SCOPE: This collection contains materials from and related to William R. Hoel, Mississippi River steamboat pilot and U.S. Navy Officer during the American Civil War.
EXTENT: This collection includes, but is not limited to, excerpts from books in Hoel’s collection such as Vessels of the Mississippi Squadron, Night Signals, Whistle Signals, a brief biography of Mrs. Elizabeth Hoel, his second wife, correspondence between Hoel and various government and military officials, and a transcript and reproduction of Hoel’s Diary, approximately 46 pages long and spanning 1864-1865
HISTORY: William R. Hoel was born in Butler County, Ohio, in March 1824. He entered service in the U.S. Navy in October 1861, already equipped with training as a Mississippi River steamboat pilot. Hoel served as First Master of the Str. Cincinnati and piloted the gunboat Carondelet on the well documented run through Confederate territory at New Madrid, subsequently opening the Mississippi for operation of Union gunboats on the stretch of river leading to Memphis, Tennessee. Hoel also took command of the USS Pittsburg during the infamous 1863 Vicksburg siege. Hoel’s final military service was aboard the USS Vindicator until his honorable discharge from Navy service in 1865.
ACCESS: This is collection P-060. 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.”