September 26: Thomas Scott Fillebrown (1884)

Commodore Thomas S. Fillebrown, at the time of his death, had served in the U.S. Navy faithfully for over forty years. He served with distinction during the Civil War, and during the time he was in the Navy he saw about twenty-four years of active sea service. During his entire naval career he was noted for his unflinching integrity in the discharge of his duties. Fillebrown was born in Georgetown, D.C. and had always considered Washington his home. He entered the Navy in 1841 at age 17 and was present in all the naval operations on the Gulf coast during the Mexican War. In 1847 he attended the Naval Academy and was promoted to passed Midshipman. Until the Civil War, he was alternately at sea and the Naval Observatory in Washington. While in D.C., he became associated with Epiphany. In 1856, he was married to Mary E. Potts; in 1858 he was baptized; in 1858 and 1861, his two sons were baptized. All of these sacraments were performed by the Rev. Charles Hall, Epiphany’s rector at the time.

At the outbreak of the war in 1861 Fillebrown was attached to the steam frigate Roanoke off the Atlantic coast. As a Lieutenant Commander in 1862 he was assigned to duty at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In May 1864 he was in command of the ironclad Passaic in her operations against Fort Sumter. He was returned to the Naval Observatory at Washington having done meritorious service on each of the many vessels on which he served during the war. As Commander, Mr. Fillebrown was attached to the Hydrographic Office in Washington. For the next two years he was Chief of the Bureau of Equipment. As Captain he was Executive Officer of the Norfolk Navy Yard. His last duty was as Commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where Fillebrown died in 1884. Had he lived two years longer he would have been retired as Rear Admiral. Fillebrown’s funeral took place with naval honors from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The services were conducted by his old friend and rector from Epiphany, the Rev. Charles Hall, now at Holy Trinity Church, Brooklyn.

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