Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Battle of Port Royal] and [Samuel DuPont]. Fair Copy of a Letter to Admiral Louis M. Goldsborough. Two and one-half ruled pages of a bifolium, 8.25" x 13.25", aboard the Wabash at Port Royal, November 9, 1861. The letter is from Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont and gives Admiral Goldsborough a detailed account of the battle at Port Royal, South Carolina, as well as details of the subsequent damage. According to the docketing on page four, the original letter was "sent to Honble Winter Davis on the 13th Nov. 1861. This communication is private." Clean paper with minor soiling to the fourth page. Smoothed folds with separation beginning at the right edge. The letter reads in part:

    "We have had a most complete success, and it has been purely naval. . . . But few men were killed & wounded . . . the action was fought underway & very close to the batteries which saved many lives. . . . One shot from the Bay point battery two miles off, killed one man, wounded two & tore up the deck so as to render it impossible to work the gun. . . . You can form no idea of the terror we have spread in the whole Southern Country. Beaufort is deserted . . . the enemy flew in panic. . . . The contrabands are wild & sacking Beaufort, in return for being shot down because they would not leave with their masters. . . . [Thomas W.] Sherman, I am told, was deeply affected, with a powerful telescope he was our execution better than we did. . . . Poor old [Josiah] Tattnall had to run like a hound from our gunboats."

    The letter also contains news of the Goldsborough's brother, John, who was also a naval officer: "John Golsdborough is not in yet, he has got into the Gulf Stream and possibly disabled." The Battle of Port Royal, fought on November 7, 1861, was one of the earliest naval battles in the Civil War. The Union victory came at a low cost for both sides: casualties were less than one hundred. Flag Officer DuPont, commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, led the Union attack. Admiral Goldsborough commanded the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and did not participate in the battle.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 325

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 14 days left to consign to the 2020 March 29 Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,016,674