Lead: The Civil War brought the naval career of Franklin Buchanan to an abrupt halt.

 Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: In the annals of the United States Navy, the service of few officers equals in luster that of Franklin Buchanan. A native of Maryland he went to sea when he was fourteen years old. When the Southern states seceded in 1861, the sixty-year-old Buchanan already had a distinguished and memorable career. He planned the organization of the United States Naval Academy and from 1845 served as its first superintendent. He was executive commander of the Navy's first major steam-powered warship, the Mississippi, and commanded the flagship of Commodore Oliver C. Perry in the 1853 expedition to Japan. On that voyage Buchanan acted as chief negotiator in the talks which helped open Japan to Western commerce. At the outbreak of hostilities before the Civil War, he was in charge of the Washington Navy Yard and watched with apprehension the departure for Confederate service of officers at whose side he had served for decades.

Listen to Segment