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    Key West Union Blockade Letter written aboard the U. S. Steamer Huntsville. Three pages, 8" x 10", on blue paper, Key West, July 24, 1862, regarding the recent capture of Confederate blockade runners. "We are just in Port with 2 prizes towing astern, one a Str [Steamer] which ran out of Secesh land as also the Sch [Schooner]. On the Str is some 250 Bales of cotton 225 being Sea Island Cotton very valuable (worth in English markets $1.25 per pound)." He continues his story by relaying the events of an additional capture the month before: "We were cruising some 17 @ 18 days & during that time participated in the capture of & capturing ourselves 4 prizes...I sent...a short a/c of our doings to the NY Times (Delta)." Also included is a transmittal envelope postmarked June 14. Smoothed folds are toned; ink has bled-through slightly on the first and second page. Folds are weak and separating at the intersections with minor loss of paper on the last page, but not affecting the text. This letter is filled with great content on naval activity during the war.

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    The Huntsville also participated in the capture of the Confederate blockade runner Reliance: "In capturing the Reliance...we did a big thing for she was commanded by a Mr. W. G. Gladding of Savannah a former Lt in USN...He is smart & a great Blockade runner well known to our Navy & thru the South. I expect we will receive much attention for this affair & the 'H' will here after be put on pleasant duty."

    The author is also witness to the exodus of people from that city after its fall: "I boarded the Str Marion this am was aggravating to see the fair sex all...was from N. O...and these...ladies & people leaving Dixie for more comfortable quarters North." "I enclose a Confed Shinplaster which I got from Secesh he hadn't seen a 5 [cent] piece & I hadn't seen a 5 [cent] shinplaster so we exchanged." Shinplasters were a form of paper currency representing low denominations and used in places where metal coinage was rare. Unfortunately, the shinplaster is not included with this letter.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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