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West, Lewis H. (b. 1829) Correspondence of 90 letters and documents with 3 maps on the blockade of Port Royal, South Carolina [decimalized .01-.90]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03836 Author/Creator: West, Lewis H. (b. 1829) Place Written: various places Type: Header Record Date: 1856-1865 Pagination: 90 items + 3 maps

Summary of Content: West was a Union naval officer in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, mostly serving off South Carolina and Georgia. This collection begins with three documents from West's service on a merchant marine ship off China. He served on the USS "Perry" April-August 1861, the USS "Wabash" August-October 1861, the USS "Alabama" October 1861-October 1862, the USS "Ladona" (also spelled Lodona) October 1862-August 1863, the USS "New Ironsides" October 1863-April 1864, and the USS "Fernandina" April 1864-March 1865. Had the rank of Masters Mate from April-August 1861 and then served the rest of the war as an Acting Master. Letters detail the tedium of life in the blockade, coming across runaway slaves and contrabands, as well as several run-ins with Confederate submarines. Three hand drawn maps are at .27, .68, and .89. Most of the letters are to his mother (her initials are RW and she resides at 1316 Walnut Street in Philadelphia - West addresses his letters to her as "Mrs. James West"), sister (Mary), and someone who appears to be West's brother-in-law (Weir). He begins to write a woman he seems to be romantically interested in named Harriet Moore in 1864. From a reference at .63, West was born in 1829. He might have been living in New York before the war, but he definitely resides there after the war. About half the letters have an envelope.

People:

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistoryUnion ForcesNavySoldier's LetterUnion Soldier's LetterBlockadeAsiaAfrican American HistoryWomen's History

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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