American soldierDied when: 47 years 98 days (567 months)
Star Sign: Pisces
William Eaton (23 February 1764 – 1 June 1811) was a United States Army officer and the diplomatic officer to Tunis (1797–1803).He played an important diplomatic and military role in the First Barbary War between the United States and Tripoli (1801–1805).
He led the first foreign United States military victory at the Battle of Derne by capturing the Tripoli subject city of Derne in support of the restoration of the pasha (local monarch), Hamet Caramelli.
William Eaton also gave testimony at the treason trial of former Vice President Aaron Burr.He served one term in the General Court of Massachusetts (state legislature).
Eaton died on June 1, 1811 at the age of forty-seven.A World War II destroyer USS Eaton (DD-510) in the United States Navy was named after him.
A Tripoli Monument, in memory of the first American military casualties overseas in the battle at Derne, was sculpted of Italian marble by artist Giovanni Micali in 1806, and transported to the United States by the frigate USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") and placed at the new national capital of Washington, D.C. at the Washington Navy Yard on the East Branch (now the Anacostia River) of the Potomac River in 1808.
Considered the first war monument in the United States, it was unfortunately vandalized by the British during the War of 1812 in August 1814, when they attacked and occupied Washington, burning the public buildings and facilities.
Later in 1831, it was relocated to the west front of the United States Capitol, overlooking the National Mall.In 1860, it was relocated to the campus of the U.S.
Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where although moved several more times over the decades, remains there today.In 2001, it underwent repairs and a physical restoration.
Consul General Eaton and his actions at Derne with other U.S.Naval personnel along with Greek mercenaries, were loosely portrayed in the 1950 historical feature film Tripoli, starring John Payne, Maureen O'Hara, Howard da Silva.