September 04, 2020 12:00 PM EDT Cincinnati
Ends September 14, 2020


Six CDVs of Identified Brown Water Navy Officers, Incl. Andrew Boyd Cummings, DOWRIA Vicksburg, Plus Signed Views

Lot of 6 CDVs, 2 with Brown Water Navy back marks.

CDV of Andrew Boyd Cummings, with pencil inscription reading, "Lieut. Commdr / Cummings Killed on board the Richmond at Port Hudson." Pictured wearing the uniform of a lieutenant commander (instituted 7/16/62), including the obsolete dress fore and aft cap, Cummings had a decade of sea service by the time the war commenced. In mid-1861 he returned from the Mediterranean Station aboard the steam sloop Richmond and assumed the position of executive as the ship refitted and steamed for the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Blockade duty. Cummings was present during the capture of New Orleans and served as lieutenant commander on subsequent operations on the lower Mississippi. On March 14, 1863, Cummings was wounded during Richmond's attempt to pass the water batteries at Vicksburg and died of his injuries four days later. The location of this officer's demise is incorrectly identified on the carte.

CDV identified in modern pencil on verso as, "William Byrn," who was a wartime commission as acting assistant paymaster 3/31/63, discharged 12/4/65. During Flag Officer Farragut's campaign to capture New Orleans and the Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Paymaster Byrn served aboard the USS Pinola as captain's clerk, receiving specific mention in that vessel's commanding officer's report dated April 26, 1862. 

CDV of young officer identified on verso in period ink, "Yours / Truly / Fredr G. Sampson / Masters Mate / US Gunboat Essex." Frederick G. Sampson was also a wartime commission: acting ensign 10/1/62, acting master 7/18/64, discharged 11/22/65. Nothing else is known of Sampson's service other than his time aboard the famed USS Essex. Lengthy notation regarding the ship reads in part, "The ironclad gunboat Essex was involved in Mississippi River operations against Port Hudson and Vicksburg...Participated in capture of Natchez...Helped cripple CSS Arkansas to point of its destruction by Confederates."

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 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. 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


CDV in soft focus, else near EXC with strong corners.

Vignette in soft focus with slightly dented corners, near EXC. 

Sampson carte with strong tones and good clarity, mount soiled with dented corners, still near VG. 

Vignette of "Geo. P. L(?)ent with tiny surface abrasions, some toning with soft corners. About G. 

Red Rover carte with average clarity having ink splotches in field and rounded top corners, G. 

Cate CDV with sharp clarity and strong corners, near EXC. 

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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