Biography of Levin M. Powell
Prominent Persons in Virginia, Biographies

Powell, Levin Minn, was born at Winchester, Virginia, April 21, 1803, son of Alfred Harrison and Sidney (Thruston) Powell; grandson of Col. Levin and Sarah (Harrison) Powell; great grandson of William and Eleanor (Peyton) Powell. His grandfather, Levin (1737-1810), raised and equipped the Sixteenth Virginia Regiment; served through the Valley Forge campaign, and was a Federalist representative in the Sixth United States congress, 1749-1801. Levin Minn Powell was appointed midshipman in the United States navy, March 1, 1817; assigned to the Franklin, and was engaged in suppressing piracy in the Mediterranean and China seas, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. He was promoted lieutenant, April 28, 1826; commanded several expeditions against the Indians in the Seminole war; was wounded in a fight with them on the Jupiter river in January, 1837; received the thanks of the navy department for his services in Florida, and commanded two surveying expeditions on the eastern coasts and harbors of the Gulf of Mexico. He was promoted commander, June 24, 1843; was made assistant inspector of ordnance in October, 1843, and continued on ordnance duty until 1849. He commanded the sloop John Adams on the coast of South America and Africa, 1849-50; served as executive officer of the United States navy yard at Washington, D. C., 1851-54, and commanded the flagship Potomac on a cruise in the North Atlantic and West Indies, 1854-56. He was promoted captain, September 14, 1855; served as inspector of contract steamers in 1858, and as captain of the frigate Potomac, in the Gulf squadron, 1861-62, having been retired December 21, 1861, six months before he left his ship. He was promoted commodore on the retired list, July 16, 1862; served as inspector of the third lighthouse district, 1862-66; on special service, 1867-72, and was promoted rear admiral on the retired list, May 13, 1869. He died in Washington, D. C., January 15, 1885.

Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography
Volume III
By: Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL. D.
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
New York 1915

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