From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Dawson Phenix '47

Date of birth: 1825

Date of death: February 20, 1864

Age: ~38

Lucky Bag

The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.


From Army Navy Gazette of the Regular and Volunteer Forces on February 27, 1864:

Lieutenant Commander Dawson Phenix, U.S.N., died on the 20th, in Philadelphia, aged 36 years. His funeral took place on Monday, from the Washington House, and his remains were followed to their last resting place by a large concourse of naval officers and others. Lieutenant Commander Phenix entered the naval service on the 30th of September, 1841, having been appointed from Maryland, his native State. His first orders were to the razee Independence, 54, then attached to the Home Squadron. In 1843, he joined the frigate Savannah, 44, Captain Andrew Fitzhugh, of the Pacific Squadron. Subsequently he was transfered to the frigate Brandywine, 44, making the cruise in her. He returned in November, 1845, and awaited orders until 1846, when he was ordered to the steamer Princeton; he was detached from her in July, 1847, and ordered to the naval school preparatory to promotion. He was a passed midshipman in 1848, and in 1849 he was ordered to the store ship Relief. From her he was detached in April, 1849, and ordered to duty in the Coast Survey, where he remained until July, 1850, when he was ordered to the frigate Raritan, but was transfered to the sloop St. Marys. In 1862 he was detached from that vessel and ordered to the Observatory at Washington, where he remained until October, 1853, when he was sent to the receiving ship, at Philadelphia. From her he was again ordered to Coast Survey duty. He was promoted to a lieutenant, September 16, 1855. In 1856 he received orders to the store ship Fredonia, at Valparaiso, and he remained in her until ordered to the steam sloop Lancaster, in 1860, on which he served until ordered home in 1861, when he was promoted to be a lieutenant commander, and ordered to ordnance duty at Old Point Comfort, Va. He served his country faithfully for twenty-one years, and out of that time was at sea over thirteen years. he was ordered a few months ago to the command of the gunboat Pocahontas. He has left behind him a large circle of friends, and the Navy will feel his loss deeply.

Note there is no evidence that Dawson's loss was operational; he likely should not be listed in Memorial Hall.

He was born in, and appointed to the Naval Academy from, Maryland.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Midshipman, 30 September, 1841. Passed Midshipman, 10 August, 1847. Master, 14 September, 1855. Lieutenant, 15 September, 1855. Lieutenant Commander, 16 July, 1862. Died 20 February, 1864.


The Register of Alumni has his first and last names inverted.

Class of 1847

Dawson is one of 31 members of the Class of 1847 on Virtual Memorial Hall.