U.S. Steamer Augusta Off Charleston, May 22nd, 1863 – Letter from Pardon Spencer – Great Description of the Union Ironclad “Little Monitors”, Capturing a “Contraband” & Chasing Blockade Runners. At Port Royal: “I saw one white woman the last time I was there. She had only one eye and perhaps a wooden leg.”
This legal size 8 x 12 ½ inch letter written in ink was written by Pardon Spencer. He signs the letter “P. Spencer”. His real first name was “Horace”… thus the nickname “Pardon”. He enlisted in November of 1861 as a Landsman in the U.S. Navy. He spent the war on the U.S. Steamer Augusta, which had a fascinating war record… capture of Port Royal, several blockade runners, pursued both the CSS Alabama and Florida and fought the Confederate Ironclads Chicora and Palmetto State. Here are some of the great lines:

• “I will try and keep you posted on all particulars in and around the coast of South Carolina. Firstly as an old Baptist preacher would say, we have had an Iron clad fight.”

• “On the seventh of April our Iron vessels undertook too much and had to retire. It was a grand sight to see the many shells bursting and hear the whistling of the rebels rifle shot as they come broadside after broadside on our little monitors.”

• “Our vessel was just out of range and I never experienced such a feeling before as our little Monitors advanced in to the hottest fire this world ever saw.”

• “We captured a contraband two weeks ago. We saw him early in the morning at some distance from our ship. We sent a boat after him. He was in a small boat with one oar as he don’t count as prize money.”

• “English steamers continue to run the blockade. Sometimes we fetch one up with a round torso. It is quite exciting to slip our anchor in a dark night and after the rebels. We fired into a vessel last night. This morning we saw her sunk on the beach. She is a three masted steamer.”

• “She is close under the rebel batteries where we dare not go. She was running out being loaded with cotton. The rebels began to get the cotton out of her when one of our gunboats put a stop to their labors by throwing shells amongst them.”

• “We will go to Port Royal this week for coal, but there is nothing there but soldiers and negros. I saw one white woman this last time I was there. She had only one eye and perhaps a wooden leg.”

#HC197 - Price $225