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    Description

    CSS Savannah: Thomas William Brent Letter Signed as Commandant of the Confederate States Navy. One page on blue Confederate States Navy Station letterhead, 8" x 10", Savannah, Georgia, July 28, 1862. The letter, addressed to Lieutenant J. Rutledge, Commander at the Savannah station, reads in full: "By authority of the Bureau of Orders & Detail, you may appoint one gunman Mate, one carpenter Mate, and two Quarter Masters, in addition to the established complement of the Savannah, as given in my letter to you of the 23d inst. The reduction of the Petty Officers of the Savannah (agreeably to my order of the 23d inst) will take place from the 1st inst."

    Rutledge, the recipient of this letter, commanded the CSS Lady Davis in defense of Port Royal, South Carolina, and later commanded the ironclad ram CSS Palmetto State. Letter bears small areas of dampstain, but these do not affect the text or Brent's signature. Moderate folds and creases; small hole at lower center.


    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.



    Auction Info

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