Important Civil War Naval Sextant Owned by Civil War Commander James M. Pritchett
Antique Brass Sextant Owned and Used by Lieutenant Commander James M. Pritchett during the Civil War.
Antique Brass Sextant Owned and Used by Lieutenant Commander James M. Pritchett during the Civil War. The case is inscribed with the name and rank of Lieutenant Commander James M. Pritchett. The Sextant was manufactured by James Parkes in England. The instrument has a Circle Pattern Frame, Two Sets Of Three And Four Colored Glass Filters, Vernier And Magnifier And Four Telescopes, Radius 18cm, Fitted Mahogany Case. Made in England in the 19th Century. Measures 10 3/4″ x 10″ x 5 1/2″ | Excellent Condition.
James M. Pritchett was born to Dr. and Mrs. John M. Pritchett in 1836 and grew up in Centerville, Indiana. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1857. Prior to the Civil War he served aboard the Mississippi on the China Station, and in Richmond on the Mediterranean Station. Assigned to the Washington Navy Yard in 1861, Pritchett joined the Naval forces on the Mississippi River in 1862. On 4 July 1863, while commanding the gunboat Tyler, he participated in, and won praise for, effective action in repulsing a superior Confederate force during the battle of Helena, Arkansas. He also commanded monitor Mahopac during the Civil War. After the war he sailed with Admiral David Farragut’s expedition to Russia and, in 1869, returned to the Pacific Squadron. Lieutenant Commander Pritchett died in 1871 while attached to receiving ship Vermont at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He is buried in Centerville, Indiana. “Pritchett, James M.” Web: Indiana, Find a Grave Index, 1800-2012. In 1943, the destroyer Pritchett (DD-561) was named in his honor.
The following is an excerpt from the Book Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War in the United States by Rear Admiral Henry Walke (1877):
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