[CIVIL WAR]. Letter written aboard USS Monitor Chickasaw by B.F. Wright on his way to the Battle of Mobile Bay, 3 July 1864.

Wright, B.F. Civil War seaman. ALS, 3pp, from the "US Steamer, Chickasaw," July 3, 1864.

The Chickasaw played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay and the capture of the surrounding forts. She led the approach of Farragut’s fleet with the Tecumseh, Manhattan, and Winnebago, successfully navigating the channel riddled with mines while being shot at by the forts. Once through the channel and the initial engagement of the Confederate forces, the Chickasaw took up position on the CSS Tennessee bombarding her stern leading to the Confederate surrender. In the aftermath, she would fire shells at Fort Powell and assist the troops attacking Fort Gaines, and later engaged in the siege of Fort Morgan.  Although Mobile would not surrender until after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the port was effectively shut down. 

Seaman Wright details the capabilities of the Chickasaw’s arms in this letter to his friend, “This vessel is a monitor, mounting four gun 11 inch bore weighing 15970 lbs each. We have two revolving turrets. These are turned by steam. Our anchor is weighed by steam power. This vessel is best described by saying that she looks like great turtle with his back just out of the water with a cheese box on each end & a smoke stack.” The iron clad defenses of the Chickasaw provided considerable protection, but Wright notes one distinct disadvantage, “I have one great objection to an iron vessel, they draw the heat of the sun. Everything becomes hot & below after the sun has been shining all day is a perfect bake oven.”


Small tears at creases, else very good. 

Please note the transcription has been edited for spelling and readability. 

Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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