Lot 1008

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A pair of very rare and highly-desirable relics from the ill-fated frigate USS CUMBERLAND, the first vessel first to be sunk by the Confederate ironclad CSS VIRGINIA, on March 8, 1862. The grouping includes a 5 1/2" x 2 1/4" piece of coarse, white canvas bearing provenance in a contemporary hand penned on one side: "A piece of the Main Sail of the U.S.S. Sloop of War "Cumberland." Destroyed off Newports [sic] News, Va. Mar. 7th 1862 by C.S.S. Merrimac". The sail fragment is attached at two points with old thread to a 6" x 1" x 1/8" section of wood, probably pine. The wood is marked in the same hand: "Taken from the Main Mast of the U.S. Sloop Cumberland" These relics were obtained directly from respected Gettysburg Civil War military antiques dealers The Horse Soldier. Fine. CUMBERLAND was rammed and sunk in an engagement with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) at Newport News, Virginia on March 8, 1862. The engagement known as the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads between the two ships is considered to be a turning point in the history of world naval affairs as it showed the advantage of steam-powered, armored ships over sail-powered wooden hulled ships. Because of her engagement with the CUMBERLAND, VIRGINIA lost two of her guns, her ram, and suffered some internal damage. She would battle the U.S.S. MONITOR the next day. It should be noted that the first Navy chaplain to lose his life in action was aboard the CUMBERLAND. CUMBERLAND is currently a shipwreck under the protection of several Federal laws including the Sunken Military Craft Act of 2005, the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987, and the Territorial Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and relics taken from her in her present state may not be legally possessed.

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July 31, 2019 10:00 AM EDT
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000