March 1857 Pay Receipt Signed by John L. Lenhart, U.S. Navy Chaplain Killed Aboard U.S.S. Cumberland at Battle of Hampton Roads

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March 1857 Pay Receipt Signed by John L. Lenhart, U.S. Navy Chaplain Killed Aboard U.S.S. Cumberland at Battle of Hampton Roads

150.00

Item No. 3947706

A very nice March 1857 pay receipt signed by U.S. Navy Chaplain John L. Lenhart, the “worthy chaplain” mentioned in J. L. Peck’s Song of the Monitor, and the first Navy chaplain to be killed in battle. Issued from the United States Navy Yard at New York, the December 2, 1857 receipt shows a payment of $161.24. It is signed at lower-right by Lenhart. It is in excellent condition and measures about 8” x 2 1/2”.

As the only Navy chaplain serving in U.S. waters, Lenhart was assigned to U.S.S. Cumberland, flagship of the Home Squadron, in October 1861. Cumberland sustained heavy damage in its encounter with C.S.S. Virginia (formerly U.S.S. Merrimack) on March 8, 1862, at the Battle of Hampton Roads. As the ship sank, the crew worked frantically to evacuate the wounded and Chaplain Lenhart chose to remain with the men who could not be moved. His body was never recovered. Another Navy chaplain wouldn’t be killed in battle until 1941.

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