Charles Steedman papers
New Search | Return to Search Results | View/Save/Print PDF

Charles Steedman papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Steedman, Charles, 1811-1890.
Title: Charles Steedman papers
Dates: 1861-1863
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0753

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Steedman (1811-1890) was born in St. James Parish, Santee, South Carolina. He entered the U.S. navy as a midshipman on April 1, 1828 and rose through grades to the rank of Rear-Admiral in 1871. Steedman served most of his early career in the West Indies. He was stationed on the Constitution from 1835 to 1838. At the outbreak of the Civil War he remained loyal to the Union and remained in the Navy. Initially, Steedman worked on the Chesapeake Bay, transporting troops between Havre de Grace and Annapolis. He was then given command of the Bienville and took an active part in the attack on Port Royal in 1861. He then served in the blockading squadron off the Georgia Coast and participated in the capture of all ports south of Savannah. After the war, he was in charge of the Boston Navy Yard, 1869-1872; he retired from the Navy on September 24, 1873.

Charles Steedman married Sarah Bishop of Philadelphia on February 7, 1843 and raised six children: two sons and four daughters. He died in Washington on November 13, 1890.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of six letters, including four written by Charles Steedman to his wife, written while on various Civil War vessels. These letters are not signed by name, but as "Your Affectionate Husband." The other letters concern military report and vessel movement information. The collection is arranged chronologically.

Index Terms

Huron (Screw steamer)
Letters (correspondence)
Paul Jones (Side wheel gunboat)
Port Royal (S.C.) Expedition, 1861.
Steedman, Charles, 1811-1890.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Blockades.
United States. Navy. -- General subdivision--History; Chronological subdivision--19th century.;

Administrative Information

Custodial History

This collection was purchased from Schindler's Antique Shop, Charleston, SC.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Charles Steedman papers, MS 753, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 1951.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

Item 1: Charles Steedman to his wife. Steamer, Georgia, 1861 November 12 ( 2.0 p. )
Says he is carrying accounts of the victory at Port Royal to the Secretary of the Navy.
Item 2: Same to Same. U.S. Steamer Bienville, Philadelphia, 1861 November 18
Is readying his vessel for sea.
Item 3: Christopher Raymond Perry Rogers to Capt. Charles Steedman. U.S. Flambeau, Ogeechee River, Ga., 1862 February 18 ( 3.0 p. )
Regarding movements of vessels to and from Port Royal. Steedman was at St. Simons.
Item 4: Charles Steedman to his wife. Gun Boat Paul Jones, St. Simons Sound, Ga., 1862 July 17 ( 21.0 p. )
Regarding reconnaissance around Beaufort and Lady's Island; impressions of Beaufort; is going to "make a demonstration on a small batter…on the banks of the Ogeechee River" Fort McAllister; other news of war.
Item 5: John Downs to Comdr. Charles Steedman. U.S. Gun Boat Huron, Ossabaw Sound, Ga., 1862 July 29 ( 1.0 p. )
Report on a reconnaissance, copy of report enclosed.
Item 6: Charles Steedman to his wife. U.S. Gun Boat Paul Jones, St. Simons, Ga., 1862 December 26-1863 January 3 ( 16.0 p )
Discusses buying a house; news of war.