Philip G. Peltz Journal
Scope and Content
This collection contains the journal of Philip G. Peltz, chief engineer of the U. S. S. Dacota during the American Civil War. It also includes a typed, bound transcription of the journal. Peltz wrote about his experiences aboard the ship in 1862 and 1863, including the destruction of the U. S. S. Merrimack, his experience with yellow fever, and encounters with people escaping enslavement who sought out the Union Army.
Of the Merrimack's destruction, Peltz wrote, "soon the flames spread over her entire length enshrouding her in one sheet of fire. The fire and smoke came pouring out of the smoke pipe greater than from a cupola... At 4.32 A.M. the entire mass of flame, a great portion of her iron sheathing, +c were seen to ascend high into the heavens, presenting one of the most magnificent pyrotechnical views I ever beheld."
Peltz wrote, "We have taken on board several [people escaping enslavement] who came down to the beach and begged to be taken on board, sometimes they would be possessed with passes from their [enslavers]... When their fellows were closely interrogated as to what their motives were in running off they only seemed to think that their condition could not be any [worse] so they would try in anyhow, some left their wives and families behind in their eagerness to leave their states of bondage."
- 1862 - 1863
- Peltz, Philip G., 1832-1868 (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in this collection are written in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions
may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for
assistance in determining the use of these materials.
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Philip G. Peltz (1832-1868) was chief engineer of the U. S. S. Dacota for the U. S. Navy during the American Civil War. He is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
External source: "Chief Philip G. Peltz", Findagrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28526982/philip-g-peltz, accessed May 18, 2023.
The U. S. S. Dacota was a steel sloop that served the United States Navy during the American Civil War. On March 9, 1862, the ship sailed to join the Union blockade of the North Atlantic. The gunboat was stationed near Hampton Roads, Virginia from March to September 1862, and participated in the blockade of the Confederacy, a strategy to prevent Confederate trading. It patrolled the Atlantic seaboard on various assignments throughout the Civil War.
As Peltz's entries note, the most notable naval battle in the Civil War was the Battle of Hampton Roads in March 8-9, 1862, where the Union ironclad U. S. S. Monitor and the Confederate ironclad C. S. S. Virginia, also known as the C. S. S. Merrimack. This was the first battle between ironclad ships. The outcome of the battle was inconclusive, with neither ship able to inflict significant damage on the other. When Union troops occupied Norfolk, Virginia in May 1862, the Virginia's captain destroyed the ship to prevent it from being captured by the Union.
0.3 Cubic Feet (1 box)
This collection contains the journal of Philip G. Peltz, chief engineer of the U. S. S. Dacota during the American Civil War. It also includes a typed, bound transcription of the journal.
Source of Acquisition
This collection was purchased by Special Collections and University Archives in 2021.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the Philip G. Peltz Journal by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing, arrangement, and description of the Philip G. Peltz Journal was completed in December 2022.
- Philip G. Peltz Journal, 1862-1863
- Miranda Christy, Graduate Assistant
- 2022 (CC0 1.0)
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
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