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Bissell, Simon B.


Age: 0, credited to Vermont
Unit(s): USN
Service: MIDS, USN, 3/1/25

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 10/28/1808, Vermont
Death: 02/18/1883


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, widow Sarah N, 3/23/1885
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: Died in Paris, France


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Simon B. Bissell

Simon Backus Bissell was born in Fairlee, Vt., on October 28, 1808. He was appointed Midshipman on November 6, 1824, Passed Midshipman on June 4 1831, and Lieutenant December 9, 1837.

(Hemenway, ii:900 says: "Simon, after completing his education at West Pont, entered the United States Navy, and is now holding a prominent office in that important arm of our national defence.")

At the beginning of the Mexican-American War, he was assigned to the Home Squadron, in command of the sloop Albany. The 20-gun vessel sailed from New York on November 28, 1846, and was part of the naval battery during the siege of Vera Cruz. After occupying Vera Cruz in late March 1847, Commodore Matthew Perry led an expedition into the interior from Alvarado, Mexico in mid-April. One of the vessels in the expedition was the steamer Petrita, commanded by Lieutenant Bissell. During an engagement at the towns of Tlacotalpam and Talascosa, six of Bissell's men were wounded.

Just prior to the Civil War, Bissell commanded the sloop Cyane, in the Pacific Squadron, in 1861 and 1862.

He was promoted to Captain on July 16, 1862. He was stationed at Mare Island Navy Yard in 1863 and 1864.

Promoted to Commodore on October 10, 1866, he commanded the sloop-of-war Monongahela, North Atlantic Squadron, in 1866 and 1867. On November 18, 1867, after an earthquake, Monongahela was hit by the tidal wave from she anchorage off Frederickstadt, Island of St. Croix, "over the warehouses and into the streets of the town. The return wave then landed the vessel on a coral reef at the waters edge." She was not seriously damaged by the freak incident and was subsequently refloated.

He was on special service in 1869, and was on the Examining Board in 1870. He was placed on the retired list on March 1, 1870.

Commodore Bissell died in Paris, France, February 18, 1883.

Sources: Peck, 690; Callahan; Benedict, 2:794; Eicher, 132; Knox, 321; Hemenway ii:900; Kent 1915, 125; National Almanac, 108; Wilcox; Hamersly 1870; Neeser, 2:68-69.