Confederate Virginia Navy - Jamestown Island VA - CSS Teaser - J Randolph Tucker For Sale
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Confederate Virginia Navy - Jamestown Island VA - CSS Teaser - J Randolph Tucker:
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You are purchasing the exact item shown in the photographs.
From a recent discovery in Richmond, Virginia, an extremely important order--in the form of a signed, then endorsed May 29, 1861 letter--for the very young Confederate Navy, for what might have been one of its best--at the time since it was newly constructed and newly purchased--condition ships.
This letter was written by Captain Barron "By order of Major Gen'l Lee" to Naval Lieutenant James Rochelle and is endorsed in the upper left "For'd by Your obt Serv't J. R. Tucker, Comdr., Va. Navy."
The involved persons:
Robert E. Lee (who gave the order this letter be written) - Appointed Commander of the Virginia Forces on April 23, 1861 - One month and six days before this letter's date.
S. Barron (who wrote the letter) - Captain in Charge of the Office of Naval Detail & Equipment at Richmond who wrote this letter on May 29, 1861
J[ohn] R[andolph] T[ucker] (who approved this letter and signed his name in the upper left) - Commander Tucker resigned from the U.S. Navy when Virginia seceded from the Union on April 18, 1861, becoming a Commander in the Virginia Navy and, in June, the Confederate States Navy. In 1861-62, he was the commanding officer of CSS Patrick Henry, armed with 10 guns and manned by 150 officers and sailors, participating with her in several combat actions including supporting the ironclad CSSVirginia in the Battle of Hampton Roads.
Lieutenant James H. Rochelle (who received this letter) - Directed, as Captain of the CSS Teaser to take his ship to Jamestown Island, which is to be the station for the USS Teaser.
CSS Teaser - The ship got its command by this letter.
The original letter (not a copy) directly from the Office of Naval Detail & Equipment that directs the USS Teaser to be taken from Richmond's Confederate Navy Yard to Jamestown Island. Super duper condition. Two horizontal folds from being in a now-gone envelope and one light diagonal bend (not a fold) on the top and bottom portions--probably done contemporaneously. A stunning and important new discovery.
Text as follows:
For'd by Your obt Servt J. R. Tucker Comdr Va. Navy
Office of Naval Detail & Equipment Richmond Va. May 29, 1861
You will proceed in the SteamTender "Teaser" to Jamestown island, and reportto Capt. H. H. Cocke, or in his absence to Lieut.Comdg. Capt. R. Jones, for duty on James river.Under the guns of Jamestown island is to beconsidered the station for the "Teaser," and no enter-prise is to be undertaken without special orders. You will render all possible service to theArmy in transporting men and munitions of war & c.from one place or station to another principallyin crossing from Jamestown island to the main land. By order of Major Gen'l Lee Respectfully & c. S. Barron Captain in charge
Lieut. Jas. H. Rochelle Virginia Navy Richmond, Va.Some background:
Teaser was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Purchased at Richmond, Virginia by the State of Virginia in 1861, she was assigned to the naval forces in the James River with Lieutenant James Henry Rochelle, Virginia State Navy, in command. Upon the secession of Virginia, Teaser became a part of the Confederate States Navy and continued to operate in Virginia waters. With Lieutenant William A. Webb, CSN, in command, she took an active part in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 8–March 9, 1862, acting as tender to CSS Virginia. She received the thanks of the Congress of the Confederate States for this action.
The commanders of the CSS Teaser were:
Teaser was a pioneer "aircraft carrier", serving as a base for an observation hot air balloon; she also became a pioneer minelayer when ordered on June 17, 1862, to assist General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Under Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, CSN, she was used by the Confederate Naval Submarine Battery Service to plant and service "torpedoes" (mines) in the James River. While engaging USSMaratanza at Haxall's on the James on July 4, 1862, a Union shell blew up Teaser's boiler and forced her crew to abandon ship. When seized by Maratanza, Teaser was carrying on board a balloon for aerial reconnaissance of Union positions at City Point and Harrison's Landing.
Subsequent to her capture, the CSS Teaser was repaired and renamed the USS Teaser and operated during the balance of the war supporting Federal naval operations in the Department of the Potomac.
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The United States Postal Service has an excellent record with my shipments.
I have been a member of the American Philatelic Society since 1978 and have been selling on for years.
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