Charles Stewart, an American naval officer, born in Philadelphia, July 28, 1778, died in Bordentown, N. J., Nov. 7, 1869. He entered the merchant service at the age of 13 as cabin boy, and rose to the command of an Indiaman. In March, 1798, he entered the navy as lieutenant in the frigate United States, employed in the West Indies against French privateers. In July, 1800, he was appointed to the command of the schooner Experiment, of 12 guns. On Sept. 1 he captured, after an action of 10 minutes, the French schooner Deux Amis, of 8 guns; and soon after, near the island of Barbuda, the French schooner Diana, of 14 guns, He also recaptured several American vessels which had been taken by French privateers. As commander of the brig Siren he participated in the naval operations of 1804 against Tripoli, and aided in the destruction of the frigato Philadelphia. He became captain in 1806. In the summer of 1813 he took command of the Constitution, and in December sailed from Boston upon a cruise to the coasts of Guiana and the Windward islands, which resulted in the capture of the British schooner of war Pictou, of 14 guns, a letter of marque under her convoy, and several merchant vessels.
About the middle of December, 1814, he sailed in the same ship upon a second cruise, and on Feb. 20, 1815, captured, after an action of 40 minutes fought at night, IT. B. M. ship Cyane, mounting 34 guns, with 185 men, and the sloop of war Levant, of 21 guns and 156 men. The Constitution mounted 52 guns with 470 men. Her loss was 3 killed and 12 wounded, while the total loss of the British ships has been stated at 41. The Levant was recaptured by a British squadron. From 1816 to 1820 Com. Stewart commanded a squadron in the Mediterranean, and from 1821 to 1823 in the Pacific. He afterward served on the board of navy commissioners, and as commander of the home squadron and the naval station at Philadelphia. In 1857 he was placed on the retired list, but resumed service in 1859 as commander of the Philadelphia navy yard, under a new commission as senior flag officer; and on July 16, 1862, he was made a rear admiral on the retired list.