William A. Howard, when but a boy, distinguished himself by leading an expedition to rescue a United States vessel that had been seized by the British for infringing the fishery laws.
In 1824 he entered the United States
Navy, and in 1828 resigned his commission to receive a captaincy in the
Revenue Marine. So successful was he in assisting vessels in distress on the coast of New England that the merchants of Boston presented him with a valuable service of silver.
In 1848 the German confederation appointed him second in command of the fleet on the Weser, and he there constructed a navy yard and dock, and remained in charge until the breaking up of the fleet.
At the beginning of the
Civil War Captain Howard raised a regiment of marine artillery, which was attached to the Burnside expedition. On returning north he began organizing in New York a regiment of heavy artillery, and raised 2,500 men, who were detailed for active service with the Army of the James. As colonel he commanded the defenses around Portsmouth and Norfolk, and at the close of the war resumed his commission as captain in the revenue marine.
He hoisted the flag of the United States in Alaska soon after its transference by Russia.
for information about Alaska and the flag-raising ceremony.
His last service was superintending the building of steam-launches for the revenue marine.
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