"Capt. T. A. M. Craven"

It can be scarcely be doubted, from the tenor of the latest news from Mobile, that Capt. Craven lost his life in the destruction of his monitor, the Tecumseh, during Farragut's passage of the harbor forts. Capt. Craven was a brother of Alfred Craven, Esq., Engineer of the Croton Department, and of Captain T. T. Craven of the Niagara, now on duty in the English and French waters. He was native of New Hampshire and one of the best boat officers of the U.S. Navy. He was a skillful hydrographer, and stood high in the esteem of Superintendent Bache, of the Coast Survey, having surveyed New York harbor and various other localities. At the outbreak of the rebellion Capt. Craven in the Mohawk, was at Key West, and was the means of preserving that post and the important fortifications Fort Tyler, and Fort Jefferson, at the Tortugas, from passing into the hands of the rebels. Upon hearing of the plans on foot to seize these forts, he instantly notified the parties concerned that he would open fire upon any person attempting anything of the kind. He kept parties of his crew from time to time on shore, and more than one made the secessionists look ridiculous by attending their meetings with his men and voting down their rebellious resolutions. He was prompt in notifying Isaac Toncey, Buchanan's Secretary of the Navy, of the rebel designs at Key West, and that traitor instantly responded by ordering him away to the coast of Cuba, so as to leave the rebels a clear field. Capt. Craven went, took two Slavers, and came back so quickly that the Secretary and the other rebels together had no time to perfect their scheme. He was subsequently in command of the gunboat Tuscarora, in which he did good service, in blockading the Sumter, at Gibraltar and compelling the rebels to abandon that vessel. At his own request he was subsequently placed in command of the Tecumseh, in which he appears to have met his fate standing bravely at his post, along with his ship. No braver or better or more loyal officer is left in our great navy that Capt. Craven; whose steady goodness and bravery and sense were joined with a modesty so sensitive that when called on for a speech on a public occasion, he could not say a word, and when at the Sanitary Fair he was called out that he might furnish his autograph was absolutely so discomposed at the attention as to be unable to write.

[return to newspaper articles]