FINE APPEARANCE. A SPECTACULAR FRANKING AND VERY RARE COVER CAPTURED DURING AN ATTEMPTED BLOCKADE RUN AND USED AS EVIDENCE IN THE PRIZE COURT AT PHILADELPHIA.
This was carried from New York on the Cunarder British Queen, departing Aug. 16, 1862, arriving Nassau Aug. 20. It was forwarded by Saunders & Son with goods on the schooner Defiance to Savannah, but she was captured by the barque U.S.S. Braziliera on Sep. 7, 1862. The Defiance was made a prize, and this was used as evidence in the Philadelphia Prize Court. The initials "H.F." at right belong to Henry Flanders, a well-respected scholar on maritime law who served as commissioner of the Philadelphia Prize Court.
VERY FINE. A RARE COVER TAKEN FROM A CAPTURED VESSEL EN ROUTE FROM CHARLESTON TO HAVANA, THEN USED AS EVIDENCE IN THE NEW YORK PRIZE COURT.
This cover and the addressee, Emilio Puiz, were on board the Nuestra Senora de Regla when she was captured at Port Royal en route to Havana on December 1, 1861, by the U.S.S. Aries (Commander T. W. Sherman). The ship and its cargo were brought to New York, and Puiz, a Spanish citizen, was held prisoner for violating neutrality laws. This cover was used as evidence in the New York Prize Court hearing. Coincidentally, Puiz was taken prisoner again in 1863 when another vessel named Aries was captured by the U.S.S. Stettin with Puiz and other Spanish citizens on board. They were accused of accompanying cargo in an attempted blockade run.
According to the Naval Historical Center, the Nuestra Senora del Regla was built at New York in 1861 for use as a civilian ferryboat at Havana, Cuba. After her capture in December 1861, she was purchased by the U.S. Navy in September 1862, converted to a gunboat and re-named the U.S.S. Commodore Hull (commissioned November 1862). Her ferryboat design made her especially useful for operations in sheltered waters, and the Commodore Hull spent most of her service in the North Carolina Sounds and its adjacent rivers. In that area, she took part in the May 1864, battle with the Confederate ironclad C.S.S. Albemarle, and in attacks on and the capture of Plymouth N.C. on October 29-31, 1864. Although badly damaged in that battle, the Commodore Hull remained active until the end of the Civil War. She was decommissioned in June 1865 and sold in September of that year. She subsequently was named Waccamaw in civilian employment, which lasted until sometime prior to 1885.
EXTREMELY FINE. A REMARKABLE TRIO COMPRISING THE LETTER AND SHIPPING DOCUMENTS CAPTURED ON BOARD THE SCHOONER VOLANT AND USED AS EVIDENCE IN THE PRIZE COURT HEARING.
The Baltimore shipping firm of F. T. Montell & Co. was involved in running goods through the Union blockade. This is a rare letter with accompanying shipping documents which were submitted as evidence during the Philadelphia Prize Court hearing.