Fox, Gustavus Vasa

Fox, Gustavus Vasa,

1821–83, American naval officer, b. Saugus, Mass. Appointed a midshipman in 1838, he resigned from the navy in 1856 but in Apr., 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War, commanded the expedition that attempted to relieve the garrison at Fort Sumter. Fox was chief clerk of the Dept. of the Navy from May to Aug., 1861, when the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy was created for him. He held that office until May, 1866. His honesty, efficiency, and wide knowledge of naval affairs were of incalculable benefit to the Union cause.


See his Confidential Correspondence (1918–19).

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Fox, Gustavus Vasa

(1821–83) naval officer; born in Saugus, Mass. He served in the navy (1841–56) and later became assistant secretary of the navy (1861–66). He was an early advocate of the USS Monitor and gave indispensable assistance to Secretary Gideon Welles during the Civil War.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.