U.S.S. Tallapoosa Financial Records, 1886-1888: Finding Aid
Published in 1990
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 257
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: U.S.S. Tallapoosa Financial Records
- Dates: 1886-1888
- Size: 4.59 linear feet (3 manuscript boxes, 2 flat boxes)
- Creator: Tallapoosa (Side-wheel steamer)
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: Tallapoosa was a Civil War era steamer that sank in 1884 and was subsequently raised and recommissioned into the South Atlantic Squadron, protecting U.S. interests and commerce. The financial records, kept by Passed Assistant Paymaster Ambrose K. Michler, include materials such as account vouchers, requisitions, proposals, store returns, receipt books, and pay rolls.
History of U.S.S. Tallapoosa
U.S.S. Tallapoosa, a wooden-hulled, double-ended steamer built at the New York Navy Yard by C. W. Booz of Baltimore, Maryland, was launched on February 17, 1863 and commissioned on September 13, 1864, LCDR Joseph E. DeHaven in command.
Tallapoosa's first duty was to hunt down the Confederate cruiser Tallahassee, which was cruising off the Atlantic coast destroying Union shipping from the Virginia Capes to Nova Scotia. On 4 November, Tallapoosa encountered rough weather, which disabled both her rudders and caused other damage. She returned to Boston on November 7 for repairs, having never found the Tallahassee. Following repairs at the Boston Navy Yard, Tallapoosa was assigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron.
After the end of the Civil War, Tallapoosa served in the Gulf Squadron, assigned to the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico, until 1867 when she was laid up at the Washington Navy Yard. Reactivated in 1869, the ship became a dispatch vessel. As a dispatch vessel, she twice transported Admiral Farragut, first, in January 1870 to Portland, Maine to receive the remains of philanthropist George Peabody, who had died in England. The following summer, Tallapoosa carried Farragut from New York City to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he died that August.
In 1872, Tallapoosa was transferred to Annapolis to serve as a training ship at the Naval Academy. The following year, she became a transport, after which she was largely rebuilt at Baltimore between 1874 and 1875. Reconfigured as a single-ender, the veteran warship resumed her role as a dispatch vessel and continued performing as such for almost a decade.
On August 24 1884, Tallapoosa collided with schooner J. S. Lowell and sank off of Vineyard Haven, Rhode Island. The ship was raised and repaired, after which she was recommissioned at the New York Navy Yard on January 11, 1886 and assigned to the South Atlantic Squadron to protect American interests and commerce in the waters off Brazil. Tallapoosa served along the coast of South America until January 30, 1892 when she was condemned as unfit for service. She was sold at public auction at Montevideo, Uruguay, on March 3, 1892.
Biography of Ambrose K. Michler
From January 1886 through December 1888, Ambrose K. Michler served as Passed Assistant Paymaster aboard U.S.S. Tallapoosa. Michler, who was born in New York, was a resident of the District of Columbia. Michler joined the naval service in 1877 with the rank of Assistant Paymaster. He achieved the rank of Passed Assistant Paymaster in 1881 and Paymaster in 1893. Michler resigned from the Navy in May 1899.
Description of Contents
The U.S.S. Tallapoosa Financial Records, comprising 4.59 linear feet of documentation, span from 1886 through 1889. The financial records, which hail from Tallapoosa's time attached to the South Atlantic Squadron, were largely kept and/or produced by Ambrose K. Michler, Passed Assistant Paymaster of the Tallapoosa.
The collection is composed of Account Current Vouchers, Requisitions, Proposals (with Invitations for Sealed Proposals), General Store Returns (consisting of Receipt and Expenditure Vouchers, Balance Sheets, and Board Reports Fixing Value), Accounts of Sale on Sets of Money, Money Lists, Final Quarterly Returns, Officers' Quarterly Receipt Books, Pay Rolls, and other related documents. The documents record the bids, amounts, costs, and suppliers of shipboard supplies and services. Supplies range from everyday items such as food, coal, wood, metal, oils, paint, and cloth, to more unique items, such as spelling books and capillary tubes of bovine vaccine virus. The records also offer information on clothing and small stores, such as combs, can openers, thimbles, and handkerchiefs.
In addition to detailing the purchase of materials and supplies, the documents also record the procurement of various service, such as pilot boat guidance, hospital stays, laundry, and the scaling of the boilers' furnace crowns. The records also document salaries and money requisitions for personnel aboard ship.
While most of the materials in the collection pertain solely to the Tallapoosa, some of the vouchers and proposals reflect work on other U.S. Navy vessels, namely U.S.S. Alliance (Screw gunboat), U.S.S. Dolphin (Gunboat), U.S.S. Lancaster (Screw sloop-of-war), U.S.S. Nipsic (Gunboat), and U.S.S. Trenton (Screw steamer).
The U.S.S. Tallapoosa Financial Records are arranged by document type.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The U.S.S. Tallapoosa Financial Records are 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
Purchased by the Naval Academy Alumni Association in July 1989. Accession No. 89-25.
Related Archival Material
Records of the Tallapoosa's service as a training vessel at the Naval Academy may be available in RG-405, Records of the United States Naval Academy, at Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library. The Tallapoosa's logbooks may also be available as part of Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, ca. 1801 - 1940, part of Record Group 24: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798 - 2007 at the National Archives and Records Administration.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
U.S.S. Tallapoosa Financial Records, MS 257
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
Navy Department. Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Naval History Division. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1959-1981.
This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1990. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1990 and revised by David D'Onofrio in May 2014.
These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.
Name and Subject Terms
- Alliance (Screw gunboat)
- Dolphin (Gunboat : PG-24)
- Lancaster (Screw sloop-of-war)
- Michler, Ambrose K.
- Nipsic (Gunboat)
- Tallapoosa (side-wheel steamer)
- Trenton (Frigate)
- United States. Navy -- Accounting
- United States. Navy -- Pay, allowances, etc
- United States. Navy -- Supplies and stores
- Financial records
- Vouchers (sales records)