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GIDEON WELLES - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 06/28/1864 CO-SIGNED BY: ADMIRAL DAVID G. FARRAGUT - HFSID 16405

As Secretary of the Navy, he sends orders (1864) to the acting paymaster of a federal gunboat which had fought at the Battle of Mobile Bay, with forwarding endorsement by the ship's commander and by Admiral Farragut.

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GIDEON WELLES and DAVID G. FARRAGUT
As Secretary of the Navy, he sends orders (1864) to the acting paymaster of a federal gunboat which had fought at the Battle of Mobile Bay, with forwarding endorsement by the ship's commander and by Admiral Farragut.
Manuscript LS: "Gideon Welles" as Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy, 1 page, 7½x9½. Navy Department, Washington, 1864 June 28. To Acting Assistant Paymaster B.F.D. Fitch, USN, U.S.S. Tennessee, W. Gulf Block'g Squad'n, in care of Rear Admiral Farragut. Signed at the bottom: "D.G. Farragut" with "Forwarded" above and "Rear Admiral" below his signature in another hand. At top: "Forwarded/P Giraud AVLieut Comdg/July 14th 1864". Welles' letter, in full: "On the reporting of your relief, acting Asst. Paymaster Lockwood, you will transfer to him the public stores accounts and money in your charge, having done which you will regard yourself as detached from the Tennessee and will return to the North by the earliest public conveyance and under your accounts without delay for settlement." In April 1861, the paddlewheel steamer USS Tennessee, trapped at New Orleans in April 1861, was seized by the Confederacy. Re-designated the CSS Tennessee for use as a blockade runner, the vessel was never able to escape from New Orleans, and was recaptured when Union forces re-occupied the city one year later. The Tennessee was now used in the Union blockade of the Gulf Coast, and in the bombardment of Mobile, Alabama and its Fort Morgan in August 1864. Acting Assistant Paymaster Fitch, to whom Welles' orders are addressed, and Acting Volunteer Lt. Pierre Giraud, who forwarded them, served aboard the Tennessee during the action in Mobile Bay (August 5, 1864), when Rear Admiral DAVID G. FARRAGUT entered the mine-filled harbor with his famous fighting words, "Damn the torpedoes!...Full speed ahead!" One of the Confederate ships guarding Mobile Bay was the ironclad CSS Tennessee, which was rammed and captured on August 5th. Following her capture, the Tennessee was commissioned in the U.S. Navy with Acting Volunteer LT. PIERRE GIRAUD in charge. The original USS Tennessee was now renamed the Mobile, so that the more famous and powerful ironclad could be called the USS Tennessee. GIDEON WELLES (1802-1878) formerly a Jacksonian Democrat, joined the newly founded Republican Party in 1854 because of his strong opposition to slavery. He served as Secretary of the Navy throughout the Presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson (1861-1869). DAVID FARRAGUT (1801-1870), the adopted son of Admiral David Porter was commissioned in the Navy at the age of 10, participating in the War of 1812, the Mexican War (1846-1848) and the Civil War (1961-1965). As Commander of the West Gulf Blocking Squadron, Farragut captured both New Orleans (1862) and Mobile (1864. In 1866, when Admiral was established as the highest US naval rank, Farragut became the first officer to receive that honor. PIERRE GIRAUD, who briefly commanded the ironclad Tennessee arose by war's end to the rank of Lt. Commander. A native New Yorker, he took command in 1870 of an unusual ship, the Mercury, a training vessel for New York reform school youths. Weeks later, his crew from the Mercury participated in a New York's final tribute to the now deceased Admiral Farragut. Creased. Horizontal folds, 1 touches top of the "G" in Gideon. Receipt stamp at blank upper left. Overall, fine condition. Framed in Gallery of History style: 40¼x21¾.

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