W. R. Butt Notebook on Seamanship and Naval Tactics, 1859-1864: Finding Aid
Published in March 2020
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 186
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: W. R. Butt Notebook on Seamanship and Naval Tactics
- Dates: 1859-1864
- Size: 0.17 linear feet
- Container Summary: 1 volume of 146 leaves
- Creator: Butt, Walter Raleigh
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: Walter Raleigh Butt was a Midshipman in the United States Navy, an officer in the Confederate States Navy, and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1859. The W. R. Butt Notebook on Seamanship and Naval Tactics spans from 1859 to 1864. The notebook includes sections on rigging, chasing, trimming, routine of evolutions, docks, signals, boarding, naval tactics, setting and taking in sails, wearing ship, and scudding.
Biography of Walter Raleigh Butt
Walter Raleigh Butt was born likely born in Portsmouth, Virginia in either 1839 or 1840 and was appointed an Acting Midshipman from the Washington Territory on September 20, 1855 as a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1859. Upon graduation, he was appointed Midshipman on June 9, 1859, but served only two years before being dismissed from the United States Navy on October 3, 1861. Following a brief imprisonment at Fort Warren in Massachusetts, Butt was paroled on December 21, 1861. On January 8, 1862, he joined the Confederate Navy, receiving a commission as a First Lieutenant. In the service of the Confederacy, Butt was attached to C.S.S. Virginia (Ironclad) and took part in the Battle of Hampton Roads against U.S.S. Monitor (Ironclad) on March 8-9, 1862. He next served at the fortifications at Drewry's Bluff on the James River until 1863 and was engaged in service abroad until 1864. In 1864, he assumed command of C.S.S. Nansemond (Gunboat) on the James River, commanding that vessel until the fall of Richmond in April 1865. After the Civil War, Butt moved to California, where he died on March 25, 1885.
Description of Contents
The W. R. Butt Notebook on Seamanship and Naval Tactics, comprising 0.17 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 146 leaves, spans from 1859 to 1864. The notebook includes sections on rigging, chasing, trimming, routine of evolutions, docks, signals, boarding, naval tactics, setting and taking in sails, wearing ship, and scudding.
Following Butt's notes is a title page for seamanship notes kept by midshipman Henry W. Lyon, United States Naval Academy Class of 1866. At the end of the volume are several pages of mathematical and navigational calculations.
The W. R. Butt Notebook on Seamanship and Naval Tactics comprises a single volume.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The W.R. Butt Notebook on Seamanship and Naval Tactics is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Related Archival Material
Additional material pertaining to Walter Raleigh Butt in this repository includes Butt's Midshipman Conduct Records and Alumni Jacket.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
W. R. Butt Notebook on Seamanship and Naval Tactics, MS 186
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
"Butt, Walter R., First Lieutenant, Confederate States Navy, (183?-1885)," Naval History and Heritage Command photo collections website, accessed March 31, 2020, https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/us-people/b/butt-walter-r.html.
Butt, Walter Raleigh Alumni Jacket, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in March 2020.
Name and Subject Terms
- Butt, Walter Raleigh
- Masts and rigging
- Naval education -- United States
- Naval tactics
- United States Naval Academy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- Lyon, Henry W.