EDMUND U. LOOMIS, CADET ENGINEER, USN
Edmund Loomis '75
Date of birth: June 16, 1851
Date of death: November 24, 1877
Edmund Underwood Loomis was admitted to the Naval Academy from Maryland on October 1, 1872 at age 21 years 3 months.
Edmund was lost on November 24, 1877 when USS Huron (1875) went aground and then wrecked in heavy weather off Nags Head, North Carolina. Ninety-seven other officers and men were also lost. He is buried in Pennsylvania.
From Army & Navy Journal on December 1, 1877:
Cadet Engineer Loomis was born in Pennsylvania, but entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis from the State of Maryland, Oct 1, 1872, and was graduated with his class June 21, 1875. He was in all respects a steady young man, standing well in his studies and duties, and winning the respect both of his classmates and superior officers. Loomis was over six feet in height, of large build, a fine, open countenance, blue eyes and light hair. He was about twenty-four years old.
From the Carlisle Weekly Herald on December 13, 1877:
From the Baltimore American.
THE LATE ENGINEER LOOMIS.
MOURNING IN CAMBRIDGE—BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.
CAMBRIDGE, MD., November, 30.
Cambridge is one of the communities involved in sadness and gloom on account of the loss of the United States ship Huron. Among the officers of the ill-fated vessel doomed to death was Cadet Engineer Edmund U. Loomis, formerly of Carlisle, Penusylvania, but for some years a resident of this place. He was admitted to the Naval Academy in 1892 and graduated in 1875, and ever since has been in sea service, except a week or two now and then, when he was in port waiting orders. Handsome, gracious in manners, of a genial and bright disposition, kindly to his companions, reverent to those of greater age than his own, and truly chivalrous in his considerations for woman, he was highly regarded and universally beloved by all those who knew him. From the time the first despatch on Saturday evening announced the terrible disaster until Tuesday a profound and painful suspense was felt throughout the community, many hoping against hope, until the story of survivors removed all possibility of doubt. His body was found near the wreck on Wednesday, the 28th, and will be carried at once to Carlisle for burial.
Mr. Loomis, who was the youngest son of the late Dr. Isaiah Champlin Loomis, was nearly related to several persons who have made an heroic record in the history of the American navy. His grandmother Loomis was sister to Commodore Champlin and first cousin to the two Commodores Perry.
From the Cambridge News we take the following account of the manner in which Engineer Loomis met his death: "He was on duty in the engine room when the ship first struck, where he was at once joined by his associate engineers. There they remained at their posts, while the tumult of terror was going on above them, until orders were given to stop the machinery and extinguish the fires. The middle of the ship was now filled with water, and the quarter deck and forecastle were the only places where the officers and crew could find even a momentary safety. They divided, some taking one position and some the other, Mr. Loomis being among those who got in the forecastle. Here for hours he, with the others, were compelled to endure the icy and heavy seas that were constantly sweeping over the ill-fated vessel. Paralyzed by the cold and weakened by the rush of the waters, they lost the strength necessary to make exertions for safety, and could barely hold on to the wreck. At length he got jammed between some falling timbers, becoming severely hurt thereby in the chest and back. and soon after a tremendous sea washed him overboard. He caught a spar with his arm, and held on thereto for some ten minutes. If this had been carried at once from the ship, he undoubtedly would have been swept to the shore in the time that he maintained his hold, but it must bave been in some manner entangled, for it remained by the vessel’s side. Another spar was carried overboard, and this struck him on the arm, weakening his hold on the one to which he was clinging. He then turned over on his back, lifted his eyes and his joined hands towards Heaven and at once sunk beneath the raging waters.
The corpse of Mr. Loomis arrived in this p!ace on Tuesday evening of last week, and was taken to the residence of his grandmother, Mrs. C. Underwood of South Pitt street. The remains were encased in a metallic casket around which was placed the American flag. No person was permitted to see the corpse. Six of his fellow-members in the Theta Delta Chi Fraternity acted as pall bearers, and the Belles Lettres Society of Dickinsen College attended the funeral. The remains were interred in the family plot in the old graveyard. Peace to hit ashes.
From Find A Grave:
Edmond appears with his family on the 1860 census in Carlisle, PA:
- Isaah C Loomis 46
- Mary S Loomis 36
- James H Loomis 18
- Grace Loomis 13
- Raymond Loomis 9
- Edmond Loomis 8
- Susan Harts 25
Cadet Engineer Naval Academy, 1 October, 1872. Graduated 21 June, 1875. Lost on the Huron, 24 November, 1877.
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.
Cadet Engineer, Huron