D 1.) Dewey Medal, USS Baltimore, officially named on the rim (impressed) “Moritz A. Nicolai, Apprentice 2nd Class”. Nicolai enlisted on June 24, 1897 at Mare Island, California for four years and was transferred to the Baltimore on March 4, 1898. He died on April 7, 1905 and is buried at San Francisco National Cemetery.
Ribbon is original but shows some age and is frayed at bottom. End of pin is broken and no longer reaches catch. Sold with pages copied from the Baltimore’s muster rolls of March and June of 1898.
Price (Sold on eBay)
S 1.) Sampson Medal, USS Harvard, phase 1, reverse “Santiago de Cuba / July 3”. Officially named (impressed) “Wilhelm Seeberg, F 1st C”. Seeberg enlisted at Newport News, VA on June 22, 1898, discharged at New York on September 3, 1898, having spent the entire time on the Harvard. He reenlisted seven weeks later and served until late 1899 when he was transferred to the government hospital for the insane. With original Sampson Medal case. Purchased (without case) from FJP Auctions in November 2002.
Research file includes copies of enlistment papers and service records from both enlistments. Case and medal are in very good condition. Original machine sewn ribbon, typical of phase 1 Sampson medals.
Price $1100 (sold)
The USS Harvard, a schooner-rigged steamship was built in 1888 as City of New York by J. & G. Thompson, Clydebank, Scotland, for the Inman Line. Sister ship of City of Paris, City of New York was one of the largest and best liners of her day, and one of the first steamships with twin screws. She was transferred to American registry under the American Line in 1893 as New York. These ships brought the United States to the front rank in the Atlantic passenger trade, and New York established the record for the Southampton to New York crossing in September 1893. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, New York was chartered as an auxiliary cruiser with a civilian crew, commissioning 26 April 1898 at New York, Captain C. S. Cotton in command and renamed Harvard.
Assigned as a scout, Harvard departed New York 30 April to cruise West Indian waters in search of the Spanish fleet. After sending back several reports on the location of Spanish units in the Caribbean, Harvard was blockaded by a larger force at St. Pierre, Martinique, 11-17 May, after which she proceeded to Santiago de Cuba and St. Nicholas Mole, Haiti, with dispatches from Commodore Schley. Interrupting her scouting duties, Harvard returned to Newport News, Virginia, 7-26 June, during which time her crew was officially taken into the Naval Service.
Harvard returned to the Caribbean with troops and supplies, arriving at Altares, Cuba, about 1 July. The morning of 3 July she received the electrifying news that the Spanish fleet had sortied. After Rear Admiral Sampson's smashing victory off Santiago, she rescued survivors. Despite the high surf and ammunition explosions from the stricken Spanish ships, Harvard succeeded in recovering over 600 officers and men.
No longer needed as a scout in the Caribbean, Harvard was sent back to the United States 10 July 1898. She was temporarily turned over to the War Department, and returned to Santiago de Cuba to transport troops back to the United States. Harvard arrived at New York 27 August and decommissioned 2 September 1898 at New York Navy Yard.
S 2.) Sampson Medal, USS Indiana, phase 1, reverse “Santiago de Cuba / July 3”. Officially named (impressed) “William F. Creswell, BMKR.”
Creswell enlisted as a Boilermaker at Washington, DC on May 3, 1898. He served on the USS Indiana from May 17 to August 3. The remainder of his three year enlistment was on the battleship USS Oregon. Purchased from FJP Auctions in November 2002. Research file includes copy of June 1898 muster roll of USS Indiana, enlistment and service papers.
The USS Indiana is one of the most desirable Sampson medals. The battleship was in the thick of the fighting during the destruction of the Spanish fleet on July 3 at Santiago de Cuba, where she sunk the Spanish destroyers Pluton and Furor.
Good condition, with original machine sewn ribbon, typical of phase 1 Sampson medals.
Price $1100 (sold)