Lot of 3 CDVs, including a portrait of young officer armed with sword, having complete inscription in pencil on verso, "D.M. Stauffer USN / USS Alexandria / New Orleans / July 4, 1864," with orange two-cent revenue stamp. Uncredited: n.d. David M. Stauffer (1845-1913): mate 1/5/64, acting ensign 5/25/65, discharged 11/1/65. Stauffer had prior army service in both the 30 day 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment (Militia) during the Antietam, and Battery I, Pennsylvania Light Artillery, of the 1863 emergency troops called into service for Gettysburg. Stauffer was discharged as a corporal in January 1864 and immediately joined the Navy as mate. He was assigned to the small sidewheel steamer USS Alexandria (Gunboat No. 40), a tinclad that operated on the Mississippi between and Donaldsonville, Louisiana and Cairo as a dispatch boat. Alexandria was decommissioned in August 1865 and sold out of service.
CDV of an older officer in near profile, pencil identified on back, "B. Labree / Engineer USN." E. Jacobs: New Orleans, LA, n.d. Green three-cent revenue stamp on verso. Benjamin Labree: acting second assistant engineer 8/31/63, discharged 12/4/65. Labree served aboard the USS Arkansas.
CDV of standing young officer wearing gloves and sword, signed on verso, "T.S. Ransom / USS Arkansas / Masters Mate." Washburn's Gallery: New Orleans, LA, n.d. Red one-cent revenue stamp on verso. Theodore S. Ransom: mate 2/14/63, resigned 10/4/64.
The USS Arkansas was a small screw steamer commissioned into the Navy in June 1863. She was assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in October and subsequently employed as a dispatch and supply ship to those vessels on blockade duty along the coast of Texas. On September 27, 1863 she took a schooner as prize only to have the seizure rejected as illegal by both the New Orleans Federal District Court and later by the US Supreme Court - an interesting legal aspect of adjudication by prize courts relative to the wartime Navy.
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 and Mississippi Marine Brigade images. 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
Stauffer image with average clarity showing uniform wear and rounded corners, G. Labree carte also with average clarity and wear, bottom corners clipped, G+. CDV of Ransom in soft focus with wear and rounded corners, G.
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