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    [Battle of Spanish Fort]. Robert H. Crist Autograph Letter Signed with Hand Drawn Map. Four integral pages, 7.75" x 9.75", Mobile Bay [Alabama], April 2, 1865. In the last months of 1864, Mobile Bay remained the last major port left in Confederate hands in the Gulf of Mexico. The battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864 was successful in shutting down the port, but the city of Mobile remained in rebel hands. The Mobile Campaign began in earnest on March 27 of the following year with Federal forces laying siege against the heavily fortified Old Spanish Fort. By April 1, the fort was completely surrounded.

    Captain Robert H. Crist, 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery, writes home to his father describing operations against the fort. He was ordered to inspect the different batteries and "...found Some of the men asleep, lying behind a sand bank. Some were building protection to sleep behind. Some washing their person & clothes...bullits [sic] were flying over their heads and among them...the rebs opened on Co "L" and burst & droped [sic] 8 inch Shells close around & over them...Our forces Surrounded this fort...We have been here about 4 days have 16=30 pdr Parrots, 8 Mortars in Position Some of them have been working on the rebs 2 or 3 days...our Infantry is close up to their works."

    He continues his narrative with a description of the bay before launching into another description of the conflict: "The rebs are defending Mobile at these outside Points...the Rebs have two or 3 gunboats & a ram in the channel they opened on our batteries but we drove two transports & the gunboats out...the rebs planted a light battery on our right so our 8 guns were between 3 fires, the rebs land batteries on two sides and Ironclad gunboat in front...the rebs have planted torpedoes in the bay. two monitors have blown up & one or two gunboats. there are torpedoes among these hills quite a no. of horses have been killed. Some men hurt." The fort fell a few days later on April 8, 1865, and the Confederate troops escaped to the city of Mobile.

    On the verso is a fantastic, hand drawn map of the bay, showing the positions of Old Spanish Fort, Fort Huger, and Fort Dred. Crist has also indicated the positions of Union mortars, Co "L," 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery, and Companies "K" and "H," 26th New York Battery, and one Confederate battery. Folds with some light toning.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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