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Benjamin Peffer Lamberton

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(February 25, 1844 - June 9, 1912)

Rank Date
Midshipman September 21, 1861
Graduated Naval Academy November 22, 1864
Ensign November 1, 1866
Master/Lieutenant Junior Grade December 1, 1866
Lieutenant March 12, 1867
Lieutenant Commander December 18, 1868
Commander June 2, 1885
Captain May 17, 1898
Rear Admiral September 11, 1903


Station Date
Shore Units/US Naval Academy Annapolis (USNA) 1861-1864
USS America 1864
USS Susquehanna (Brazil Squadron) 1865
USS Juniata 1866-1867
USS Saratoga 1867-1869
Unknown 1870-1884
Inspector, Lighthouse Board in Charleston 1885
Unknown 1886-1897
Chief of Staff, Asiatic Fleet 1898
Commanding Officer, USS Olympia May 17, 1898
Lighthouse Board 1906

Chief of Dewey’s Staff

Commander Benjamin Peffer Lamberton (February 25, 1844 - June 9, 1912); was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He attended Carlisle High School and the Dickinson Preparatory School before spending three years as a member of the Dickinson College class of 1862. He was a Member of Belles Lettres Literary Society. He graduated from the Naval Academy in time to see active service on the America as it pursued the Confederate raiders Florida and Tallahassee in 1864. In 1898 Lamberton was ordered to command of the protected cruiser Boston on the Asiatic Squadron, but upon arrival in Hong Kong was appointed chief of staff on board Admiral George Dewey's flagship Olympia. He saw action the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. An incident during the heat of the battle demonstrated the ardor of Olympia's crew. On learning of Dewey’s decision to give the crew a break for breakfast, a gun captain commented to Captain Lamberton, "For God’s sake, Captain, don’t let us stop now. To hell with breakfast!" Pemberton was the senior officer charged with negotiating the surrender of Manila. He retired on his sixty-second birthday in 1906. Lamberton is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.