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P-061: M. L. Gerould Diary

SCOPE: This is a transcription of the diary of Martin L. Gerould, a medical officer on board the Str. Eastport, an originally Confederate vessel that was captured by Union troops and used on Confederate waterways. Gerould keeps a brief daily log, describing life on board the vessel, his work, and his pastimes.

EXTENT: 35 typed pages, front only, transcribing short daily entries from Gerould’s 1864 diary.

HISTORY: The Str. Eastport was built prior to 1862 intended for Confederate Use on the Tennessee River. It was captured by Union gunboats in February 1862 and converted to an ironclad ram at Cairo, Illinois. The Union forces used the Eastport on the Mississippi River between Island No. 10 and the mouth of the White River in Arkansas, then later on the lower Mississippi River and it’s tributaries as a convoy and patrol vessel. On April 15, 1864, the Eastport was struck by a torpedo. On the 26th, Captain Seth L. Phelps decided to destroy her to prevent her falling to the Confederates by placing 3,000 pounds of gunpowder in the hold and blowing the vessel up.

This transcription was completed by the great-niece of Martin L. Gerould. Accompanying documentation from this relative indicate that after the explosion of the Eastport, Gerould transferred to Str. Ft. Hindman, Gerould also actively took photographs and sold them to shipmates, which is mentioned in passing frequently in this diary.

ACCESS: This is collection P-061. This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, depending on condition. Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building. More information about conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page.

Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is "From the collections of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.”


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