John A. Winslow was the son of Edward and Sara E. Ancrum Winslow and was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1811, but hailed from New Engand ancestry. Rear Admiral John Ancrum Winslow, USN (1811-1873) entered the Navy as a midshipman in 1827, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1839 and to Commander in 1855. During the Mexican War, he was commended to gallantry for his activities at Tobasco. During the Civil War, he was assigned as Executive Officer of the Western Gunboat Flotilla, and he took command of USS Kearsarge in 1863 and over the next eighteen months he patrolled European waters in search of Confederate raiders. In 1864 he led them to victory in one of the Civil War's most notable naval actions, the battle between the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama. The naval engagement lasted an hour and twenty minutes. After the last shot was fired the Alabama sank out of sight, having had about forty killed, and seventy were made prisoners, so that thirty-nine escaped. Only three men were wounded in the Kearsarge, one of whom died. Only twenty-eight projectiles struck the Kearsarge out of the 370 that were fired by the Alabama, and none of these did any material damage. One 100-pound shell exploded in the smoke-stack, and one lodged in the stern-post of the Kearsarge, but did not explode. The Kearsarge fired 173 projectiles, and few failed to do some injury. Winslow was promoted to the rank of Commodore as a result of this action. He became a Rear Admiral in 1870 and commanded the Pacific Squadron from then until 1872.
Rear Admiral Winslow was always known as a solid, courageous, determined officer. Shortly after his retirement, he died at his home in Roxbury, on Kearsarge Street off Warren Street that had been named for his famous ship. His coffin was draped in the U.S.S. Kearsarge battle flag. The Winslow Family Lot is on Orange Path. The granite curbed lot is dominated by a huge boulder, which came from Mount Kearsarge, New Hampshire. The boulder was donated by the citizens of Warner, New Hampshire in memory of the hero, John A. Winslow, who served as the captain of the U.S.S. Kearsarge, which sank the C.S.S. Alabama during an 1864 Civil War sea battle. His wife Catherine Amelia Winslow Winslow, to whom he was married in 1837, was highly respected and it was said that "their union could only strengthen the highest and most admir- able traits in human nature, and must have done much to develop in the youthful officer those characteristics which brought him so brilliantly- through the deep trials of his later life."
I had sooner have fought that fight than any ever fought upon the ocean!