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Edward D. Taussig papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSC-263

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of six and one-half boxes that document Taussig’s naval career from 1865 to 1919. The papers are divided into seven series: Naval Orders, Correspondence, Journals, Reports, Newspaper Clippings, Photographs, and Miscellany.

Series I, Naval Orders, consists of orders dating from October 1, 1875 to November 17, 1909. They are arranged chronologically and include letters of assignment and detachment.

Series II, Correspondence, letters, both sent and received, date from 1865 to 1919. This series is arranged chronologically. Correspondence received, 1886–1909, includes his management of the Navy’s exhibit at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, in 1893, letters of congratulations, naval assignments, disciplinary issues, matters of pay and compensation, and invitations. Letters sent, 1865–1919, include a letter to CDR Stephen B. Luce regarding Taussig’s lateness at recitation, U.S. Naval Academy, October 14, 1865, the taking of Wake Island in 1899, memorandum and letters regarding the USS Bennington and his detachment from the ship, his cruise in USS Yorktown, the selection process, his recommendations regarding alterations to destroyers, his command of the naval unit at Columbia University, 1918–1919, and correspondence regarding his son Paul’s application to the U.S. Naval Academy, 1892–1893. The series contains Paul’s letters to his parents from school in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Naval Academy, 1892–1894, as well.

Series III, Journals, contain Paul Taussig’s journal of his summer cruise at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1893 and and an account book, 1892–1894. Paul died of appendicitis in 1894 while at the Naval Academy.

Series IV, Reports, include the programme of landing at Daquirí, Cuba in 1898, observations from the USS Yorktown regarding the attack on Tientsin, China in July 1900, and conditions in Chefoo, China, June 1, 1900–July 12, 1900, the steamer Antonio and the expedition to Infanta, Luzon, PI, October 23 and 24, 1900, a survey of Philippine waters, 1900, the USS Bennington and the USS Yorktown, May 15, 1901 and the general plan of Las Palmas, August 21, 1905, by A. G. Berry, Commander-in-Chief.

Newspaper clippings, 1894–1921, Series V, includes the obituaries of Paul Taussig and Edward Taussig, and articles from various newspapers regarding Admiral Taussig. One folder contains copies and the other the originals.

Photographs, Series VI, houses scenes of Apra, Cabas island, Agana, St. Louis de Apra, Guam, the entrance to Panay, Sampans in Hong Kong, unidentified personnel, USS Indiana, officers of the USS Bennington, 1898, and west of Quarters A, Norfolk Navy Yard, n.d.

Series VII, Miscellany, includes Senate Report 233 and House Report 531, memoranda from Admiral George Dewey, May 1 and 7, 1898 regarding the taking of the Naval Station at Cavite and his arrival in Manila, a poem, grade reports and invitations of Paul Taussig, 1893–1894, receipt of items from the Lorca Linda, ca. 1900, lists of property and items stored, and a birthday address.

Folio items include a journal of the cruise of the USS Narragansett, 1870–1873, a watch, quarter and station bill from the USS Trenton, 1887–1880 and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and photographs from the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1891–1893, miscellaneous prints, photographs and a certificate.


  • 1870 - 1919


Conditions Governing Access

Access is open to all researchers, unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Material in this collection is in the public domain, unless otherwise noted.

Biographical Note

Edward D. Taussig was born in St. Louis, Missouri on November 20, 1847 to Charles and Anna Taussig, who emigrated from Austria in 1840. His father was a wool broker. Taussig entered the Naval Academy in 1863 and graduated in 1867. His schooling was interrupted by the Civil War, where he had duty in the USS Macedonian. From 1868 to 1870 he was assigned to various ships of the Pacific Squadron. Midshipman Taussig was in the USS Wateree during the earthquake in Arica, Chile in 1868 where he assisted in disaster relief. Subsequently, he served under Admiral George Dewey in USS Narragansett surveying the California coast.

Taussig was in Newport, Rhode Island from July to October 1874 where he received instruction at the Naval Torpedo Station. He served with the Panama Inter-Oceanic Canal Survey in late 1874 and 1875, then took command of USS Relief at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., where he also briefly headed the Department of Yards and Docks.

Taussig served in USS Juanita and USS Monongahela in 1876 and 1877. He transferred to USS Trenton, flagship of the European Squadron, and served there until 1880. His next three year assignment was at the U.S. Naval Academy, followed by command of the McArthur and the Hassler, coast survey steamers that conducted hydrographic surveys along the California coast.

In 1886 and 1887, he was in the USS Jamestown, a training ship. For the next three years he was assigned to the Bureau of Navigation and had additional duty at the library and records office. In 1891, Taussig was involved in managing the government exhibit at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He remained in that post until 1893. Following that, he was executive officer in USS Atlanta, USS Richmond and USS Modnadnock until 1896.

Taussig served in the Hydrographic Office and as Hydrographic Inspector for the Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1897. In 1898 he took command of USS Bennington and went to Hawaii and Guam. On January 17, 1899, he took possession of Wake Island for the United States. After that, he returned to Guam where signal stations were set up and a port survey was conducted. The ship was then ordered to the Philippines where insurgents were trying to wrest control from U.S. troops.

After being detached from the Bennington he became inspector of the Thirteenth Lighthouse District. In June 1900 he took command of USS Yorktown on the Asiatic Station. In 1901, he returned to the United States as ordnance officer at the Boston Navy Yard.

In 1902, he took command of USS Enterprise, then served as captain of the Navy Yard at Pensacola, Florida. Taussig then served in the USS Independence, the USS Massachusetts and the USS Indiana.

Taussig was named captain of the Yard, Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia and reported for duty with the General Court Martial at Philadelphia. In 1907, he was assigned as commandant to the Navy Yard and Station, Norfolk, Virginia. He retired as a rear admiral on November 20, 1909, after serving in the navy for forty-six years. During World War I, Taussig was called to active duty for five months as commandant of the Naval Unit, Columbia University. He was relieved of active duty in January 1919.

Rear Admiral Taussig died on January 19, 1921 at the Naval Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island. His son, Joseph K. Taussig, served in the Navy for forty-six years and retired as a vice admiral.

The admiral’s medals include the Civil War Medal, the Spanish Campaign Medal, the Philippine Campaign Medal, and the World War I Victory Medal. A destroyer (DD 746) was named in his honor and sponsored by his granddaughter, Ellen Taussig, in 1944.


6 boxes

Language of Materials



Official letters and naval orders, 1875-1909; Scrapbook of newspaper clippings, 1893; Journal of the cruise of USS Narragansett, 1870-1873; Watch, Quarters and Station Book, USS Trenton; Subject file regarding command of the Naval Unit, Columbia University, 1918-1919; Photographs; Newspaper clippings, 1908-1910; Miscellany, including certificate, obituary, and reports. Papers of Joseph Taussig, including letter, 1909; Grades from U.S. Naval Academy, 1895, 1897 and two U.S. Naval Academy Athletic programs, 1898. Papers of Paul Taussig including letters regarding his application for admission to the U.S. Naval Academy, 1891-1892; Letters sent, 1889, 1891-1893; U.S. Naval Academy grades, 1894; An account of the summer cruise, 1893, and newspaper clippings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers of Edward D. Taussig were presented to the Naval War College Foundation for deposit in the Naval Historical Collection by his granddaughter, Mrs. William Sherman of Newport, Rhode Island, in 1996, by George Philip of South Freeport, Maine, his great-grandson, in 2005, and by his great-granddaughter, Mrs. John McCain of Newport, Rhode Island, in 2006.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Naval Historical Collection Repository

US Naval War College
686 Cushing Rd
Newport RI 02841 US