Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Lt. Col. (later Bvt. Brig. Genl.) John Henry Hammond, 2 pages, Camp before Vicksburg, Hd. Qrs. 15th Army Corps, March 10th, 1863. It reads in part:
"At a time when the papers turn with accounts of the sharp tricks of the rebels and not a word is said about our men, I think the accompanying is worth sending you. The plan is that of Admiral Porter. It is carried out to keep his men in good spirits & aimed to compel the enemy to expend ammunition...Last night the Admiral sent down another - "dummy" dimensions 140 ft long including outriggers. Basis an old flat frame, pine plank, & brush made to represent chain armament...smoke going through the barrels - ironclad with fine coat of coal tar. The cost the Navy the worth of the tar say $15 or 20. The rebels fired at her last night 98 shots, mostly from 100 pdrs costing at least $50 per shot...J.A.Hammond"
On the second page of his letter Hammond penned:
"From a newspaper brought to Gen. Sherman's Corps by Deserters - who escaped from Vicksburg during a storm on the night of the 8th March."
Following is a transcription of the newspaper article mentioned earlier in the letter, from the "Vicksburg Daily Whig" of March 5, 1863. Written in a different hand it reads in part:
"The Yankee barge sent down the river last week was reported to be an ironclad gunboat. The authorities fearing that this monster would retake the Indianola, immediately issues an order to blow her up... the mysterious ctaft was a coal boat, but before it reached the Indianola she had been blown to atoms."
Great content letter in excellent condition.
Hammond served in Co. B, 5th California Infantry and later on 11/20/61 was commissioned into the US Volunteers Adjutant Genl. department. He obtained the rank of Brevet Brigadier General on 10/31/64.
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