Captain William P. Potter, USS Vermont

William Potter was born on May 10, 1850 in Whitehall, NY and entered the Naval Academy as Cadet-Midshipmen in September 1865.  For his training cruise he was attached to the USS Sabiine for cruises to European and Mediterranean ports.

He was promoted to Ensign in 1870 and assigned to the USS Franklin, Flagship of Rear Admiral Boggs, European Squadron.  In While aboard the Franklin he achieved Master and then transferred to the USS Hartford on Asiatic Squadron.  In 1874 he made Lieutenant and transferred to the staff of the Naval Academy where he stayed for 4-years.  He was next assigned to the USS Powhatan in 1879 which was the flagship for Rear Admiral Wyman, Commander North Atlantic Station.  He follow the Admiral when he switched is flag to the USS Tennessee.  

In 1881 he served as an instructor in the Department of Ordnance then transferred to the USS Dale which trained Naval Academy cadets and stayed there till 1884.  His next assignment was to the USS Lancaster which was assigned to the South Atlantic Squadron.  In the next two years he was appointed to Flag Lieutenant to Rear Admiral Gherardi, Commander North Atlantic Station on the USS Philadelphia.  Afterward he went back to the Naval Academy, Head of the Department of English, and a promotion to Lieutenant-Commander, waiting over 20-years.

During the Spanish-American  War he was Executive Officer of the USS New York which took part in the final phase of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba in July 1898 for which he was decorated with the Sampson Medal.  After serving ashore, he received order to command the newly commissioned battleship Vermont, serving in command until arriving in the Philippines where he was promoted to Rear Admiral and given command of Second Division, then later Fourth Division.  After returning home he has assigned to the Secretary of the Navy to reorganize the Navy Department.  He retired in 1912 after 42-years of active service and died in June of 1917 at home in Whitehall, New York.  He was 67.



autograph letter from rear admiral potter

This is another autograph acquired by C. Gallup of Coxsackie-on-Hudson, New York.  His request was sent on February 23, 1909 after the fleet returned.  The letter was returned with the following autograph, "W. P. Potter, Rear Admiral U.S. Navy, Commanding Fourth Division, U.S. Atlantic Fleet"



the lincoln Daily star

This card is from a series that was made to give out for free with delivery of the newspaper.  Most of the cards I have collected were from the Lincoln Daily Star, this one showing Captain William P. Potter with the USS Vermont.  The photograph is copyrighted by Enrique Muller.



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