CS CIVIL WAR 1860 DATED NAVAL ENGINEER’S MANUAL WITH CONNECTION TO A CREW MEMBER OF THE CSS VIRGINIA (MERRIMAC)

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Item Code: 1179-590

This manual is titled in short “ENGINEER’S AND MECHANICS POCKET-BOOK.” The actual title is about a page long stating that the book covers steam and steam engines, mensuration of surfaces and solids, tables of weights of metals, pipes etc.… and numerous other topics related to ships and steam engines. It was compiled by Charles H. Haswell and published by Haper & Brothers of New York in 1860.

The manual is bound in black leather with a flap and keeper. Leather covers show light wear but are in overall very good condition.

Interior has a good binding and pages are mostly clean though a few do show period pencil notations. Endpapers are marbled and the back of the book has a small storage pocket for notes.

First blank page has scribbles and notations in pencil but also shows the names of two owners. First, there is the name “JOHN SPIDEL, MOBILE BAY, DEC 6 1862.” Then in lighter pencil is “JOHN SPIDEL, McMINNVILLE, TENN.” The second name is marked with an ink stamp and reads “CAPT. I. H. WALLING, LITTLE NECK, L. ISLAND.” The same stamp appears on the title page.

Records show that a John Spidell from Alabama served as 3rd assistant engineer in the Confederate Navy on board the CSS NASHVILLE from 1861-1862 and on the CSS FLORIDA from 1862 -1863. The CSS FLORIDA was in Mobile Bay in December of 1862 which would match the notation in the book. Nothing else is known of Spidel.

“CAPTAIN” I. H. Walling is actually Private Isaac H. Walling who enlisted at Norfolk, Virginia in Company E, 41st Virgnia Infantry. His record notes that he was detailed as a diver to the Elizabeth River to assist in raising the hull of the USS MERRIMAC. An August 17, 1915 article that appeared in the Champaign Daily Gazette of Champaign, Illinois quotes an interview with the then “Captain” I. H. Walling stating that he served aboard the MERRIMAC (CSS VIRGNIA) during its famous engagement with the USS MONITOR. After returning to his regiment in April of 1862, Walling was transferred to Company C, 19th Battalion Virgnia Heavy Artillery. His record ends with him being absent without leave on September 15, 1862, however, he does show up as taking the Oath of Allegiance in Norfolk in 1865. More research might reveal more to the story.  [ad][ph:L]

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