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Photo # NH 61920-A:  Captain Franklin Buchanan.  Photographed by Matthew Brady

Online Library of Selected Images:

Admiral Franklin Buchanan, Confederate States Navy, (1800-1874)

Franklin Buchanan was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on 13 September 1800. He became a U.S. Navy Midshipman in 1815, was promoted to Lieutenant in 1825, to Commander in 1841 and to Captain in 1855. Over the four and a half decades of his U.S. Navy service, Buchanan had extensive and worldwide sea duty. He commanded the sloops of war Vincennes and Germantown during the 1840s and the steam frigate Susquehanna in the Perry expedition to Japan during the 1850s. In 1845-47, he served as the first Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, followed by notable Mexican War service. In 1859-61, Captain Buchanan was the Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard.

Believing that his native state would soon leave the Union, Buchanan resigned his commission in April 1862. When Maryland did not secede, he tried to withdraw the resignation. Rebuffed by the Navy Department, which dismissed him from the service in May, he joined the Confederate States Navy, receiving a Captain's commission in September 1861. After heading the CSN's Office of Orders and Detail, Buchanan was placed in command of the defenses of the James River, Virginia. He led the pioneer ironclad Virginia in her successful attack on the Federal warships Cumberland and Congress in Hampton Roads on 8 March 1862, but was wounded in the action and had to leave the ship before her battle with USS Monitor on the following day.

In August 1862, Buchanan was promoted to the rank of Admiral and sent to command Confederate Navy forces on Mobile Bay, Alabama. He oversaw the construction of the ironclad CSS Tennessee and was on board her during her gallant battle with Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut's Union fleet on 5 August 1864. Wounded and taken prisoner, Admiral Buchanan was not exchanged until February 1865. He was on convalescent leave until the Civil War ended a few months later. Following the conflict, Buchanan lived in Maryland, then was a businessman in Mobile until 1870, when he again took up residence in Maryland. He died there on 11 May 1874.

Three U.S. Navy destroyers have been named in honor of Admiral Franklin Buchanan, including Buchanan (DD-131), Buchanan (DD-484) and Buchanan (DDG-14).

This page features all our pictures of Admiral Franklin Buchanan, CSN.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the "Online Library's" digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 51565

Lieutenant Franklin Buchanan, USN

Portrait by Rembrandt Peale, circa 1828.
Buchanan is wearing the uniform of 1820-30.

Courtesy of Mrs. Felix R. Sullivan.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 126KB; 605 x 765 pixels

Photo #: KN-848 (Color)

Lieutenant Franklin Buchanan, USN (1800-1874)

Oil on canvas (31.25" x 26.25") by Hildreth Meiere ( ?? -1961) after Rembrandt Peale, circa 1900.

Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Gift of the descendents of Franklin Buchanan, 1924.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 71KB; 495 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system as Photo # 428-KN-848

Photo #: NH 61920-A

Captain Franklin Buchanan, USN

Photograph by Matthew Brady circa 1855-1861, mounted on a carte de visite.
Some sources state that this view was taken in May 1861, immediately after his resignation from the U.S. Navy.

Collection of Captain Alfred L. Clifton, USN(MC), 1939.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 79KB; 460 x 765 pixels

Photo #: NH 61161

Captain Franklin Buchanan, USN

Photographed circa 1855-1861.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 121KB; 625 x 765 pixels

Photo #: NH 56271

Captain Franklin Buchanan, CSN

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, published in Joseph Gardner Fiveash: "Virginia-Monitor Engagement ...", Norfolk, VA, circa 1907.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 51KB; 585 x 765 pixels

Photo #: NH 56272

Captain Franklin Buchanan, CSN

Photographed in Confederate Navy uniform, during the Civil War.

Courtesy of F.B. Owen, 1929.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 130KB; 600 x 765 pixels

Photo #: NH 51119

Japanese Mission to the United States, 1860

Members of the Japanese Treaty Commission pose with officers of the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., at the time of their arrival at the Yard on 15 May 1860.
Those present are identified in Photo # NH 51119 (complete caption).
The photograph looks ESE in the northwestern part of the Navy Yard, on the site of the present Building 104 (which was built several decades later, replacing the structures seen in this view).

Collection of Rear Admiral Montgomery M. Taylor, USN.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 141KB; 740 x 540 pixels

Photo #: NH 44520-KN (Color)

Confederate Navy Leaders

Painting by Creative Arts Studio, prepared for use in an official film on Naval history, circa the early 1960s.
It depicts an imaginary meeting of some of the Confederacy's naval leaders, including (seated, left to right): Captain Franklin Buchanan, Captain Josiah Tattnall, and Commander Matthew F. Maury.
Shown standing (from left to right) are Captain George N. Hollins, Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes, and Secretary of the Navy Stephen Mallory.

Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 76KB; 740 x 350 pixels


In addition to the views shown above, our Photo # NH 45978 features a small picture of Franklin Buchanan.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the "Online Library's" digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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Page made 16 September 2000
Link added 20 November 2001