A bronze ship's gun removed from the C.S.S. Patrick Henry by Lt. N.E. Venable, C.S. Marine Corps

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A bronze ship's gun removed from the C.S.S. Patrick Henry by Lt. N.E. Venable, C.S. Marine Corps

Sold for US$ 12,870 inc. premium
A bronze ship's gun removed from the C.S.S. Patrick Henry by Lt. N.E. Venable, C.S. Marine Corps
The 24 inch tapered bronze tube with a bore of 1 5/8 inches, stepped above the trunnions and with a stepped fillet at the muzzle; spherical cascabel; a holographic note of provenance lacquered between the trunnions and reading This small bronze boarding/cannon was taken from the/burning ship C.S.S. Patrick Henry/by my late brother in-law N.E./Venable Lt. Marine Corps at/Richmond, Va. April 2, 1865/A.- Miller/June 3, 1928 Casting flaws present on the tube would suggest Confederate manufacture.
Condition: Fine. Scattered minor marks.
See Illustration

Weight: 100 lbs.


  • Note: Nathaniel E. Venable, born Prince Edward County, Virginia, about 1838; citizen of Victoria County, Texas; pre-war occupation as a teacher; originally served as a private and corporal in company I, 23rd Virginia Volunteers, where he had enlisted at Camp Bartow, Pocahontas County, Virginia, September 23, 1861; discharged October 17, 1862; appointed from Texas, as 2nd lieutenant in the Confederate States Marine Corps; Venable was placed on recruiting duty at Richmond, under special order dated December 29, 1863, by his immediate commander, Colonel Lloyd J. Beall, with the following instruction: "Lt. Venable will from time to time call upon the commander of conscripts and ascertain whether there are any who desire to enter the Marine Corps. He will explain to them the nature of the Marine service, and inform them of the pay and allowances they will receive as privates and non-commissioned officers of the Corps. None but able bodied active men free from appearances of intemperate habits will be received". [Texas in the War, 1861-1865, page 58; Confederate Navy subject file N - Personnel; NA - Complements, rolls, lists of persons, etc.; Lists and Registers, page 682; Compiled Service Military Record of Nathaniel E. Venable, 23rd Virginia Volunteers; Confederate Navy subject file N - Personnel; NV - Miscellaneous; Marine Corps - Miscellaneous, page 180 1836—1893

    CSS PATRICK HENRY, sometimes referred to as PATRICK was the former side-wheel passenger and freight steamer YORKTOWN which ran between Richmond, Va., and New York. When Virginia seceded from the Union on 17 April 1861 YORKTOWN, then in the James River was seized by that State and subsequently turned over to the Confederate Navy.
    The brigantine-rigged YORKTOWN was built at New York City by the renowned William H. Webb in 1859 for the New York & Old Dominion S.S. Line; the Webb plans of her are still extant.
    Commander J. R. Tucker, CSN, who commanded the newly organized James River Squadron, directed that YORKTOWN be converted into a lightly protected ship-of-war and renamed PATRICK HENRY. She was assigned to a position near Mulberry Island in the James to protect the right flank of the Confederate Peninsula Army, and during the following months remained vigilant against possible attack by Federal vessels from Newport News.
    On 13 September 1861 and again on 2 December, Commander Tucker took PATRICK HENRY down the river to a point about a mile and a half above Newport News and opened fire on the Federal squadron at long range hoping to draw out some of the gunboats. The ruse was unsuccessful, but Tucker inflicted some minor damage.
    During the battle of Hampton Roads, Va., on 8 March 1862 when (the) ironclad VIRGINIA inflicted such damage on the Union fleet, PATRICK HENRY approached CONGRESS, run aground and flying a white flag, but she herself came under fire from other Federal ships and shore batteries, a shot through her steam chest killing four of her crew. Towed out of action long enough to make repairs, she resumed her former position.
    In the engagement between CSS VIRGINIA and MONITOR the following day, PATRICK HENRY fired long range at the MONITOR, maneuvering against VIRGINIA. The Confederate Congress later accorded special thanks to all officers and men for their gallant conduct during the 2-day battle.
    After the surrender of Norfolk on 10 May 1862, the James River Squadron retired up the river to Drewry's Bluff where pursuing Federal ships were repulsed on 15 May. In October 1863 PATRICK HENRY housed the floating Confederate States Naval Academy at Drewry's Bluff, where instruction for 52 midshipmen began under the superintendency of Lt. W. H. Parker, CSN. She had been designated as academy ship in May 1862 and had undergone alterations to this end. She was burned by the Confederates when Richmond was evacuated 3 April 1865. From The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
A bronze ship's gun removed from the C.S.S. Patrick Henry by Lt. N.E. Venable, C.S. Marine Corps
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ANTIQUE Antique - pre 1899

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