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Auction archive: Lot number 97

Capt. William R. Hoel, USN Mississippi River Squadron, Civil War Archive

Estimate
US$1,500 - US$2,500
Price realised:
US$7,680
Auction archive: Lot number 97

Capt. William R. Hoel, USN Mississippi River Squadron, Civil War Archive

Estimate
US$1,500 - US$2,500
Price realised:
US$7,680
Beschreibung:

Lot of 80+ letters, documents, and ephemera related to Captain William Rion Hoel (1825-1879), a steamboat pilot who served as part of the USN's Mississippi River Squadron during the Civil War. Lot includes more than 65 war-date letters most of which were written to Hoel while he served as commander of the USS Pittsburgh and later the USS Vindicator. Also included are more than a dozen personal documents spanning approximately 1853-1876 and a Confederate First National Flag measuring approximately 8.25 x 4.5 in. A native of Ohio, Captain William R. Hoel followed in his father's footsteps becoming a steamboat pilot and mastering riverboat navigation. He was one of the earliest licensed pilots when he received that designation in January 1853. Hoel volunteered as a civilian pilot of the US timberclad Lexington on October 19, 1861, and quickly distinguished himself. While serving as First Master of Cincinnati, he was wounded during the Battle of Fort Henry and two months later on April 4, 1862, he volunteered to pilot the gunboat Carondelet in her famous run past Rebel batteries at Island Number 10. It was as commander of the Pittsburgh that Hoel's reputation as a bold and fearless commander was further cemented. On April 29, 1863, Hoel skillfully slipped the Pittsburgh in between Acting Rear Admiral Porter's flagship Benton and the devastating Confederate bombardment that had rendered the Benton unmanageable. Taking the fire upon his own vessel, Hoel allowed the Benton to extricate herself from the Confederate trap and move to safety. With his heroic actions Hoel ensured the success of Porter's bombardment of Confederate Batteries at Grand Gulf, and allowed General Ulysses S. Grant to safely move his troops across the Mississippi River in preparation for operations against Vicksburg. In November 1864, Hoel would be promoted to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Commander. He was detached from the Pittsburgh and placed in command of the Vindicator on March 1, 1865, on which he served until the end of the war. The letters in the archive primarily span 1863-1865 and are written to Captain Hoel. While the correspondence does not include details of Hoel's most intrepid military actions, it does paint a fascinating picture of his role as a military commander in Southern territory. Letters in the collection indicate that Hoel had responsibility for distributing mail across North/South lines and through Union-held Southern territory. Many correspondents are southerners asking for his assistance. Writing on May 31, 1864, to "Capt. Hoel / Commander of Gunboat Pittsburg off Grand Gulf," one doctor implores the commander to modify his rule "that any one must apply in person for his letter.... I am not in the Confederate Service," the doctor continues, "I have been called on in some half a dozen instances to attend professionally patients of the Federal Army suffering from gunshot wounds. I have always responded to the calls." Among other inquiries, Hoel is called upon to assist a POW, to allow bodies to be retrieved under a flag of truce, and to help civilians in personal matters. Hoel's archive contains letters from other Civil War soldiers, including an undated letter from a Confederate soldier who wished to taunt his Union counterparts: "To the Yankees / you think you are mighty smart got our big river you think you can keep us from crossing but you have mistaken I have waited untill your gun boat was gone and then I crossed by my-self I have papers you would give a good deal to see...I will fight you forever with the blessing of God...Respt Geo. Thompson Co. C 2nd Ark Cav." Also of interest are two songs, "War Song" and "Call for Volunteers," which were composed "By L. A. McBroom." Lewis Asbury McBroom of Hocking County, Ohio, enlisted as a Corporal with the OH 58th Infantry in 1861 and starting in 1863 served in the Department of the Tennessee with the Iron Clads Mississippi Squadron. Subsequent to the war, Captain Hoel returned to Waynesville

Auction archive: Lot number 97
Auction:
Datum:
21 Jun 2019
Auction house:
Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
Este Ave 6270
Cincinnati OH 45232
United States
info@cowans.com
+1 (0)513 8711670
+1 (0)513 8718670
Beschreibung:

Lot of 80+ letters, documents, and ephemera related to Captain William Rion Hoel (1825-1879), a steamboat pilot who served as part of the USN's Mississippi River Squadron during the Civil War. Lot includes more than 65 war-date letters most of which were written to Hoel while he served as commander of the USS Pittsburgh and later the USS Vindicator. Also included are more than a dozen personal documents spanning approximately 1853-1876 and a Confederate First National Flag measuring approximately 8.25 x 4.5 in. A native of Ohio, Captain William R. Hoel followed in his father's footsteps becoming a steamboat pilot and mastering riverboat navigation. He was one of the earliest licensed pilots when he received that designation in January 1853. Hoel volunteered as a civilian pilot of the US timberclad Lexington on October 19, 1861, and quickly distinguished himself. While serving as First Master of Cincinnati, he was wounded during the Battle of Fort Henry and two months later on April 4, 1862, he volunteered to pilot the gunboat Carondelet in her famous run past Rebel batteries at Island Number 10. It was as commander of the Pittsburgh that Hoel's reputation as a bold and fearless commander was further cemented. On April 29, 1863, Hoel skillfully slipped the Pittsburgh in between Acting Rear Admiral Porter's flagship Benton and the devastating Confederate bombardment that had rendered the Benton unmanageable. Taking the fire upon his own vessel, Hoel allowed the Benton to extricate herself from the Confederate trap and move to safety. With his heroic actions Hoel ensured the success of Porter's bombardment of Confederate Batteries at Grand Gulf, and allowed General Ulysses S. Grant to safely move his troops across the Mississippi River in preparation for operations against Vicksburg. In November 1864, Hoel would be promoted to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Commander. He was detached from the Pittsburgh and placed in command of the Vindicator on March 1, 1865, on which he served until the end of the war. The letters in the archive primarily span 1863-1865 and are written to Captain Hoel. While the correspondence does not include details of Hoel's most intrepid military actions, it does paint a fascinating picture of his role as a military commander in Southern territory. Letters in the collection indicate that Hoel had responsibility for distributing mail across North/South lines and through Union-held Southern territory. Many correspondents are southerners asking for his assistance. Writing on May 31, 1864, to "Capt. Hoel / Commander of Gunboat Pittsburg off Grand Gulf," one doctor implores the commander to modify his rule "that any one must apply in person for his letter.... I am not in the Confederate Service," the doctor continues, "I have been called on in some half a dozen instances to attend professionally patients of the Federal Army suffering from gunshot wounds. I have always responded to the calls." Among other inquiries, Hoel is called upon to assist a POW, to allow bodies to be retrieved under a flag of truce, and to help civilians in personal matters. Hoel's archive contains letters from other Civil War soldiers, including an undated letter from a Confederate soldier who wished to taunt his Union counterparts: "To the Yankees / you think you are mighty smart got our big river you think you can keep us from crossing but you have mistaken I have waited untill your gun boat was gone and then I crossed by my-self I have papers you would give a good deal to see...I will fight you forever with the blessing of God...Respt Geo. Thompson Co. C 2nd Ark Cav." Also of interest are two songs, "War Song" and "Call for Volunteers," which were composed "By L. A. McBroom." Lewis Asbury McBroom of Hocking County, Ohio, enlisted as a Corporal with the OH 58th Infantry in 1861 and starting in 1863 served in the Department of the Tennessee with the Iron Clads Mississippi Squadron. Subsequent to the war, Captain Hoel returned to Waynesville

Auction archive: Lot number 97
Auction:
Datum:
21 Jun 2019
Auction house:
Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
Este Ave 6270
Cincinnati OH 45232
United States
info@cowans.com
+1 (0)513 8711670
+1 (0)513 8718670
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