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Civil War Manuscript Diary for Jacob F. Mentzer - Mentzer, Jacob F - 1862. [1214900]
1862 - Manuscript diary of sailor Jacob F. Mentzer covering the years 1862-1867. Civil War - Pacific Squadron - South America. The extensive diary of Jacob F. Mentzer, of Mount Joy, Lancaster County, Penna. 5.5 x 8.5", 260 closely written pages. Mentzer enlisted in the Marines at Washington, DC in 1862. After his training at the Washington Marine Barracks, he sailed on the USS Sabine to the battles at Morris Island, near Charleston, and Folly Island. April 10, 1863 Mentzer reports of heavy fighting at Charleston, two days later noting that "our forces failed in taking Charleston." May 3rd, Gen'l McClellan and lady were on board his ship, the U. S. Frigate Sabine, "they had a ball." Left for Morris Island on August 1st (continual shelling and bombarding all the time on Morris Island) then to Folly Island and Fort Wagner. He observes about Fort Wagner, "Such a horrible place I never dreamed of or expected to see." After that action, he sailed to New York, where the draft riots were well underway. The USS Wateree, a side wheel gunboat, had just been commissioned in 1863, and Mentzer sailed with the ship on its arduous voyage down the east coast of South America, around the Horn, up the west coast to Mexico, and finally to the new Navy Yard at Mare Island, California, where the ship underwent repairs. Once the war ended, the Wateree was ordered to cruise waters off South America, as part of the southern group of the Pacific Squadron, sailing March 9, 1864. Ports of call or locale include St. Thomas, Barbados, Brazil, Salvador, Uruguay, Straits of Magellan, Patagonia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico. Throughout the cruise, many court-martials took place along with much drunkenness, and fighting. April 23, 1864, "half the ship's co intoxicated, the other half inebriated." Finally arriving in California spending time at Mare Island and San Francisco. Jan. 21, 1865 our sailor notes, "The Monitor, (not the more famous Monitor of early Civil War fame) recently built in San Francisco made her appearance in the harbor this PM.iron clad, 15 inch guns, built on the same style as those in the Atlantic states." Mentzer’s diary ends in April of 1867. The following year, the Wateree was off the coast of Peru when a massive 8.5 earthquake struck, triggering a horrific tsunami that carried the ship inland, fully intact. A sister ship did not fare so well, with all but one on board drowned. The Wateree’s stores were distributed to the needy survivors of the earthquake. The author also includes quite a few lines of poetry, plus laid in are two Marine Corps 'leave slips' dated 1862 and 1863 for Mentzer, plus handwritten instructions for computing interest. Three pages of poetry laid in with accounting for uniform allowance on verso. From the estate of Mentzer’s descendants, this diary has not been offered online or elsewhere -- new to the market. Diary bound in leather with light blue paper, acquired from W. F. Murphy& Sons, Philadelphia. Binding is holding but spine has deteriorated. The closely written notations require good light and good eyes. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 260 pp [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Back of Beyond Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2016-09-30           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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