Charles H. Bell (naval officer)

Charles H. Bell (August 15, 1798 – February 19, 1875) was a rear admiral in the United States Navy who served during the War of 1812, the Second Barbary War, and the American Civil War.

Charles H. Bell
Charles H Bell.jpg
BornAugust 15, 1798
New York
DiedFebruary 19, 1875(1875-02-19) (aged 76)
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Place of burial
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1812–1868
RankRear admiral
Commands heldUSS Ferret
USS Dolphin
USS Constellation
Mediterranean Squadron
Pacific Squadron
Battles/warsWar of 1812
Second Barbary War
American Civil War

Born in New York, Bell served as a midshipman on Lake Ontario. Later, Bell served on the Macedonian, under the command of Stephen Decatur, against Algiers.

In 1824, he was in command of the schooner USS Ferret, which capsized at sea. He (and other survivors) remained with the capsized vessel for twenty-one hours before being rescued. Five crew members died.[1]

In 1839 the brig Dolphin, under his command, ascended an African river and compelled a native chief to pay for goods that had been taken from a U.S. vessel. In the 1840s he commanded U.S. Navy ships in the suppression of the slave trade. He captured three slavers off the African coast, one of them transporting more than 900 slaves.

During the Mexican-American War he commanded a sloop-of-war named Yorktown along the African coast, to disrupt the slave trade.[2]

His commands included the Constellation in 1855, and the Norfolk Naval Shipyard from 30 April 1859 to 1 August 1860. At the beginning of the Civil War he was in command of the Mediterranean Squadron of the U.S. Navy, but he received command of the Pacific Squadron in July 1862 (replacing John B. Montgomery), which he held until 1864.

He was promoted to commodore on July 16, 1862, and in 1864 was transferred to the command of ships serving on the James River in Virginia. He was promoted to rear admiral on July 25, 1866. He retired in 1868, after serving for three years as commander of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He died in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1875 at the age of 76.

Dates of rankEdit

  • Midshipman - 18 June 1812
  • Lieutenant - 28 March 1820
  • Commander - 10 September 1840
  • Captain - 12 August 1854
  • Commodore, Retired List - 16 July 1862
  • Rear Admiral - 25 July 1866
  • Died - 19 February 1875 [3]


  • Spears, John Randolph (1905). David G. Farragut.
    G.W. Jacobs, Philadelphia. p. 407.


  1. ^ Spears, 1905 p.127
  2. ^ Ronald S. Coddington, 2016. Faces of the Civil War Navies: An Album of Union and Confederate Sailors. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 334. ISBN 978-1-4214-2137-7.
  3. ^

External linksEdit