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Raphael Semmes
Raphael Semmes Notice to Mariners

Semmes, Raphael. Printed Document, Signed in Type

Semmes Served on Both Sides
During the Civil War

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Product Description

Raphael Semmes (1809–1877; Officer in both the United States and Confederate Navies; Captain of raider CSS Alabama) Printed Document, signed in type “R. Semmes, Secretary.” NOTICE TO MARINERS. (No. 106.) “Treasury Department, Office Light-House Board” (letterhead) Washington, D.C.: 26 January 1861. 7-3/4 x 10 in.

Just 20 days before resigning from the U.S. Navy to join the seceding Southern states, Semmes, as Secretary of the Light-house board, passes on urgent news from the port of Charleston, SC:

“Information has been received at this office that the light-vessel at Rattlesnake Schoals has been withdrawn; that the lights on Morris Island, and at the entrance into the port of Charleston, S.S., have been discontinued; the buoys removed and the main ship channel so obstructed as to be unsafe for navigation. By Order: R. Semmes, Secretary.”

The state of South Carolina had seceded from the Union five weeks before, on 20 December 1860. Five states had seceded by this document’s date – the very day Louisiana left the Union.

Excellent; light folds and very light toning only.