Edward Marshall Stedman – Commander, United States Navy

Commander, Oldest Annapolis Graduate, Class of ’64, Dies
Served in Civil War
Was Academy Instructor
Retired in 1875, He resumed Active Duty in ’98 – Chased Confederate Ironclad

WASHINGTON, October 16, 1939 – Commander Edward Marshall Stedman, retired, the oldest alumnus of the United States Naval Academy, died at his home on Norwood, Virginia, this morning.

Commander Stedman was born ninety-four years ago in Boston.  He was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1861 and was graduated in 1864.  He was one of three retired naval officers who served in the Civil War, the others being Rear Admiral Newton E. Mason of the Annapolis Class of ’65, and Rear Admiral Reginald E. Nicholson, who served in the Civil War as a Naval Clerk, entering the Academy at the close of the war.  Admiral Mason if 89 years of age and Admiral Nicholson is 87.

Commander Stedman lived with his daughter, Mrs. J. L. Gray of Norwood.  Recently he was asked to write for the Navy records the facts of his naval service.  What he wrote was as follows:

“Shortly after entering the Naval Academy the Academy was moved to Newport, Rhode Island, because of the outbreak of the Civil War.  When I became a first classman I was given my first command, the yacht America. Upon graduation in 1864, I reported to the USS Constitution, under the command of Captain Bell.  About six months later, I was transferred to the USS Susquehanna and was doing duty on her when she drove the Confederate Ironclad Stonewall into the harbor at Savannah, Georgia, and held here there until the end of the war.

“After the war I was ordered to the USS Juniata, under the command of Captain John J. Almy, and in 1866 made a voyage to Africa and back.  After that cruise I was ordered to the Naval Academy as an instructor in English.  In 1875 I was retired for physical disability.  When the Spanish-American War broke out I was ordered to active duty and placed in command of the naval reserved at Chicago.  Later I was ordered to take charge of the Trans-Mississippi International Exposition at Omaha, Nebraska.  Later I was again placed on the retired list, having been relieved of active duty.”

Commander Stedman received a Bachelor of Science degree on October 29, 1937 from the Naval Academy.

While funeral arrangements have not been made, it was announced that Commander Stedman will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full naval honors.


  • DATE OF DEATH: 10/16/1939

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