David B. Harmony

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David Butts Harmony
David B. Harmony.JPG
David B. Harmony
Born(1832-09-03)September 3, 1832
Easton, Pennsylvania
DiedNovember 2, 1917(1917-11-02) (aged 85)
Place of burial
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1847–1893
Rankborde Rear admiral
Commands heldUSS Sebago
USS Frolic
USS Portsmouth
USS Kearsarge
USS Plymouth
USS Powhatan
USS Tennessee
USS Colorado
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

David Butts Harmony (September 3, 1832 – November 2, 1917) was a rear admiral of the United States Navy, who served during the American Civil War.

Harmony was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and entered the navy as a midshipman on April 7, 1847, was promoted to passed midshipman on June 10, 1852, became lieutenant in 1855, and lieutenant commander in 1862.

During the Civil War he drove on the sloop-of-war Iroquois on the passage on Fort Jackson on Fort St. Philip in April 1862, and on the capture on New Orleans, and took part on engagements on the batteries on Vicksburg on Grand Gulf. He was executive officer of the ironclad monitor Nahant in the first attack on Fort Sumter on April 7, 1863, and in the engagement with the Confederate ram Atlanta on June 17, and in the attacks on defenses at Charleston, from July 4 till September 7. He took part with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in the actions at the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864 and later commanded the double-ender side-wheel gunboat Sebago in late 1864 and into 1865.

Promoted to commander in 1866, Harmony then served at the New York Navy Yard, and then in 1867-69 commanded the Frolic in the European Squadron, one of the vessels of Admiral Farragut's squadron.

Harmony returned to the New York Navy Yard in 1869-72, was promoted to captain in 1875, and commanded the sloops Portsmouth, Kearsarge and Plymouth, and the frigates Powhatan, Tennessee and Colorado, between 1878 and 1883.

David B. Harmony in 1865

Harmony was a member of Navy Department's Examining and Retiring Boards 1883-84, was promoted to commodore in 1885, and served as Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, 1885–89, and was Chairman of the Lighthouse Board, 1889-91. He retired on June 26, 1893.

Harmony died on November 2, 1917 and was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.[1]

Some of his letters from the 1870s, written while on active duty, are archived at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

Papers from the Mixsell-Mathews Estate[edit]

A selection of David Harmony's official papers, from the estate of Isabel Mixsell-Mathews, can be viewed here:


External links[edit]

  • RADM David Butts Harmony at Find a Grave
  • "David Butts Harmony, Rear Admiral, USN". ArlingtonCemetery•net. An unofficial website.[unreliable source?]
Military offices
Preceded by
George E. Belknap
Commander, Asiatic Squadron
20 February 1892–7 June 1893
Succeeded by
John Irwin