Printable Version

Sale 746

The "Patrick" Collection
of Naval Militaria, History & Related


Civil War Postal History: Union




Lot Photo Description
Lot 16

Naval Ship Mail, cover franked with a 3¢ rose (65) tied by a clear strike of the scarce undated double-circle "U. S. SHIP" with fleurons, to Winchester, Mass.; flap tear, Very Fine. According to Milgram, there are fewer than 25 recorded examples of this particular "U.S. SHIP" handstamp.
Estimate $150 - 200.
Realized $70.
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Lot 17

Soldier's Due Mail, small Seated Liberty patriotic cover (Weiss F-SI 23) to Wendell, Mass., properly endorsed with manuscript "soldier letter" and rubber-stamped "(E)F Jones, Colonel Mass 26th", postmarked "U.S. SHIP/ 3cts." in circle; reduced at the left with a bit of toning and edge wear at the top, about Fine. This cover would have been mailed sometime between Dec 3, 1861 and Apr 15, 1862, when the 26th Massachusetts was based at Ship Island, Miss.
Estimate $150 - 200.
Realized $160.
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Lot 18
Battle of Cherbourg, Carte de Visite photograph ca. 1870s by Frederic Jones of London, from a painting by Capt. W. J. Anderson, "Action Off Cherbourg. 19th June 1864", Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $150 - 200

The Battle of Cherbourg was between the Sloops of War, U.S.S.
Kearsarge and C.S.S. Alabama, the most successful commerce raider in maritime history. Kearsarge finally prevailed, sinking Alabama and rescuing the majority of Alabama's survivors. However, while Kearsarge's Captain John Winslow stood helplessly by, British politician, John Lancaster's private yacht, Deerhound was able to rescue 41 of Alabama's officers and crew, including her Captain Raphael Semmes, and escape with them to Britain.
Realized $140.
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Lot 19

Battle of Hampton Roads, marvelous 3½-page letter datelined "Fortress Monroe, March 1862", written by Private Chester W. Cobb, describing the battle between the Confederate Ironclad Virginia and the Union Navy, in part, "…as severe a Naval Engagement as ever witnessed on any water. Had it not been for the timely arrival of the Ericcson Battery [the Monitor] our whole harbor would have been 'cleaned out'…the largest balls from the Gun Boats had no more effect on the 'Merrimack' [then the C.S.S. Virginia] than so many peas."; Cobb also notes the "Rebel's" name for the Monitor: "the black Yankee cheese box on a raft"; also noted, "Prof. Lowe the Balloonist arrived here today with his Balloon where he is expected to remain for the present."includes the cover of transmittal to Clinton Junction, Wis. franked with a 3¢ rose (65) tied by a Mar 18 Old Point Comfort, Va. c.d.s., Very Fine.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Realized $475.
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Lot 20

Ship Island, Miss., cover franked with a pen-canceled 3¢ rose (65) and postmarked with the straightline "SHIP ISLAND/ MISS." with manuscript "Apr 14" date and "Due 3", to Philadelphia, Very Fine. The letter must have weighed more than a half ounce, thus incurring the extra 3¢ due.
Estimate $150 - 200.
Realized $225.
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Lot 21

Ship Island, Miss., Flag patriotic cover (Weiss F-R 205), franked with a grid-canceled 3¢ rose (65) and postmarked with a Ship Island, Miss. c.d.s., May 30 (1862), to Brandon, Vt.; docketed May 28, 1862; reduced somewhat at the right, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $300 - 400

The Ship Island Postmaster, John Parker, received a Government circular date stamp in late April of 1862, but was soon ordered by his brother-in-law and commander of the occupying forces, General Benjamin Butler, to take over the Post Office in New Orleans. He took the Ship Island circular handstamp with him and used it in New Orleans until receiving a New Orleans device from the Post Office Department in Washington on or about June 2. The two-line handstamp continued in use on Ship Island for the convenience of the few soldiers remaining there.

Realized $800.
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Lot 22

Ship Island, Miss., 8th N. H. Regiment patriotic cover featuring a Soldier with Rifle, Flag, Cannon & Ship at anchor (Weiss M-F 5), franked with a pen-canceled pair of 3¢ rose (65) and postmarked manuscript "Ship Island, March 21 1862", to Bath, N.H. and postmarked on arrival with a clear blue Apr 10 c.d.s.; corners slightly rounded and stamps slightly damaged, Fine and rare.
Estimate $300 - 400

This was the first day that the Ship Island Postmaster, John Parker used this manuscript postmark. It was in use for only seven days before Parker replaced it with the well-known two-line handstamp.

Realized $300.
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Lot 23

Ship Island, Miss. - Soldier's Due, cover to Charlestown, Mass., properly endorsed "Soldiers letter, C A R Dimon Adjt E Bay State Rgt" and postmarked "U.S. SHIP/ 3cts." in circle; includes original letter datelined "Ship Island Mississippi March 11th, 62" telling of camp life and mentioning General Butler.
Estimate $250 - 350.
Realized $160.
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Lot 24
Prize Money for Crew Members, Written order dated "U.S. Gunboat Aroostook, Off Galveston, Texas, 14th Sep. 1864"; the two-page order, which is apparently written and signed by then-Lt. Commander Joseph E. Skerrett, assigns Acting Ensign H. L. Ramson, of the Aroostook, to accompany a prize of 38 bales of cotton to the Prize Court in New Orleans and to remain there until a judgment is made; on the back of the order, dated Sep 22, is an order for Ransom to "Take passage on the Arkansas to rejoin your vessel" which has been signed by Commodore "J[ames] S[hedden] Palmer.

Ramson apparently died sometime between his delivering the cotton and the Court awarding the prize money, because also included is a letter to Mrs. H. L. Ramson from the Paymaster of Aroostook dated Jul 6, 1865, confirming that she is entitled to her husband's share of the award money, "$534.76 less the Internal Revenue Tax of 5%"; also included with the lot is a photographic Carte de Visite of Seaman Ransom by G.H. Morand of New York, one of the first professional photographers in New York City, Fine to Very Fine. A marvelous group.
Estimate $200 - 300

Joseph E. Skerrett went on to become a Rear Admiral. In addition to serving in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, he headed the Department of Seamanship at the U.S. Naval Academy from 1868 to 1872. He later made important surveys of uncharted areas of the northern Pacific Ocean, and served as Governor of the Philadelphia Naval Asylum from 1886 to 1888. He then went on to be commandant of the Portsmouth Navy Yard from 1889 to 1890 and of the Washington Navy Yard from September 1890 to December 1892, followed by more time in the South Pacific.

James Shedden Palmer (1810-1867) was, at this time, in command of the 1st Division of Ironclads in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in the vicinity of New Orleans, and would also go on attain the rank of Rear Admiral in July 1866.

Realized $250.
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