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Beale, Edward F.

Beale, Edward F.

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Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, (1822-1893). Formerly Lieutenant, USN

Edward Fitzgerald Beale was born in Washington, D.C., on 4 February 1822. He entered U.S. Navy service in December 1836 and received the rank of Passed Midshipman in July 1842. When war began with Mexico in 1846, Beale was serving in the frigate Congress in the eastern Pacific. After landing at San Diego, California, he distinguished himself in service ashore, taking part in battle with Mexican forces, carrying messages through enemy-held territory and crossing the continent to keep the Government informed of events in the far west. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1850, Beale resigned from the Navy in March 1852.

He then became Superintendent of Indian Affairs in California and Nevada. During a conflict with Native Americans in California, Beale was appointed a Brigadier General and held that rank during the Civil War. During much of the 1850s and 1860s he was active in survey work in the western states, later becoming a rancher in California. He was U.S. Ambassador to Austria-Hungary in 1876-1877, then returned to his ranch. Edward F. Beale died in Washington, D.C., on 22 April 1893.

The Navy has named two destroyers in honor of Edward F. Beale: USS Beale (Destroyer # 40, later DD-40), 1912-1934; and USS Beale (DD-471, later DDE-471), 1942-1969.

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