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Knapp, David Scott (fl.1839-1864) to David Knapp and Clarissa Knapp

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02669.106 Author/Creator: Knapp, David Scott (fl.1839-1864) Place Written: U.S.S. Fort Donelson [near Wilmington] Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 7 August 1864 Pagination: 5 p. : envelope ; 31.6 x 19.8 cm.

This document contains two letters written by David Scott Knapp. In his first letter, Knapp, a sailor on a privateer on blockade duty, writes to his father and mother, describing chasing a blockade runner which escaped them. Knapp's second letter is dated August 10, 1864, and is addressed to only his father. In his letter, Knapp primarily discusses family matters and asks his father to write him longer letters. This letter is accompanied by an envelope postmarked August 12.

"We are all feeling a good deal disappointed and there is some pretty tall swearing. At three O'clock this morning all were aroused by the cry of "black smoke," We were all turned in except the look out, and had but a very little steam up and were in no way prepared for a chase. This time there was a real "black smoke" coming from a blockade steamer, which had run out of Wilmington last night and went past us almost within range of our guns. By the time we had got a good head of steam on she had got considerable of a start on us, To make a long story short, we chased seven hours and got beat, didn't get her. She was a splendid looking boat and could travel. I have no doubt but what she and her cargo were worth three or four hundred thousand dollars, A nice little fortune to slip through ones hands. Everything was very favorable for us, the water just as smooth as a pond, but the fact is the Engineers don't know how to run her, in my opinion, but enough of this. We are on our way to Beaufort again …
… but I look forward to about one year from now when I hope that Hearve and myself may be clear from the war. If the good Lord sees fit to spar our lives till then we will have a meeting that will be worth going to…"

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