From The Baltimore Sun, November 17, 1925

CONFEDERATE NAVY VETERAN SUCUMBS HERE

Lieut. Arthur SinclairTook Part In Battle Of Merrimac and Monitor, Was On Alabama When It Was Sunk
He Also Accompanied Perry On Expedition To Japan

Lieut. Arthur Sinclair, formerly of the Confederate Navy, who took part in the battle of the Merrimac with the Monitor and who is believed to have been the last survivor of the Perry expedition which brought about the opening up of Japan to the world, died yesterday at his home in the Chadford Apartments, Roland Park.

Lieutenant Sinclair was from a well-known family of naval officers. His father was Captain Arthur Sinclair and his grandfather was one of the first officers to attain the rank of commodore in the United States Navy. Both Lieutenant Sinclair and his father were serving aboard the Supply when she visited Japan with Commodore Perry.

Included In Shore Party. ;At the time of this expedition Commodore Perry asked in vain for several weeks for an interview with the Mikado. Finally he received word that he would be received providing he would withdraw all but one small vessel for a period of six months and then return. The American officer accepted the terms on condition that during the six months a groups composed chiefly of scientists should be allowed to move about the country. This stipulation was agreed to by the Japanese and Lieutenant Sinclair was included in the party that remained ashore during this period.

;Both Lieutenant Sinclair and his father served with distinction in the Confederate Navy. His father was killed in the Civil War. Several uncles and cousins also fought on the side of the Confederacy.

Historic Incident Cited.

Besides serving on the Merrimac at the time of her historic engagement with the Monitor, Lieutenant Sinclair was with that ship when, as he used to say, "she threw a scare into Washington."

This incident is cited by Henry William Elson’s History of the United States" in the following words:

"The news of this fearful day’s work (when the Merrimac the fifty-gun frigate Congress and the thirty-gun sloop Cumberland) was flashed northward, and it created consternation. Mr. Lincoln called a Cabinet meeting to discuss the new terror.

Great Anxiety Prevailed.

Later Lieutenant Sinclair was assigned as junior lieutenant and navigation officer on the Alabama and was with that ship throughout her eventful cruise in European waters when she wrought such havoc with Union commerce. When she finally was sunk, in June, 1864, by the U.S.S. Kearsarge in the English Channel, Lieutenant Sinclair was in the water for a considerable period before being rescued and taken to England.

Made Home Here After The War.

After the Civil War he made his home in Baltimore, and was in active business here until 1880, when he retired. Except for a short period, when he lived in Fairfax county, Virginia, Lieutenant Sinclair lived here continuously for the last sixty years.

His health remained unimpaired until about a year ago, when it was necessary for him to undergo an operation.

He was a native of Virginia, having been born in Norfolk in 1837. He married Miss Drusilla Willett, of Baltimore, in 1857. He is survived by a daughter, Miss Lelia Imogene Sinclair, with whom he lived, and a son, Arthur Sinclair, of New York.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 P.M. tomorrow at Christ Protestant Episcopal Church. Burial will be in Greenmount Cemetery.

Articles

Home