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Order Directing a Captain to Detach
from Command of the Kearsarge
Click to enlarge:

An order from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to Captain John A. Winslow in Boston, directing that he is relieved of his command.

GIDEON WELLES. Document Signed by Gideon Welles, November 23, 1864, 8 x 10 in., 1 p.

Inventory #22251       Price: $1,750

Full Transcript

Forwarded Nov. 28

S.H. [Silas] Stringham

Commandant.                     Navy Department

                                                                                    November 23rd 1864.


You are hereby detached from the command of the Kearsarge, and you will regard yourself as Waiting for Orders. Keep the Department advised of your address

                                    I am respectfully,

                                                Your obedient Servant,

   Gideon Welles

                                                                                    Secretary of the Navy.


            John A. Winslow.

            U.S. Navy

            Boston Mass’tts

Extract from General Order of January 30 1846.

“All officers will promptly acknowledge the receipt of orders, and inform the Department immediately on their having reported in obedience to them.”

Historical Background

Gideon Welles (1802-78) served as Secretary of the Navy under Abraham Lincoln and, during the Civil War, led the vital effort to blockade the vast Southern coastline of the Confederacy. Roughly five months earlier, in June 1864, Captain Winslow and the Kearsarge had won national renown for sinking the fearsome raider CSS Alabama off the coast of Cherbourg, France. Winslow was detached from the command of the Kearsarge because the ship was to be decommissioned for repairs beginning November 26th. He would soon be promoted to Commodore for his great victory.


Feathering of ink in body, age-toned, with some offsetting and a thumb print at top, folds reinforced on verso with tape, overall very good.

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