[CIVIL WAR - MAPS]. Incomplete autograph letter signed ("Willie") with hand-drawn map. N.p., n.d. 2 pages, 4to, old tape repair.

Last 2 pp. of an incomplete autograph letter by an unknown writer known only as “Willie.” Refers to an unnamed ship sunk 30 or 40 feet deep in the James River and continues: “The Congress or rather what there is left of her is nearer the shore. Lieut. Johnson found on the beach washed up by the tide a small glass bottle with a note written in pencil in it tightly curled up. The note was as follows. ‘This note was written by J. Farnesworth who was on board the Cumberland when she was attacked by the rebel gunboat[.] We are determined to fight to the last even though we should go down with our gallant ship.’ The rebel gunboats keep moving up and down James river 6 or 7 miles above Newport News...”

On the verso is a detailed hand-drawn map showing Newport News, the James River, placement of “sand fortifications,” “first muddy camp,” “General Davidson staff tents,” “our camp back of the river” “road leading into the lot,” “where the rebel gunboats lie” on the opposite shore, and the location where a “rebel house” was shelled on Tuesday. 

The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection Lots 79-98; 116; 138-153; and 266

Cowan's is pleased to offer the third installment of Richard B. Cohen's collection of Civil War Brown Water Navy photography. Richard was known to many in the field as a "disciplined collector who maintained a relatively narrow focus having built an important, perhaps unsurpassed collection in his area of specialization." From cartes de visite to large format photographs, this portion of the collection features a noteworthy selection of images of Brown Water Navy warships, among them, the USS BentonChoctawLafayette, and Louisville. Many important identified naval officers are also represented, including an exquisite CDV of the promising young officer, Lieutenant Commander William Gwin, who died of wounds aboard the USS Benton following an artillery duel with Confederate forces at Snyder's Bluff, and an exceptionally large war-date photograph of the controversial commander of the USS Pittsburgh, Egbert Thompson.

This auction also features a premiere selection of autographs and manuscripts from Richard's carefully curated collection. Highlights include a letter from Jefferson Davis to his distant cousin, John J. Pettus, Governor of Mississippi, dated a year before secession, conveying intricate plans for securing armaments in preparation for the war; an Abraham Lincoln signed endorsement; a letter from Admiral D.G. Farragut from New Orleans, offering excellent insight into his "political" thinking as well as his dedication to his work; correspondence from Gideon Welles, David Dixon Porter, U.S. Grant, and W.T. Sherman; and a pair of superb letters with highly descriptive accounts of the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac.

Provenance:The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection

Estimate: $500 - $1,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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