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    [Vicksburg Campaign]. Charles Ross Naval Diary with related photograph and portrait. Spanning the months November 1862 through April 1863, the diary chronicles Ross' exploits on the Mississippi River as a pilot in the United States Mississippi Flotilla. Ross begins his journey on November 17, 1862, where he records: "Arrived from Memphis at Cairo [Illinois] on board the Steamer Emerald." Two days later he is commissioned a pilot and "Ordered on board the Musquetoe [Mosquito] Gunboat Marmora...weighed anchor at 5...and steamed down the river...from Cairo to Point Pleasant..." The boats continue sailing southward on the Mississippi River headed some 400 miles south to Vicksburg, Mississippi.

    They come near Vicksburg on November 29 and immediately encounter trouble: "...here we see several reble [sic] pickets both on horse and on foot. the horsemen canters off towards Vicksburgh and up the river the footmen disappear behind the levees and ...into the woods...a volly [sic] of musketry is fired into us, the balls of which rattels [sic] on our ball proof (musket or rifle) pilot house..." The flotilla returns fire, but turns and heads back up the river. They remain anchored off "Island No. 100" for several days and are joined by more boats, the squadron growing larger by the day.

    On December 8, Marmora is sent on an excursion up the Yazoo River, just to the east of the Mississippi, ordered to bring down two families of refugees whom he describes as "...all pale sallow, fever & ague looking folks." The refugees are transferred to a prison ship and sent up river. The Marmora is ordered up the Yazoo a second time to a site occupied by a Federal battery. Instead of cannons, the crew encounter "...strange objects on the surface of the water..." which turn out to be rebel torpedoes (water mines). The Marmora and her fellow ships spend the next few days clearing the river of mines.

    One month later, the Marmora is part of a force attacking Fort Hindman near Arkansas Post, Arkansas, what Ross calls "the Post." Of the engagement, he writes: "Jan 11...Cannonading is distinctly heard in the direction of the Post near all day and after dark at night...with me all is anxiety to know the result but there is no arival [sic] from the field of action." The following day, reports reach the fleet that "...a severe battle had been fought...different Gunboats engaged it [the fort]...our heavy guns nocked [sic] the fort...into a cooked hat and...our land forces done eccelent [sic] fighting...fort and acquipage [sic] was ours in an hour and a half..."

    Ross' narrative ends with the running of a blockade past Vicksburg in mid-April 1863. Several boats of the flotilla are making a run past the city and his "...Vessel was allowed the privelege [sic] of hoping [?] down the river to look at the fight but our Capt...was afraid to let me go near enough to see as I wished. many hundred shots were fired and large bonfires were made on the shore at Vicksburgh...heavy cannonadeing [sic] was kept up on boath [sic] sides all the remainder of the night..." The following day, Ross makes his last entry, dated April 16, where it seems the battle is continuing: "Cannonading continues all day and ceases at sundown..."

    One final entry occurs on the following page, dated June 1887, as a receipt of money forwarded to Charles Ross, Sr. "...as neaded [sic] for his support." Some lightly scattered toning; text is bold. A fascinating day-to-day account of naval operations during the Vicksburg Campaign. With a black and white, 8" x 10", chest up photograph of an unknown man, presumably Charles Ross. The man is heavily bearded with silver hair and piercing eyes. Also, a 4.25" x 5.5" portrait painting of the aforementioned photograph on card stock.


    Estimate: $4,000 - up.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    8th Saturday
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