Description[CSS Georgia]. Thomas William Brent Letter Signed. One page, 8" x 10.5", on Confederate States Navy Station letterhead, Savannah, Georgia, July 18, 1862. Directed to "Lieut. J. Rutledge, Chief Engineer", "Michael Quirm, Naval Consultant", and "Wagner" at the Savannah Naval yard, this letter concerns the 250-foot long ironclad floating battery CSS Georgia, a partially built vessel that was presented to the Confederate States by "the Ladies of Georgia" in late 1861.
Brent's letter reads, in full: "Gentlemen, You will hold a Strict and thorough Survey on the Iron clad Battery 'Georgia' tendered to the Navy Department in behalf of the Ladies of Georgia, and report to me in triplicate the result, with your opinion in full, as to her strength, the completeness of construction, motive power, equipment, and efficiency for service, stating such defects or deficiencies as you may discover and the remedies that may be applied to them. I have requested of the Committee of Construction such facilities as they can afford, to enable you to proceed at once with the Survey. I am Respectfully, Your Obt. Svt., Th. M. Brent, Comdg." The CSS Georgia was finished at Savannah in 1862. She was used to protect the river approaches to Savannah for nearly three years. On December 21, 1864, the Georgia was destroyed to prevent capture when Union land forces threatened to take the city. Letter is toned with a few creases/folds at corners.
As the different states seceded from the Union, each made efforts to provide for a navy and conferred rank upon its officers. A few revenue cutters and merchant steamers were seized and converted into men-of-war. Thus, at the beginning, each state had its own navy. By the time this letter was written, Jefferson Davis' government would oversee all Confederate naval operations.
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