Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 716

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WILLIAM A. WEBB Confederate commodore, resigned his U.S. Navy commission after more than 20 years to join the Confederate Navy. In the American Civil War. Webb was decorated for his service during the Battle of Hampton Roads. In 1863, he commanded a squadron that included the ironclad CSS Atlanta. He was captured and imprisoned in Boston. He was exchanged and returned to action on the CSS Richmond. Fine content manuscript L.S. 'W. A. Webb Comdg Naval Squadron', 1p. 4to., 'C[onfederate] Steamer Atlanta off Thunderbolt [five mi. SE of Savannah], May, 1863 (date left blank) to Lt. Joel S. Kennard, commander of the CSS Isondiga anchored nearby. Webb orders a reconnoitering of Wassaw Sound, outside the Savannah and Wilmington Rivers, just in advance of his attempt to break the Union blockade there. In full: 'You will proceed with the Isondiga under your Command and cruise in sight of Wassaw Sound to watch the movements of the Enemy and you will inform me by a Signal gun, if in your opinion, he intends ascending Wassaw River, when you return under the guns of the Atlanta...' Fine condition. On May 30, Webb made his first attempt to engage the blockading fleet, but was stymied by engine problems. On June 17th a lookout aboard USS Weehawken spotted Atlanta at 04:10. When the latter ship closed to within about 1.5 miles, she fired one round from her bow gun that passed over Weehawken and landed near Nahant. Shortly afterward, Atlanta ran aground on a sandbar; she was briefly able to free herself, but the pressure of the tide pushed her back onto the sandbar. Within a few hours, Atlanta was heavily damaged and her crew badly mauled. The vessel surrendered and later in the war served the Union cause.

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February 9, 2021 10:00 AM EST

Chesapeake City, MD, US

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