Description

    CSS Savannah: Thomas William Brent Autograph Letter Signed as Commandant of the Confederate States Navy. One page on tan Confederate States Navy Station letterhead, 8" x 10.5", Savannah, Georgia, July 16, 1862. Formerly a successful United States Navy Commander, Brent resigned his commission on January 12, 1861, as many regular officers did when their home states began proceedings to secede from the Union. On March 16, 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Brent a Commander in the CSN, a rank he retained throughout the Civil War. Here, Brent sends directions to Lieutenant J. Rutledge, Commander at the Savannah station, regarding personnel appointments.

    Directed to "Lieut. J. Rutledge, Cmdg., Naval Battery & Steamer Savannah, Savannah River," Commander Brent orders a reduction in the number of Petty Officers currently serving aboard the CSS Savannah. Brent's letter, completed entirely in his hand, reads: "Sir, You will reduce to the rates of their original entry into the service, all Petty Officers under your command, over & above the complement of the Steamer 'Savannah'. Respy, Your Obt. Servt, Th. W. Brent, Comdg." Letter is lightly age-toned.


    More Information:

    This Confederate Naval document is from the personal archive of Confederate Navy Lt. Commander John Rutledge (1820-1894), a grandson of John Rutledge Jr. (1739-1800), who served as the governor of South Carolina and an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The younger Rutledge joined the U.S. Navy as midshipman in 1835, serving in the American Navy until he resigned on February 23, 1861, to join the fledgling Confederate Navy. He was quickly appointed a lieutenant on March 26, 1861, and rose through the ranks to lieutenant commander. Present at the firing on Fort Sumter as Beauregard's inspector of ordnance, Rutledge commanded the CSS Lady Davis from 1861 to 1862 and fought at the battle of Port Royal, South Carolina, on Nov. 7, 1861. At the beginning of McClellan's Peninsular Campaign in April 1862, he commanded the CSS Nansemond which patrolled the James River. Later Rutledge commanded the ironclad CSS Palmetto State when she patrolled Charleston Harbor and attacked the Union blockading fleet on January 31, 1863. Their content reveals that Rutledge served in several positions of importance in the C.S.N. in addition to commanding the aforementioned vessels. They are a testimony to Rutledge's illustrious naval career.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
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