Acting Ensign Walter Lawrence Titcomb

Acting ENS Walter Lawrence Titcomb was born May 1841 [3] in Maine and was appointed an acting ensign on 12 October 1863 [1].

Titcomb served aboard the U.S.S. Owasco from the date of his appointment. In late summer of 1864, the Owasco was laid up at the Pensacola Navy Yard (now called Naval Air Station Pensacola) for repairs that were estimated to last until October. Since his ship would not be participating in Farragut's impending fight to take Mobile Bay, Titcomb volunteered his services and was sent to the Tecumseh along with a number of other Owasco sailors to augment the Tecumseh's depleted crew.[2]

Shortly before the battle, Titcomb sent a letter home to his father, civilian mariner Captain Emerson Titcomb, that would be his last:[3]

"Farragut is about to attack Mobile: he has not men enough now; and there will be hot work before he gets in. As 'The Owasco' is at the Navy Yard for repairs, and will be unfit for duty until October, I have offered my services for the impending fight, and asked to be transferred temporarily to some vessel that will take an active part in the engagement. I came out here to fight for the cause; and I wish now to do all in my power to advance it; and I will never go home and have it said that I lay idle at the Navy Yard while gallant men were struggling to take Mobile. Have I done right, father?"

Titcomb was aboard the Tecumseh during the Battle of Mobile Bay and was reported lost with her. [4], [5]. He was twenty-three years old and had been in the Navy for just under a year. He left behind a wife and an infant son.


Wife: Ella Louise Dwight Titcomb
Son: Walter Dwight Titcomb (born 1 November 1863)

Awards & Memorials

Name listed on Civil War cenotaph in Hallowell Village Cemetery, Hallowell, Maine

Alternate Spellings of Name


References and Sources

[1] Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military and Naval in the Service of the United States on the Thirtieth September 1863 (1864)

[2] "Various Naval Matters" Army and Navy Journal, August 27, 1864 p13

[3] Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight The History of the Descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass, Volume 2 (1874)

[4] "Navy Gazette: List of Deaths in the Navy of the United States, reported to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, during the week ending December 3d, 1864." Army and Navy Journal, 10 Dec. 1864, p. 253.

[5] Officers and Enlisted Men who Died in the Active Service of the U.S. Navy 1776-1885