John Mercer was born in Fort Brooke, Florida back in 1826 to George and Lucy. He attended the United States Naval Academy in 1847, commissioned as a lieutenant in 1855. His first assignment was at the United States Naval Observatory charting the stars.
One of his other assignments was to take soundings to determine the shape of the ocean’s bottom. He served in the North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition on the USS Vincennes, he was also in charge of the astronomical department. During the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate Navy. He was instrumental in the conversion of the USS Merrimack into the ironclad CSS Virginia. He also helped develop a new rifled fun for the Navy that became known (in a moment). In 1863, he was promoted to Chief of the Confederate Navy’s Bureau of Ordinance until the end of the war. After the war, he became a professor of physics and astronomy at the Virginia Military Institute, retiring in 1899
What you may not know about John Mercer Brooke is that he was instrumental in the creation of the Transatlantic Cable. Of course, you’ve figured it out by not that rifle was of course the Brooke rifle. There is more but my word limit is up.
Until tomorrow give someone the free gift of a smile