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"D" is for Drayton, Percival [1812-1865]

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"D" is for Drayton, Percival [1812-1865]. Naval Officer. Born in Charleston, Drayton’s family moved to Philadelphia in the 1830s. At fifteen, he was appointed a midshipman in the US Navy. Eventually he commanded a variety of vessels, including the Mississippi, the navy’s third steam-powered warship. In 1861, he held the rank of commander. While many southern-born officers resigned their commissions, Drayton chose to remain with the Union. In October 1861 he commanded a ship in the Port Royal Expedition. Drayton's performance won him a promotion and the command of the USS Passaic—one of the new Monitor-class ironclads. In August 1864 He commanded Admiral Farragut’s flagship, the USS Hartford at the battle of Mobile Bay. It was to Percival Drayton that Farragut shouted the command famously associated with that action: "Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!"

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.