acumen 3.0ɑ
W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the John Horry Dent, Jr., Letters MSS.0431

ASSET VIEWER
Author:

Finding aid prepared by Martha Bace

Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

2008

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-06-14T15:44-0500

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

John Horry Dent, Jr., Letters

Unit ID:

MSS.0431

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.2 Linear feet

Dates:

1861-1864

Abstract:

Collection contains letters written by John Horry Dent, Jr. (signed J. Horry Dent) of Barbour County, Alabama, from 1861 March 15 to 1864 July 1 to his father, John Horry Dent of Eufaula, Alabama. There are also two letters written by Dent Jr.'s fellow officers to Dent's father detailing information of Dent Jr.'s part aboard the C.S.S. McRae during the battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip and his subsequent capture and internment at Fort Warren in May 1862.

creator

Dent, John Horry , Jr., 1840-1864

Processing Information:

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2008; updated by Martha Bace, 2013

Acquisition Information:

donated by the family, 2012

Biographical/Historical note

John Horry Dent, Jr., was born on 2 May 1840 in Barbour County, Alabama, the son of John H. and Mary M. Dent, of Barbour County, Alabama. During the Civil War, Dent served as an Assistant Engineer on several Confederate Naval steamships, including C.S.S. McRae on the lower Mississippi River from March 1861 to late April 1862, when the McRae was involved in the battle as the Union fleet attempted to pass between Fort Jackson and Fort Saint Philip. In the battle the McRae was severely damaged and was allowed to take their wounded to New Orleans under a flag of truce with only a few officers and enough men to sail her. The rest of her officers and crew, including Dent, were taken as prisoners of war to Fort Warren in Boston harbor. He was part of a prisoner exchange and returned to duty in Richmond, Virginia on 6 August 1862.

In September 1862 he was assigned to the new gunboat, the C.S.S. Chattahoochee, as it was being constructed in Saffold, Georgia. While on the Chattahoochee, Dent suffered from severe chills and high fevers that left him debilitated but his captain would not allow him to transfer out. Shortly before 27 MAy 1863, Dent was finally transferred to the C.S.S. Hampton at Richmond, Virginia, so he was not aboard the Chattahoochee when one of her boilers exploded, killing 18 of her officers and crew.

Dent remained aboard the C.S.S. Hampton, a wooden gunboat, until late July 1863 when he was dispatched to the ironclad ram C.S.S. Charleston at Charleston, South Carolina. In mid-September 1863 he was once again transferred, this time to the C.S.S. Juno, a blockade runner preparing to make a run for Nassau. On 28 October 1863 he was ordered back to the Charleston to replace another engineer. By 1 November 1863, Dent was back aboard the Juno, but only for a short while. He was ordered back to the Charleston in December and remained aboard her until 1864 March 1 when he went back to the Juno, which was preparing to sail for Nassau.

The Juno sailed on the evening of 9 March 1864 and on March 10 encountered a severe storm, so severe in fact, the ship broke apart and sank. The crew managed to get off in the life boats, but those capsized and sank with approximately 31 hands lost -- the only two saved were a Mr. Burk, the pilot, and Dent. They were rescued the next day by another schooner, the Petrel, which had also run the Charleston blockade. They put into Nassau in early April 1864, where he soon took a berth on the C.S.S. Coquette out of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Dent arrived in Wilmington in mid May 1864 and remained on the Coquette as 1st Assistant Engineer. He made one more trip, possibly two, aboard the Coquette to Nassau or Bermuda, until his death, possibly from fever, on 15 July 1864. He was buried in Smithville (now Southport), North Carolina.

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains 117 letters written mainly by John Horry Dent, Jr. (signed J. Horry Dent) of Barbour County, Alabama, between 15 March 1861 to 1 July 1864 while he served in the Confederate Navy to his father, John Horry Dent, in Eufaula, Alabama. One letter was written to his brother, Herbert Dent, and one to his mother. There are also two letters written by his fellow officers (S. P. Blane, midshipman, C.S.N. and C.W. Read, C.S.N.) to John Horry Dent detailing information of his son's part aboard the C.S.S. McRae during the battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip and his subsequent capture and internment at Fort Warren in May 1862, and one letter in 1864 from a cousin, George C. Dent. There is also a small sketch of a bull ram boat, drawn in 1861.

Dent Jr.'s letters provide information about the various ships on which he served, including some of the dimensions of the ship as well as the number of masts, smokestacks, and the types of engines. He also discusses friends and family members as well as, in 1863 and 1864, his dissatisfaction with the state of the Confederate Navy. The letters also show that, on occasion, he was able to purchase items for his family in Alabama, such as shoes, yards of fabrics, and hats. Each of his letters ends with "Give my love to all the family" and is signed "Yrs truly, J. Horry Dent."

Related Archival Materials note

John Horry Dent Papers, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library John and Mary Wellborn Cochran Diaries, Letterbook, and Photographs, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library

Preferred Citation:

The John Horry Dent, Jr., Letters, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Access Restrictions:

None

Usage Restrictions:

None

Source(s)

Civil War (localbroad)

Confederate States of America. Navy--Officers (lcsh)

Daily Life and Family (localbroad)

Letters (correspondence) (aat)

Soldiers--Alabama--Correspondence (lcsh)

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns (lcsh)

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate (lcsh)

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Prisoners and Prisons (lcsh)

War and Military (localbroad)

Correspondence, 1861 Box 0431.0001 Folder 1

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, March 16, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58256

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, June 20, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58257

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, June 25, 1861, letter 1 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58258

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, July 6, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58259

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, July 9, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58260

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Papa, July 16, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58261

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, July 21, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58262

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, July 29, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58263

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, August 3, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58264

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, August 7, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58265

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, August 10, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58266

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, September 4, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58267

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, September 14, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58268

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, September 26, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58269

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, October 5, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58270

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, October 10, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58271

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, October 15, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58272

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, October 27, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58273

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, November 3, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58274

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, November 11, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58275

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Memphis, Tennessee, to Papa, November 26, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58276

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Columbus, Kentucky, to Papa, December 4, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58277

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, December 23, 1861 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58278

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, June 25, 1861, letter 2 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58373

Correspondence, 1862 Restricted, May not be reproduced. Box 0431.0001 Folder 2

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, January 7, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58279

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, January 22, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58280

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. McRae, Mississippi River, to Papa, March 23, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58281

Letter from J. Horry Dent, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Papa, April 18, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58282

Letter from S. P. Blane, C.S.S. McRae, off New Orleans, Louisiana, to Captain J. H. Dent, April 28, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58283

Letter from C. W. Read, Jackson, Mississippi, to J. H. Dent, Eufaula, Alabama, June 12, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58284

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Richmond, Virginia, to Papa, August 7, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58285

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Saffold, Georgia, to Papa, September 5, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58286

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, September 14, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58287

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, September 21, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58288

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, September 26, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58289

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, October 1, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58290

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Columbus, Georgia, to Papa, October 3, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58291

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Columbus, Georgia, to Papa, October 7, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58292

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Columbus, Georgia, to Papa, October 16, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58293

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Columbus, Georgia, to Papa, November 7, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58294

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, November 12, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58295

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, November 22, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58296

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, November 29, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58297

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, December 7, 1862 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58298

Correspondence, 1863 Box 0431.0001 Folder 3

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, January 3, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58299

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, January 9, 1863, letter 1 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58300

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, January 9, 1863, letter 2 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58301

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, January 11, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58302

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, January 16, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58303

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee River, to Papa, February 20, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58304

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Richmond, Virginia, to Papa, June 5, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58305

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Richmond, Virginia, to Papa, June 9, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58306

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Hampton, Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, to Papa, June 30, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58307

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Hampton, Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, to Papa, July 3, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58308

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Hampton, James River, to Papa, July 8, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58309

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Hampton, James River, to Papa, July 14, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58310

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Hampton, James River, to Papa, July 31, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58311

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Charleston, South Carolina, to Papa, August 8, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58312

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Charleston, South Carolina, to Papa, August 9, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58313

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Charleston, South Carolina, to Papa, August 18, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58314

Letter from J. Horry Dent, U.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, August 22, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58315

Letter from J. Horry Dent, U.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, August 30, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58316

Letter from J. Horry Dent, U.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, August 31, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58317

Letter from J. Horry Dent, U.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, September 4, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58318

Letter from J. Horry Dent, U.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, September 9, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58319

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Charleston, South Carolina, to Papa, September 14, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58320

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, September 21, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58321

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, September 26, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58322

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, October 2, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58323

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, Charleston, South Carolina, to Papa, October 6, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58324

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, October 14, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58325

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, October 16, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58326

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Herbert Dent, October 25, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58327

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, October 26, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58328

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, October 28, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58329

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, November 1, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58330

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, November 11, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58331

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, November 13, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58332

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, November 22, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58333

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Ma, November 25, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58334

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, December 3, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58335

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, South Carolina, to Papa, December 8, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58336

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, December 12, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58337

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, December 17, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58338

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, December 29, 1863 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58339

Correspondence, 1864 Box 0431.0001 Folder 4

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, January 6, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58340

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, January 10, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58341

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, January 16, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58342

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, January 21, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58343

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, January 24, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58344

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, February 2, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58345

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, February 5, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58346

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, February 9, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58347

Letter from George C. Dent, Tebeauville, Georgia, to John Horry Dent, February 16, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58348

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, February 17, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58349

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, February 22, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58350

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Charleston, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, February 27, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58351

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Charleston, South Carolina, to Papa, March 1, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58352

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Charleston, South Carolina, to Papa, March 4, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58353

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Juno, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, to Papa, March 8, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58354

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Nassau, Bahamas, to Papa, April 5, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58355

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Nassau, Bahamas, to Papa, April 8, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58356

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Coquette, Nassau, Bahamas, to Papa, April 6, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58357

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Nassau, Bahamas, to Papa, April 23, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58358

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Nassau, Bahamas, to Papa, May 3, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58359

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Coquette, to Papa, May 15, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58360

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Coquette, to Papa, May 16, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58361

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Coquette, to Sis, May 19, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58362

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Wilmington, North Carolina, to Papa, May 25, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58363

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Coquette, to Papa, June 10, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58364

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Coquette, to Papa, June 13, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58365

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Coquette, Wilmington, North Carolina, to Papa, June 14, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58366

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Wilmington, North Carolina, to Papa, June 20, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58367

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Camden, North Carolina, to Papa, June 23, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58368

Letter from J. Horry Dent, Wilmington, North Carolina, to Papa, June 26, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58369

Letter from J. Horry Dent, C.S.S. Coquette, to Papa, July 1, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58370

Letter from John H. Dent to Horry Dent, July 1, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58371

Letter from John H. Dent to Horry Dent, July 7, 1864 http://purl.lib.ua.edu/58372