(1812-82) Entered the navy as a midshipman in 1828. He was commissioned lieutenant in 1840, and saw service in the Seminole War, 1840-43. Commissioned commander in 1855. He was ordered to superintend the building of the "Benton" class ironclads on the Mississippi River in May 1861. In November of that same year, he joined the Port Royal expedition and hoisted the American flag on Fort Walker after its capture. In 1862, he commanded an expedition on the James River leading the attack on Fort Darling. His vessel was hit 129 times during the engagement and 2/3 of his crew were killed or wounded. He was commissioned captain, July 16, 1862. On June 17, 1863, while in command of the monitor "Weehawken," he fought the powerful Confederate ironclad "Atlanta," which he captured in Warsaw Sound, Ga. Congress gave Rodgers their official vote of thanks for his zeal and ability, and he was promoted to commodore to rank from the date of the battle. In 1864-65, he commanded the monitor, "Dictator." Rodgers then commanded the Boston Navy Yard until 1869. He was promoted to rear admiral in December 1869, and given command of the Asiatic Squadron. In 1871, he commanded the American squadron in the United States expedition to Korea. Returning to the United States, he assumed command of Mare Island and later served as President of the United States Naval Institute from 1879 to 1881. Rear Admiral Rodgers died in Washington, D.C. on May 5, 1882, while serving as the Superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory.
Signature with Rank: 4 x 1 1/8, mounted to 4 3/4 x 1 3/4 card, in ink, John Rodgers, Commander, U.S.N.