George Nichols Hollins
(1799-1878)

Captain

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.  http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html

Commodore George Nichols Hollins was born at Baltimore, September 20, 1799. He entered the navy of the United States as midshipman in 1814, served on the Erie in her attempt to break the British blockade of Chesapeake bay, and was subsequently transferred to the President, where he served under Stephen Decatur until captured at Bermuda, where he was held until peace was established. His career thus gallantly begun, continued to be a conspicuous one. In the Algerian war of 1815 he served under Decatur with such merit as to be presented a sword in recognition of his gallantry. Subsequently he was on duty upon the Guerriere, Columbus, Franklin, and Washington, and commanded an East India merchantman for a time. He was promoted lieutenant in 1828, commander in 1841, and captain U. S. N. in 1855. In the latter year he bombarded Graytown in the interests of American residents. In 1861 Captain Hollins resigned his commission, upon which the war department refused to accept the resignation and ordered his arrest. But he eluded the effort made to this end, and in March, 1861, was at Montgomery, then the Confederate capital, where he met Semmes, Tattnall, Brent, and many other naval officers, for consultation with the committees of the Confederate Congress on the means to provide a navy for the new government. Hollins became a commander in the navy of the Confederate States, was assigned to very important duties, and quickly attracted attention by his clever capture, on June 29, 1861, of the steamer St. Nicholas in the Potomac river. On July 10th the naval defenses of the James river were placed under his command, and on July 31st he was put in charge of the naval station at New Orleans, where he defeated the Federal blockading squadron in the following October. Being appointed flagofficer, in December he took a fleet up the Mississippi river to assist in the defense of the works at Columbus, Ky. In April, 1862, he was called back to New Orleans by the appearance of the enemy in force, but before the fall of the city he was appointed to the court of inquiry on the destruction of the Virginia. After the war he resided at Baltimore, and died there January 18, 1878.