The Confederate Commander on Fort Sumter, Col. Alfred Rhett Writes to Col. Butler at Fort Moultrie!

This is one of the most historic pieces in our collection… it just has so much “character”.  It is an irregular piece of blue imported stationery measuring just 6 x 8 inches.  It is headed, “Fort Sumter Aug. 22nd, 1863”.  Here is the content: 

The Fannie was a blockade runner.  Blockade runners give us some of the most colorful stories in Civil War Naval history… fast steam sidewinders sneaking past the Union blockade.  Owned by rich merchants in cities like Charleston, S.C.  They would go to England, pickup supplies and goods for sale and bring them back to the South.  The Fannie, owned by H. Adderley & Co. out of Charleston, would even make stops in St. John’s N. B. 

The “red light” on her starboard side alerted the Confederate forces not to fire on her. 

So, who was Alfred Rhett?  He was the son of Senator Robert Barnwell Rhett… the “Fire-Eater” of the Confederacy.  His brother was R. Barnwell Rhett Jr., editor of the Charleston Mercury.  Alfred Rhett in December 1860 commanded the artillery battery on Fort Moultrie and also during the initial bombardment of Fort Sumter.  In January of 1863, Alfred was promoted to Colonel and placed in command of Fort Sumter, where he served with distinction during the Union Ironclad attack on April 7, 1863 and THE FIRST HEAVY BOMBARDMENT BY UNION FORCES IN AUGUST 1863… WHEN OUR LETTER WAS WRITTEN! 

This little order is written in nice dark ink.  A real “gem” for either the Charleston or blockade runner collector. 

#L8-22-63 – Price $850

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