Rear Admiral Bowman H. McCalla (19 June 1844–6 May 1910) was an officer in the United States Navy, who was noted for his roles in the Spanish-American War and putting down the Boxer Rebellion.
Born in Camden, New Jersey, McCalla was appointed midshipman November 30, 1861. McCalla's courage and leadership during his career often earned him great, and due, respect among his fellow officers.
In the spring of 1885, he led an expeditionary force of 750 seamen and marines which landed at Panama to protect American treaty rights when a revolution there threatened to block transit across the isthmus.
As commanding officer of Marblehead, September 11, 1897 to September 16, 1898, he took part in the blockade of Cuba and was responsible for the cutting of submarine cables linking Cienfuegos with the outside world, thus isolating the Spanish garrison there, in May 1898. In June 1898, he led the invasion of Guantánamo Bay.
While in command of Newark during the Boxer Rebellion two years later, he was cited for conspicuous gallantry in battle as he led a force of sailors from Tientsin to Peking. McCalla's force of 112 men spearheaded an international column, under British Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, which was attempting to fight its way to the aid of foreign legations under siege at Peking. In the course of the battle at Hsiku Arsenal, McCalla, along with 25 of his force, was wounded; five were killed.
Commissioned rear admiral October 11, 1903, and entered on the retired list June 19, 1906, McCalla died on May 6, 1910 at Santa Barbara, California, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Two ships have been named USS McCalla for him.
SERVICES AT ARLINGTON
Funeral of Admiral McCalla Will Take Place at Washington Next Wednesday
WASHINGTON, May 16, 1910 – The funeral of Rear Admiral Bowman H. McCalla will take place in this city Thursday at the residence of Rear Admiral Brownson.
Owing to the fact that services were held in Santa Barbara, California, where Admiral McCalla died, there will be none at Admiral Bronson’s house, but there will be religious rites at the grave in Arlington National Cemetery, conducted by the Rev. Roland Cotton Smith.
There will be a naval funeral service cortège, composed of marines and blue jackets, commensurate with Admiral McCalla’s rank.
MCCALLA, BOWMAN H
- REAR ADM US NAVY RET
- DATE OF DEATH: 05/06/1910
- BURIED AT: SECTION E DIV SITE 857
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
MCCALLA, ELIZABETH H W/O BOWMAN H
- DATE OF DEATH: 11/20/1920
- BURIED AT: SITE 867
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard