MALLORY, STEPHEN RUSSELL. 1812-1873.
Letter Signed ("S. Mallory") as Secretary of the Navy, 3½ pp recto and verso, 4to, Richmond, July 23, 1864, to John Taylor Wood, Commander of CSS Tallahassee, on Confederate States of America Navy Department stationery, 3 faint brown spots at one edge.
The Confederate Navy Secretary issues orders to the Commander of one of its makeshift vessels. With the Southern ports blockaded after the fall of Fort Sumter, and the comparative lack of manufacturing in the South, the Confederate Navy was forced to take an unconventional approach to war at sea. The Tallahassee was a converted blockade runner, originally called the Atlanta; a steam cruiser, her top speed was a swift seventeen knots. Mallory orders Wood to sail from Wilmington, NC, and "pay proper attention to the shores of New England and its fisheries." He further notes that "the medicine chests of captured and destroyed vessels ... as well as their nautical instruments and charts, should be preserved." In August of 1864, under Wood's command, the Tallahassee burned and scuttled 26 Union ships.