Letter to a Future Admiral

Recently Medic purchased a group of old letters from his friend David Cox, owner of Main Street Arts and Antiques, in Gloucester, MA. Among the letters was this hidden gem:

Wikipedia relates the following: Henry E. Lackey was born in Norfolk, Virginia on 23 June 1876, the son of Navy engineer. Lackey rose in the ranks to become a rear admiral in the United States Navy, where he served in various capacities as an engineer, inspector, navigator and line officer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In 1905, Lackey served on the USS Galveston (note the address on the envelope) which was commissioned in February 1905, and in June, sailed for the Asiatic Station via Europe. In WWI he was awarded the Navy Cross for “exceptionally handling and testing of ordnance material with which that station was called upon to deal, so rapidly as to maintain a constant flow of absolutely necessary material to the service.”

Lackey held numerous naval commands throughout the world and retired from the US Navy on 1 July 1940, due to deteriorating health. He settled in Temple, New Hampshire, and died in Peterborough, New Hampshire, on 15 October 1952. He is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, District of Columbia.


The letters beneath Chas. De Grave Sells’ name indicate his qualifications as a civil engineer.