I have been thinking about Capt Jacob Poe. Uncle Jake as he was known to all in Georgetown, PA had a fascinating life which deserves more homage than I have offered. Events involving Jacob Poe and the str Clara Poe interest me on two levels:
(1) What was the pilot certification test in 1890? Could a steamboat man aged 77 years know every bar, chute, shoal on the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers between Pittsburgh and Nashville?
(2) Who was Chas C Townsend? As the US Army Deputy Quartermaster General in 1890, Chas C Townsend signed the letter denying Jacob Poe compensation for the loss of the str Clara Poe which was burned by rebels on 17 Apr 1865. It was Chas C Townsend who wrote a note in the margin of an earlier letter requesting an investigation of the event by the Dept of War. That undated letter I assume was written much earlier than the final correspondence. The battle for compensation was waged over 25 years through six presidencies ― with the same man ― Chas C Townsend.
I hope to find some reasonable explanations to both questions.