ALEXANDER S. MACKENZIE, LCDR, USN
Alexander MacKenzie '59
Date of birth: January 24, 1842
Date of death: June 13, 1867
The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.
Alexander Slidell MacKenzie was admitted to the Naval Academy from New Jersey on September 28, 1855 at age 13 years 9 months.
Alexander Slidell MacKenzie was born in New York on 24 January 1842, the son of a Navy Commander of the same name. Appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1855, he graduated in June 1859 and was assigned to the newly-completed steam sloop of war Hartford. During the next two years, Midshipman MacKenzie served in that ship with the East India Squadron. Promoted to Lieutenant in August 1861, he was an officer of the gunboat Kineo during the conquest of the lower Mississippi River in 1862. Later transferred to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, MacKenzie served off Charleston, South Carolina, in the steam frigate Wabash and monitor Patapsco, taking part in combat operations against Fort Sumter and Morris Island. Later in the Civil War he commanded the gunboat Winona, also in the waters off South Carolina. In July 1865 MacKenzie received the rank of Lieutenant Commander and soon began a second Far Eastern deployment in USS Hartford. He was killed in action on 13 June 1867, during a punitive expedition ashore in southern Formosa.
He is listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall under the heading "Formosa Expedition 1867."
Acting Midshipman, 29 September, 1855. Midshipman, 9 June, 1859. Lieutenant, 31 August, 1861. Lieutenant Commander, 29 July, 1865. Killed in battle 13 June, 1867.
From the August 1962 issue of Shipmate; the article is a much longer one on Alexander's father:
Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, Jr. graduated from the Naval Academy in 1859 (graduate no. 370) in the same class as Mahan. His first cruise was in the Hartford, flagship of the East Indian Squadron. In the papers of S.F. DuPont in the Eleutherian Mills Historical Library, Wilmington, Delaware, there is a letter from his widowed mother asking her friend. Captain Du Pont, for the itinerary of the Hartford ordered home in 1861. She wanted to get letters to her son to counteract the secession sentiment she feared was rampant in the wardroom and steerage of the ship. Her fears were unfounded. The Hartford and Mackenzie arrived home in time to take part in the battle of New Orleans. He was in the ironclad New Ironsides in the attack on Fort Sumter, 7 April 1863. He did a tour as instructor in seamanship at the Naval Academy in Newport and then became executive of the Hartford. He was killed in action 13 June 1867 on the island of Taiwan while in command of a force that had gone ashore to punish savages for the murder of members of the crew of an American whaling ship. The tribute he received from his commander, Rear Admiral H. H. Bell, was perhaps even great than that given his brother. "The Navy could boast no braver spirit, no man of higher promise."
The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.
The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.
The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.
Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.
Acting Midshipman, Fourth Class, Naval Academy
Others at this command: Acting MIDN Charles McDougal '56, Acting MIDN James Moseley '56, MIDN Marshall Campbell '56, Acting MIDN John Kelly '57, Acting MIDN Charles Swasey '59, Acting MIDN Cornelius Schoonmaker '59, and Acting MIDN Roderick Prentiss '59.
Acting Midshipman, Third Class, Naval Academy
Acting Midshipman, Second Class, Naval Academy
Others at this command: LT Charles Flusser '53, Acting MIDN Charles Swasey '59, Acting MIDN Cornelius Schoonmaker '59, Acting MIDN Roderick Prentiss '59, Acting MIDN George Ryan '61, Acting MIDN Odillion Hobbs '61, and Acting MIDN William Stewart '61.
Midshipman, Steam Sloop Hartford
Lieutenant, Steam Sloop Hartford
Lieutenant, Steam Frigate Wabash
Lieutenant, Iron-clad Steamer Patapsco