Description

    CSS Savannah: Thomas William Brent 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 23, 1862. Confederate Navy Commandant Thomas Brent requests lists of weapons and ordnance from Lieutenant John Rutledge, Commander at the Savannah station.

    The letter reads in full: "Sir: To enable me to answer immediately a call from the office of Ordnance &c, you will inform me as soon as possible, how many Muskets, Rifles, and Pistols with ammunition, and Cutlasses, you have on board the Steamer Savannah and Naval Battery under your command, and a list also of such of those articles, if any, that you can spare. Respectfully, Your Obt Svt, Tho. W. Brent, Comdg." Faint age toning.


    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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