Lot of 3 CDVs, two with Brown Water Navy back marks.
CDV of Officer David Cate. W.W. Washburn: New Orleans, LA, 1864. Ink signed "Jan. 11th 1864 / D. Cate," with inscription at the bottom, also in the sitter's hand, which reads, "Glad to see you Libbie. Introduce me to all your friends. D.C." David Cate: acting volunteer lieutenant 8/26/61, died on Mississippi River May 4, 1865, circumstances unknown. A curious period notation found in the US Service Magazine reads, "From temporary command of the Navy Rendezvous, Brooklyn, NY, and ordered to obey his orders received from Rear Admiral Farragut." Context unknown. Later, in another report dated January 2, 1863, Port Royal Harbor, South Carolina, Admiral DuPont wrote that he was appointing Acting Lieutenant Cate to command the recently commissioned screw steamer USS Hendrick Hudson, but has learned that Cate had not been assigned to the squadron and, again curiously, could not be located.
CDV of a vignetted officer. Geo. P. Hall: St. Louis, MO, n.d. Signed in period pencil "With Regards / J.E. Farnsworth (?) / Red Rover" and with outline of a revenue stamp. This officer could not be positively identified in the Navy List, however, service aboard the Brown Water Navy USS Red Rover indicates he was likely a petty officer.
CDV of a rather cloudy vignette. Uncredited, n.d. Boldly ink signed on verso "Very Respectfully / Geo. P. Lent (?) / USN" No officer so named or with any permutation found in Navy Roster.
The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection
Cowan's is pleased to offer the first contingent of an unparalleled assembly of Brown Water Navy images archived over a lifetime of study by consummate collector Richard B. Cohen, a familiar name to many in the field of Civil War photography. To those who knew him best, Richard B. Cohen will be remembered as a "disciplined collector who maintained a relatively narrow focus having built an important, perhaps unsurpassed collection in his area of specialization." Richard was particularly well read and his historical knowledge informed his collecting as reflected by the photography that follows. The array of carte-de-visites and albumen photographs gathered here include a number of identified naval officers - both famous and obscure - along with a handful of enlisted sailors and Mississippi Marine Brigade images, and, significantly, many views of unique Brown Water Navy sidewheel and sternwheel warships - no two vessels looking exactly the same. Subjectively, the most appealing aspect of the Cohen Collection are the photographs of these gunboats, transports, and impressed vessels quickly converted at St. Louis, Cairo, and Cincinnati for duty on the waters of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The gamut of improvised warships range from the earliest types of steam powered vessels first taken up by the Army to create a small timberclad flotilla, to the several purpose-built War Department Ellet rams, and later, the more numerous classes of tinclads, some converted but all built for and crewed by the Navy. A few captured Confederate vessels impressed into Union service are also present. It is supremely evident that Richard B. Cohen's collecting instincts were always evolving, but uniformly refined. We trust that both advanced and neophyte collectors will find something to pique interest now that the time has come to inevitably recycle these exceptional images to a new cadre of aficionados.
Provenance:The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection
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