John Mellen Brady Clitz
Rear Admiral, United States Navy
Mellen Brady Clitz, naval officer, born in Sackett's Harbor, New York,
1 December, 1821. His father, Captain John Clitz, distinguished himself
at Fort Erie, 17 September, 1814, and died in command of Fort Mackinac,
6 November, 1836.
The son entered the Navy as a Midshipman in 1837, became passed Midshipman in 1843, and was on the bomb-brig "Hecla" at the capitulation of Vera Cruz and the capture of Tuxpan in the Mexican war. He was made Lieutenant, 6 April, 1851; commander, 16 July, 1863, and commanded at different times the blockading steamers "Penobscot," "Juniata," and "Osceola." He was in both attacks on Fort Fisher, and was recommended for promotion in Admiral Porter's commendatory dispatch of 28 January, 1865.
He was commissioned Captain, 25 July, 1866, did ordnance duty at the Brooklyn navy-yard in 1870, and was made Commodore on 28 December, 1872. He was promoted to Rear Admiral, 13 March, 1880, commanded the Asiatic station, and was placed on the retired list in 1884. He died on 9 October 1897 and was buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.
His brother, Henry Boynton, soldier, born in Sackett's Harbor, New York, 4 July, 1824, was graduated at the United States Military Academy in 1845. He entered the 7th infantry, served during the war with Mexico, and was brevetted First Lieutenant for gallant conduct at Cerro Gordo. From 1848 till 1855 he was assistant instructor of infantry tactics at West Point. He then served on various frontier posts until the beginning of the civil war, having been made Captain in the 3d infantry, 6 December, 1858. While on leave in 1859 and 1860 he travelled extensively in Europe. He took part in the defense of Fort Pickens. Florida, in 1861, became Major on 14 May of that year, and was engaged in the peninsular campaign at Yorktown, where he was wounded, and in the battle of Gaines's Mills he was twice wounded and taken prisoner. He was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel, 27 June, 1862, for his gallantry at Gaines's Mills, and after a month in Libby prison, was exchanged, and made commandant at West Point, where he remained till 1864, afterward doing garrison duty till the close of the war. He was made Lieutenant Colonel of the 6th infantry, 4 November, 1863, and brevetted colonel and brigadier-general, 13 March, 1865, for his services during the war. After that time he commanded at various posts. He was made colonel of the 10th infantry, 22 February, 1869, and placed on the retired list, 1 July, 1885, at his own request, having been in the service forty years.
CLITZ, J M B
Posted: 15 December 2003 Updated: 3 October 2004 Updated: 17 September 2005
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003