(CIVIL WAR--NAVY.) Archive of Samuel B. Gregory, acting master of the USS Western World. 114 manuscript documents and 54 printed orders and documents sleeved in 2 binders, plus a 17-page manuscript volume in burlap cover titled "Quarter Bill" including watch lists and signal flags; various sizes, condition generally strong. Vp, 1861-64
Estimate $7,000 - 10,000
Samuel Bowden Gregory (1812-1884) of Marblehead, MA served as acting master of the USS Western World from 1862 to 1864, on patrol in the North Atlantic blockade. In June 1862, the Western World and two other vessels sailed up two rivers in South Carolina, burning plantations, capturing a British schooner, and taking on board more than 400 liberated slaves. This archive includes three orders from Gregory to his paymaster, taking a few of these former slaves as crew members. For example, "You will enter Moses and William (Negroes this day received on board) on your books and pay them as 3rd class boys" (26 June 1862). Possibly related is an undated list of 13 "supernumaries for the sounds of N. Carolina" and 52 "coloured landsmen." All of the supernumeraries who could be traced (Gabriel Newton, Lewis Price, and James Brown) were African-American sailors from Wilmington, NC who served on the USS Monticello in 1862 and 1863. In April and May of 1863, the Western World helped capture or destroy several Confederate ships. The collection includes several reports on these actions by Ensign James S. Cony, as well as other retained manuscript reports by Gregory. One six-page report describes the near-wreck of the Western World during a gale in August 1863. Also of interest is a manuscript signal and duty book, with signal flags in color. Among the noteworthy autographs are letters or documents signed by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles (5); Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont (8); Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren; and Rear Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee. A substantial archive of a Union naval officer's very active duty along the Atlantic Coast.