluton, sank one and beached the other, then rescued Admiral Cevera and 200 officers and men from burning flagship Infanta Maria Teresa, and part of crew of Almirante Oquento.
His son, Richard Wainwright, Jr., Commander, United States Navy, earned the Medal of Honor for his service at Vera Cruz, Mexico, and is also buried in the cemetery at the United States Naval Academy.
Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Collins
WAINWRIGHT, EVELYN WOTHERSPOON W/O RICHARD
Page Updated: 7 October 2000 Updated: 3 August 2003 Updated: 4 September 2004 Updated: 29 October 2005 Updated: 30 January 2006 Updated: 30 July 2009