Friday, March 2, 2012

Gunboat Jeff Davis Confederate Pipe

An exceptionally massive briar pipe, 3" x 4" width 6.75." hardwood stem, the bowl finely carved with relief ribbon banner bearing Gunboat Jeff Davis Capt J. L. Dodds; 







relief-carved cannon barrels atop the ribbon,

and the front of the bowl decorated with a laurel banner and sword. The pipe and stem with wonderful, rich patina.
 



The Jeff Davis began her career as a Confederate gunboat plying the waters of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. She was captured by the Mississippi Squadron at Memphis in early June 1862 and placed into Union service.

 

The owner of the pipe, John Luther Dodds, a Georgian by birth, enlisted on June 14, 1861 as a 2nd Lt. in Co. D, Phillips Legion; Dodds was promoted to Captain in 1862. Early in the War the Legion saw service in Western Virginia and South Carolina, but by 1862 had been transfered to the Army of Northern Virginia, where it was active from Second Manassas to Gettysburg. The battalion was active from Second Manassas to Gettysburg, moved with Longstreet to Georgia, but did not fight at Chickamauga. It was involved in the Knoxville Campaign, the battles of The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, Early's operations in the Shenandoah Valley, and various conflicts around Appomattox. The unit took 273 effectives to Gettysburg, had many captured at Sayler's Creek, and surrendered with 5 officers and 88 men.

Dodds was among those captured at Sayler's Creek, and was sent to Johnson's Island Prison, arriving on April 4, 1865 and was released at War's end on June 17, 1865. Presumably he carved this pipe during his internment. The association with the Jeff Davis is unknown; Dodds was never a member of the brown-water Navy.

Courtesy of Cowan's Auctions

 

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