The Daniel D. T. Nestell Papers, spanning from 1852 to 1911, focus primarily on service and experiences of Nestell as an Assistant Surgeon in the United States Navy during the Civil War. The papers describe naval career of Daniel Nestell, from his initial appointment through his retirement and subsequent pension claims, including descriptions of his time as a Confederate prisoner of war.
Much of the collection is composed of hand-drawn sketches by Nestell, which depict numerous naval engagements, including the First Battle of Galveston, the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Phillip, and the Siege of Vicksburg, as well several portraits and caricatures.
Daniel D. T. Nestell was a U.S. Navy surgeon during the American Civil War. He was born in New York between 1815 and 1819, and graduated with honors from the University of the City of New York, University Medical College. On January 25, 1862, Dr. Nestell was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon, to serve on the U.S.S. Clifton. While serving aboard the Clifton, Nestell was witness to the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Phillip, the Siege of Vicksburg, and the First Battle of Galveston, before being captured by Confederate forces at Sabine Pass on September 8, 1863. Nestell was subsequently held as a prisoner of war until January 1864. After his release from Confederate captivity, Nestell was assigned to U.S.S. Alabama, which was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and took part in the Union attacks on Fort Fisher in December 1864. During the battle, Nestell suffered irreversible hearing damage, resulting in his appointment being revoked in June 1865. Nestell was subsequently honorably discharged from the Union Navy in August 1865.