Raphael Semmes, Printed Docuement, signed in type.
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“Information has been received at this office that the light-vessel at Rattlesnake Schoals has been withdrawn; that the lights on Morris Island, and at the entrance into the port of Charleston, S.S., have been discontinued; the buoys removed and the main ship channel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.
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.