Lot 421: War-dated ALS signed "J. H. Hammond," two pages on two adjoining sheets, 7.75 x 9.75, March 10, 1863. Letter written from "Camp before Vicksburg." In part: "At a time when the papers turn with accounts of the sharp tricks of the rebels and not a word is said about out men, I think the accompanying is worth sending you. The plan is that of Admiral Porter. It is carried out to keep his men in good spirits & aimed to compel the enemy to expend ammunition…Last night, the Admiral send down another 'dummy,' dimensions 140 ft long including outriggers. Basis an old flat frame, pine plank, & brush made to represent chain armament…smoke stacks of flour barrels with real fire inside & the smoke going through the barrels—ironclad with a fine coat of coal tar. The cost the navy the worth of the tar say $15 or 20. The Rebels fired at her last night 98 shots, mostly from 100 pdrs costing at least $50 per shot." A transcription of the newspaper article mentioned is transcribed in another hand on the second page, in part: "The Yankee barge sent down the river last week was reported to be an ironclad gunboat. The authorities fearing that this monster would retake the Indianola, immediately issues an order to blow her up…the mysterious craft was a coal boat, but before it reached the Indianola she had been blown to atoms." In fine condition, with small repaired edge separations.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 467
Wednesday, 13th January 2016
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