STOLEN 8/13/17 - A Sailor on the U.S.S. Kearsarge writes home a description of their battle with the CSS Alabama – Written from England July 1864!

Just after one of the most famous battles in Naval history, Sailor C. N. Dewit describes the action.  Incredibly it is estimated that 15,000 spectators watched the battle from the shore of Cherbourg, France. 

“I suppose by this time that you have heard of the sinking of the Alabama by us, off Cherbourg in this English coast.  It was one of the greatest Naval engagements on record as allowed by all the Naval officers of the nation’s mind here, and lasted one hour and a half from the time Captain Semmes fired his first gun.  He fired ten shots with his 100 pounder rifle before we answered.  We going all the time nearer.  Both were splendid ships, well officered and manned and both parties determined to take the other.  The shots flew around us like hail stones.  We were struck in the hull and rigging 28 times and however escaped so well.  I attribute to a kind providence on our side, especially as Captain Semmes stayed out of Harbor on the Sabbath day to fight us.  Thanks to God for all his mercies….  Government owes us a recompense for heroic deeds and as our Captain has promised to remember us all in Washington.”

According to a note in pencil at the top, the writer C. N. Dewit was related to Frederic W. DeRochemont of New Hampshire (a famous New England family).  The letter is written front and back of a legal size sheet of paper in nice dark ink.

A very historic firsthand account from a sailor who was actually there during that great battle.    

#L608 - Price $695

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