December 2012 Auction Ends Tuesday, December 18th, 5pm Pacific


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Spanish-American War diary by Dr. M.H. Simons. From onboard the U.S. battleship Iowa, the doctor handwrites his firsthand account of the war's most important battle, The Battle of Santiago, starting 3 July 1898; in graphic detail, he provides his eyewitness account of the entire series of naval maneuvers that comprised the pivotal battle and its bloody fallout. Of 3 July 1898 he records, in part: ''...I got N.Y. Herald correspondent Macready to take me down to Iowa on the Golden Rock. We started promptly passed the N.Y. heading for Aletares some 3 or 4 miles out. When near Aquadores (263 miles) saw ship rush in towards...and open fire; then I saw a ship coming out followed in regular order by 3 others; quite an interval, perhaps one to one and a half miles elapsed then came the destroyers Pluton and Furor. The Iowa was first and closest in of battleships, but Gloucester (Wainwright) was east of entrance and rushed in firing 6 pods of cruisers & when destroyers came out followed them firing steadily & rapidly; destroyers fired but did not attempt to run in with torpedoes, second destroyer in line, Pluton, distanced leader & Gloucester managed to keep within firing distance of last (Furor); they ran down until leader received fire of Iowa then turned and made back along coast for Santiago. Furor caught fire, was beached and soon blew up in angle of coast above west of Cabanis about 2 miles or so; Pluton sank about a mile or so west of other, just as New York got abreast of her...Their crews numbered 140 men (70 each) of these 90 were lost, 50 saved...'' He includes a list of the names of Officers aboard Iowa from Vizcaya & Maria Teresa and goes on: ''...The Spaniards aboard were almost naked when they came off [the ships] and many entirely so...They ate as if they would never be filled...Dr. Gomez dressed amputated arm after Crandale and I had cut it off, but (I there left him and went to others who were crying and moaning) C says that he persisted in using silk from his own pocket case not antisep. & [later the] wound was found to be infected as were many others; men swam ashore with wounds tied up with all sorts of bandage & meat of the wounds uncovered and full of dirt, slime, fragments of cloth, wood & metal (splinters) filthy beyond description. We worked hard, using up about all our solutions, a great deal of...bandages, cotton, etc...I was about used up, having worked all Saturday [2 July] night...having had nothing to eat except two hard tacks, a piece of salt pork, & a pot of coffee...We passed Indiana and cheered. Indiana was lying off Aquendo & Maria Teresa. We saw Aquendo explode just after we passed...everyone even some of the men came and shook hands with me, then the wounded came aboard from the Vizcaya...[Vizcaya Captain] Eulate was much depressed, posed a good deal & was slightly hysterical. When the Vizcaya blew up just as he came aboard, he waved his hand and said in tearful voice, 'Adios, Vizcaya.' It was no doubt a sorrowful moment...'' The doctor adds a diagram of the ships with a numbered key in which he explains the movements of the fleets and sequence of events. He concludes: ''...July 16 Santiago surrendered and with it territory East of Asemadero to Aquilera in all about 25000 men under arms...'' Prior to Santiago and beginning 21 April, Dr. Simons writes of the buildup to war, which began in early May and lasted through August. He devotes 50pp. to chronicling his experiences relevant to the Battle of Santiago. Prior to the war and beginning in 1891, Simons includes his observations on the regional fauna and flora, as well as humorous anecdotes such as the one on pp.77 in which he tells of a chance meeting with native women terrified at the sight of the bearded Europeans. Also included in the lot are five copies of the booklet Dr. Simons published on the physical repercussions of the use of firepower, ''Otological Experiences during the Naval Battle of Santiago on Board the Battleship 'Iowa''', reprinted from The Laryngoscope: St. Louis: May, 1899. Large octavo journal runs 200 pages with printed pagination, and the Doctor writes on both sides of most leaves, from 1 to 176. Journal is housed in charcoal cloth boards with red leather trim and gilt design. Measures 8.25'' x 14''. Front and rear boards are detached, as are most leaves from the spine. Toning to the edges of leaves and scattered staining. In very good condition, especially given age. Booklets run 6pp. and measure 6'' x 9''. Very good to near fine. An extremely scarce relic of the Spanish-American war from an active and articulate medic.
Handwritten Diary by Spanish-American War Doctor Aboard Battleship Iowa -- Full Account of Battle of Santiago -- ''...Spaniards were almost swam ashore with...meat of wounds uncovered...''
Handwritten Diary by Spanish-American War Doctor Aboard Battleship Iowa -- Full Account of Battle of Santiago -- ''...Spaniards were almost swam ashore with...meat of wounds uncovered...''
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Minimum Bid: $100
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Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.
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