Jump to navigation
Bensell, Edmund Birckhead, 1842-Leslie, Frank, 1821-1880
Letter to Frank Leslie, written by Edmund Birckhead Bensell, dated May 12, 1862 (verso).
Civil War drawings collection, approximately 1861-1865.
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400
May 12, 1862
Letter: Drawing: Graphite and black ink wash on paper. 7 x 10 3/4 in. Letter to Frank Leslie offering sketch on recto for publication and asking for compensation. laid on verso is sheet with a letter (May 12th 1862) from Edmund Birckhead Bensell to Frank Leslie in black ink reading: 'Inclosed find / sketch of launch of Philada. Iron / clad vessel, which took place / Saturday May 10/62. If accepted / please remit five dollars ($5.), / if rejected oblige me by returning / drawing. / I was an eye witness of / the scene, and made this drawing / from a sketch I took on the spot.' Letter is on smaller paper with embossing in the top left corner and is pasted on the back of the sketch.
Engraved for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 31, 1862 (XIV:346-7): 124, but significantly modified by the engraver, under the title: 'Our Iron-Clad Fleet Launch of the Iron-Clad Steam Frigate New Ironsides, at the Shipyard of Merrick & Sons, of Philadelphia, May 10.' The accompanying article (page 124): 'Launch of the Iron-Clad Frigate, New Ironsides, at Philadelphia.' U.S.S New Ironsides, a 4120-ton broadside ironclad, was built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. The last, and largest, of the initial group of three 'salt-water' armored warships begun in 1861 to meet the needs of the Civil War. She was commissioned in August 1862, and joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in January 1863. For the next year, she participated in the blockade of Charleston, and attacks on the city's Confederate fortifications. New Ironsides's broadside battery of eight heavy guns, coupled with her iron protection, made her a uniquely valuable ship for bombardment purposes. On April 7, 1863, when nine Federal ironclads entered Charleston harbor to conduct a prolonged bombardment of Fort Sumter, New Ironsides was repeatedly hit by enemy cannon fire, but was not seriously damaged. On August 21 and October 5, 1863, New Ironsides was the target of torpedo boat attacks but she was able to remain on station until May 1864, when she went to Philadelphia for repairs and a general overhaul. In late August, New Ironsides was recommissioned to join the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. In December she participated in a major assault on Fort Fisher, North Carolina, in an effort to stop blockade running into the port of Wilmington. Edmund Birckhead Bensell, younger brother of the artist George Frederick Bensell (1827-1879), was an accomplished painter and illustrator. He is known widely for his ink drawings.
New-York Historical Society
Leslie, Frank, 1821-1880Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaperCommercial correspondencePhiladelphia (P.A.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Letters (correspondence)Commercial correspondenceText
This digital image may be used for educational or scholarly purposes without restriction. Commercial and other uses of the item are prohibited without prior written permission from the New-York Historical Society. For more information, please visit the New-York Historical Society's Rights and Reproductions Department web page at http://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions