During the Civil War, Lamson was considered one of the most able Union naval officers on duty in the Atlantic, pioneering minesweeping techniques and commanding more ships and flotillas than any other officer of his age or rank.
He commanded Mount Vernon in joint Army-Navy operations on the Nansemond River, and he played an important role in the capture of batteries at Hill’s Point.
On 15 January 1865, Lamson led a landing party of sailors and Marines from the Gettysburg in an assault on Fort Fisher, which was taken that day.
In 1866, he resigned from the Navy in 1866 and returned to Oregon, where he was appointed to be clerk of U.S. Customs.
He died at Portland, Oregon 14 August 1903.