Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    First Battle of Galveston Bay: Henry W. Washburn Autograph Letter Signed. Four lined pages, 8" x 10", Galveston, October 6, 1862. Washburn, the acting master and executive officer of the USS Morning Light, informs his wife of the details of the naval battle only two days after it took place. While the young naval officer wrote, the scene was calm as the opposing sides participated in a cease-fire to allow the Confederates time to ponder their next move which, the Union Navy hoped, would be surrender. Interestingly, Washburn writes from the Morning Light of his disappointment in the Rebels lack of prowess. In part:

    "I was in hopes the Rebels would make a good fight but they only fired one Gun at us from the Fort and a few from the town. The Gun boats lie off the town in the channel waiting for the Surrender. . . . As we came opposite the Fort they fired at us one Solitary Shot and the Owasco returned it instantly from her 11 in. shell gun the shell burst close to the rebel gun inside the Fort. The other boats fired to quite queck[?] but the Rebels Skedadled away from the Fort mighty quick we could see them running for the town. . . . Capt. Renshaw the Senior Officer hoisted a flag of truce and we ceased firing. They sent of a flag of truce but would not surrender the town. Capt. R. has given them some 3 or 4 days to decide. He don't wish to destroy the town because too many would suffer who are innocent." Washburn's letter continues with an account of his land explorations near the fort. The letter, which refers to other ships (including the Harriet Lane), is playfully signed, "Your Sincere Devoted Long Suffering Bald headed absent Husband, Henry W. Washburn."

    Following the cease-fire, the Confederates evacuated Galveston. Four months later, however, they defeated the occupying Union forces at the Second Battle of Galveston Bay to win back the important harbor. That same month-January 1863-the Morning Light and her crew were captured by the Confederate Navy one hundred miles up the Texas coast. The vessel was destroyed and the Union sailors were held as POWs. Washburn survived and was discharged from the navy in 1866. Very minor dampstaining at the top of page one. Usual folds.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    23rd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,653

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Oct 23, 2010 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item
    Coming soon:

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 09/27/2021

    Luxury Real Estate
    Opens about 08/06/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 09/24/2021

    Photography
    Opens about 09/22/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 09/23/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/28/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/28/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/29/2021

    Currency
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Western & Texas Art
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    Sports Collectibles
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 09/24/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/07/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 09/30/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/11/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/08/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/13/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/07/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/15/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/22/2021

    Manuscripts
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Musical Instruments
    Opens about 10/12/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/19/2021

    Photography
    Opens about 10/20/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/22/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/21/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/14/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/11/2021

    Space
    Opens about 10/25/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/17/2021

    Currency
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Silver
    Opens about 10/26/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/26/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/27/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/27/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/29/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    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
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 16 days left to consign to the 2021 December 5 Holiday Luxury Accessories Signature® Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search