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.
“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
“Maria” on April 30th and on May 27th the
Confederate schooner “Lucy C. Holmes”; both transporting cargos
of southern cotton.
then seized the blockade runner “Columbia” on August 3rd
and the “Lavinia” on the 27th ; both off Abaco in the
Bahama Islands, off Florida.
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
“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.
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.
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
was a transport and training ship, launched in 1851 and
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.