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Jones, Catesby ap R.

Jones, Catesby ap R.

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Commander, Confederate States Navy, (1821-1877)

Catesby ap Roger Jones was born in Fairfield, Virginia, on 15 April 1821. Appointed a Midshipman in the Navy in 1836, he served extensively at sea, receiving promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in 1849. During the 1850s, Jones was involved in development work on Navy weapons and served as ordnance officer on the new steam frigate Merrimack when she began active service in 1856.

When Virginia left the Union in April 1861, Lieutenant Jones resigned his U.S. Navy commission, joining the Virginia Navy soon thereafter and becoming a Confederate Navy Lieutenant in June. In 1861-62, he was employed in converting the steam frigate Merrimack into an ironclad and was the ship's Executive Officer when she was commissioned as CSS Virginia. When her Commanding Officer, Captain Franklin Buchanan, was wounded in the 8 March 1862 attack on USS Cumberland and Congress, Jones temporarily took command, leading the ship during her historic engagement with USS Monitor on the following day. Later in 1862, he commanded a shore battery at Drewry's Bluff, on the James River, and the gunboat Chattahoochee while she was under construction at Columbus, Georgia.

Promoted to the rank of Commander in April 1863, Jones was sent to Selma, Alabama, to take charge of the Ordnance Works there. For the rest of the Civil War, he supervised the manufacture of badly-needed heavy guns for the Confederate armed forces. With the end of the conflict in May 1865, Jones went into private business. After working in South America, he made his residence in Selma, where he lost his life at the hands of a neighbor on 20 June 1877.

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