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Edward Francis Stanley was born on March 25, 1836 in Belfast, Ireland. There is no information available on how or when Edward migrated from Ireland, but it’s assumed he followed the flood of immigrants who left as a result of the Irish famine. Edward was an experienced seaman prior to the Civil War and enlisted in the United States Navy at Havana, Cuba,  under the assumed the name of Frank Lawrence; signing aboard the USS “Santiago de Cuba” in November, 1861. He served as a seaman aboard the USS “Santiago De Cuba”, “Monongahela”, “Nipsic”, “Franklin” “James Adger” and the “Princeton” before being discharged in December, 1864 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One report, however, states he deserted on April 29, 1865.

The “Santiago de Cuba” was a wooden, brigantine-rigged, side wheel steamer built in 1861 at Brooklyn, New York, purchased by the Navy on  September 6, 1861 at New York City and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on  November 5, 1861. She was then ordered to Havana, Cuba, "to protect legitimate commerce and to suppress communications and traffic with or by the insurgents"; arriving at Havana on  November 17th; where Stanley signed aboard.

In December 1861 while under the command of Captain D.B. Ridgley and aboard the USS “Santiago de Cuba”, he participated in capturing the Confederate schooner “Victoria” with a load of cotton from the Confederate States, some 90 miles west of Point Isabel, Texas and sent it to Galveston, Texas. Four days later, she overtook British schooner, “Eugenia Smith”, but released it; finding no evidence of blockade running. The “Santiago de Cuba” then captured the Confederate sloop “O.K.” in February, off Cedar Key, Florida and in March drove a blockade runner ashore. The “Santiago de Cuba” next overtook and captured the schooner “Mersey” out of  Charleston, South Carolina on  April 26, 1862 and the “Maria” on April 30th and on May 27th the Confederate schooner “Lucy C. Holmes”; both transporting cargos of southern cotton. She then seized the blockade runner “Columbia” on  August 3rd and the “Lavinia” on the 27th ; both off Abaco in the Bahama Islands, off Florida. She followed up with the capture of the Steamer “Columbia” on August 3rd, 1863 which carried a cargo of munitions and the schooner “Lavinia” with a load of turpentine on August 27th. The side-wheel steamer “Britannia” and the blockade runner “Lizzie” fell victim to the “Santiago” next in 1863, and in 1864 after capturing the infamous Confederate blockade runner “A.D. Vance” and the “Lucy”,  the “Santiago” served gallantly at Fort Fisher.

The “Santiago de Cuba” was assigned to the "Flying Squadron," in September, specifically organized to seek out and capture the Confederate commerce raiders the “Alabama” and the “Florida” who were destroying large numbers of Union vessels.  The squadron captured a number of other vessels but never found the Southern warships they were seeking.

On June 21, 1863, the “Santiago de Cuba” captured the  “Victory” off Palmetto Point, Eleuthera Island, followed by the  steamer “Britannia" on the 25th in the same area and captured the steamer, “Lizzie”, east of the Florida coast and sent it to Key West.She sailed north for repairs in late 1863 and was decommissioned on December 30, 1864. After being overhauled  she was recommissioned on  June 6, 1864 and resumed her duties. From September through November the “Santiago de Cuba”captured  the “Vance”and  the “Lucy”and was then assigned Admiral Porters attack on Fort Fisher protecting troops as they went ashore. After the fall of Fort Fisher the “Santiago de Cuba” transported the wounded to Norfolk, Virginia. She was decommissioned on  June 17, 1865 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The USS “Monongahela”, on which Stanley served in 1863, was a steam screw sloop built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, commissioned in January 1863. Her first service was on the lower Mississippi River.  From mid-1863 to the end of the Civil War, the “Monongahela” participated in the Gulf of Mexico blockade, ramming the Confederate ironclad “Tennessee” in the Battle of Mobile Bay, on  August 5, 1864. She eventually became a training ship, then a stores ship at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where she was destroyed by fire on March 17, 1908.

The “Nipsic”, Stanley’s third ship, was commissioned on September 2, 1863 at Portsmouth Navy Yard. She arrived off Morris Island, South Carolina in November 1863 to join in the blockade of Charleston, where she served until the end of the Civil War. On  June 27, 1864, she captured the schooner “Julia” as the blockade-runner attempted to enter port. Such service contributed largely to the Confederate defeat by closing the South’s economy to all foreign contact.

The fourth “Franklin” and Stanley’s fourth ship,  a screw frigate, was launched on  September 17, 1864 but wasn’t  commissioned until June 1867.  His service aboard her was before she was actually commissioned.

The James Adger, his fifth ship, was a side wheel steamer built at New York City in 1851, purchased at New York from Spofford, Tileston & Co. on  July 26, 1861, and commissioned at New York Navy Yard on September 20, 1861.  She was an active ship having sailed to Ireland, served in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, commanded the blockade of Charleston, South Carolina, served around the Carolina’s capturing a number of ships, became the flagship for Rear Admiral DuPont and after being decommissioned and recommissiond on June 17, 1864, served in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron until the end of the war.

Six United States Naval ships have borne the name “Princeton”, named after the town of Princeton, New Jersey, but the one Waters served on, and which was his last ship assignment,  was the second “Princeton”. The second Princeton was a transport and training ship, launched in 1851 and commissioned in 1852. Waters may have actually trained aboard her, but was transferred aboard  her again shortly before  he was discharged.

An investigation of U.S. Naval pension records reveal that Edward Francis Stanley did in fact use the name Frank Lawrence instead of his own. After the wars end, Stanley served as a merchant seaman, visiting ports in Australia on six different occasions from March 1873 until he was discharged on February 7, 1876 at Melbourne, Victoria. Remaining in Australia, Stanley met and married Mary Ann Chilton at Echuca, Victoria on the Murray River, where they had two children; Daisy born in 1879 and Edward, born in 1881. By the year 1901 Stanley was living in Boulder City in the eastern goldfields of Western Australia, but by 1907 had moved to the city of Perth.

Edward Francis Stanley died at 73 years of age at Cottesloe Beach, Claremont in Western Australia on February 27, 1908 and was buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia; in Anglican DA 432. His wife Mary Ann lived another twenty years, receiving a widow’s pension of $40 (US) a month from the Navy, until she too died, on June 26, 1931 at Bunbury, Western Australia and was buried with Edward.


Birth, Marriage and Death Records, Victoria, Australia

Daniela Johnson, Karrakatta, Perth, Western Australia

CWSSS, Nat. Park Service

Heidi Myers, Naval Historical Center

 Karrakatta Cemetery Records

 National Archives, Washington, D.C.

 Navy Department Library , Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, DC


 “Photographic History of the Civil War”, Robert S. Lanier, 1912

 U.S. Naval Historical Center

 Western Australia Historical Groups


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