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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Lincoln Raises the Flag

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, March 9, 1861. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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President Lincoln hoisting the 34-star American flag on Independence Hall, Philadelphia, with his speech. United States arsenal at Little Rock, Arkansas surrendered to the state troops. Interior of the new dome of the capitol at Washington. Front view of Fort Pickens, Pensacola. Inauguration of Pres. Jefferson Davis at Montgomery, Alabama.

Item #H-3-9-1861, ON HOLD

Mixing Religion and Politics: The Bishop of Maryland Instructs Clergy to Pray for the President and for America

[CIVIL WAR]. BISHOP WILLIAM R. WHITTINGHAM, Printed Circular Letter Signed, Baltimore, May 15, 1861, to the Clergy of the Diocese of Maryland. 1 p. With: transmittal Autograph Letter Signed and envelope addressed in his hand, bearing bishop’s seal in black wax on verso, addressed to Rev. Charles H. Hall of the Epiphany Church, Washington, D.C. 2 p.

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At the outset of the Civil War, and after Baltimore Riots on April 19, 1861, Maryland’s Legislature and Governor reaffirm allegiance to the United States. On May 13th – just two days prior to this letter – Federal troops occupied Baltimore and martial law was declared. The dual crises prompted the bishop to insist that his brethren pray for the president and nation.

Item #20966.99, $750

“I thought Cump would advise you as to the movements here…”

THOMAS EWING, JR, Autograph Letter Signed, to Thomas Ewing, his father. Washington, May 22, 1861. Written in pencil. 6 pp., 4⅞ x 7¾ in.

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Genl Scott is in bad humor with the administration for appointing Reeder Brig Genl in regular army … We have the idea he will not favor Cump’s appt, except as Colonel…

Ewing informs his father of political machinations in Washington and early Civil War plans and appointments. He painstakingly weighs the chances of his foster brother (and brother-in-law), William T. “Cump” Sherman, obtaining a general’s commission. He also offers a sober analysis of the relative strengths of the Union and Confederate armies in the Eastern theater. “The general impression is the first battle, after Pickens, will be at Norfolk. The Govt. is not ready. Genl Scott says Genl Impatience is the only opposing General he fears. At present, it is plain the enemy can put man for man in the field anywhere in eastern Virginia with us.

Item #21772, $1,250

On the Day of the First Battle of Bull Run,
Confederate Ordnance Chief Josiah Gorgas Orders
Equipment for 100,000 Troops

JOSIAH GORGAS. [BULL RUN], Manuscript Letter Signed, to Ira R. Foster. Richmond, Va., July 21, 1861. 1 p., 8 x 9¾ in.

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Item #22393, $1,950

Future Confederate Secretary of War
Makes Recommendation to War Department

JAMES SEDDON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Secretary of War Leroy P. Walker. Sabot Hill, Virginia, September 4, 1861. With integral endorsement by Harrison. 2 pp., 5 x 7⅞ in.

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Seddon, a Confederate Congressman from Virginia, recommends Captain George Harrison, a veteran of First Manassas, for promotion.“My friend and fellow Countryman Captn. George Harrison late of the Goochland Cavalry serving at Manassas, where he had the privilege of participating in the perils and honor of our late victory.

Item #21774, $900

Union Soldier’s Letter to his Cousin from Embattled Washington

GEORGE BOWERS, Autograph Letter Signed, September 10, 1861, Washington, D.C. 3 pp., on patriotic stationery; with partial patriotic cover from Birney’s Regiment.

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Item #21265.21, $250

Lincoln Calls for the public to supports the U.S. Sanitary Commission

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. HENRY W. BELLOWS, Printed Circular Letter, to “the Loyal Women of America.” Washington, D.C., October 1, 1861. 3 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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The Sanitary Commission is … of direct practical value to the nation, in this time of its trial. It is entitled to the gratitude and confidence of the people… There is no agency through which voluntary offerings of patriotism can be more effectively made.  A. Lincoln.

Item #24870, $950

Confederate Secretary of War Judah Benjamin Puts Promotion Controversy to Rest and Keeps General Braxton Bragg in “hateful inaction on the sands of Pensacola harbor”

JUDAH P. BENJAMIN. [CIVIL WAR], Autograph Letter Signed as acting Secretary of War, to Braxton Bragg. Richmond, Va., October 6, 1861. 4 pp., 7¾ x 10 in. On War Department letterhead.

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Writing as acting Confederate Secretary of War, Judah P. Benjamin denies Major General Braxton Bragg the possibility of a transfer to a more active post. Instead, Benjamin gives Bragg additional responsibilities, including defending Alabama. Bragg must have become tired of inaction, as three days after Benjamin wrote this letter, Bragg ordered the Confederate assault on Fort Pickens at the Battle of Santa Rosa Island.

Item #23285, $12,500

Charles Sumner Writes to
a Quaker Peace Advocate and Abolitionist

CHARLES SUMNER (1811-74), Autograph Letter Signed. Boston, October 27, 1861. To Joshua P. Blanchard, 1 p.

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“My dear Sir, I always read you writings with interest & sympathy. We are both arriving at the same results; for we both hate Slavery & love Peace...”

Senator Sumner of Massachusetts was a leading abolitionist, intimate of Lincoln, and radical republican. Before the Civil War, he joined the ranks of abolitionism’s martyrs when he was savagely attacked on the floor of the Senate by Congressman Preston Brooks in consequence of remarks that Sumner made about Brooks’ relative, Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina. Sumner never fully recovered.

Item #20532, $850

Frederick Seward Asks Samuel Colt for Presentation Pistol Prices

FREDERICK W. SEWARD, Letter Signed, to Samuel Colt, Washington, D.C., October 28, 1861. 1 p.

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your best quality of ornamented revolvers…

President Abraham Lincoln often presented gifts to foreign heads of state or dignitaries, and Samuel Colt’s pistols were excellent examples of American ingenuity and craftsmanship.

Item #24247, $1,750

Report of Attacks on Forts Walker and Beauregard

JUDAH P. BENJAMIN, Autograph Letter Signed as Confederate Secretary of War, to President Jefferson Davis, with Davis’s endorsement. Richmond, Va., December 30, 1861. 1 p., plus docket, 7⅝ x 8⅞ in.

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Benjamin sends his official reports on the attacks on Forts Walker and Beauregard to Jefferson Davis, to be communicated to the Confederate Congress.

Item #20084, $4,500

Blistering Border State Speech
against Wartime Confiscation of Slaves

[SLAVERY]. U.S. CONGRESS, Pamphlet. Speech of Hon. John S. Carlile, of Virginia, on the Bill to Confiscate the Property and Free the Slaves of Rebels; Delivered in the Senate …, March 11, 1862. Washington: Congressional Globe Office, 1862. 13 pp.

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Item #21856.02, $450

“…we shall cross at the same place at the time of the Balls Bluff disaster… ancious to avenge the death of our many fallen comerads.”

MARK KENNEY, Autograph Letter Signed, Camp Stone, January 24, 1862. 4 pp. 8 vo. Some tears with no loss of text.

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Item #21265.05, $250

A Day After Grant’s Capture of Fort Henry, Confederate General Lovell Weakens New Orleans in a Futile Attempt to Shore Up Fort Donelson

MANSFIELD LOVELL, Autograph Letter Signed, to Albert Sidney Johnston. New Orleans, La., February 7, 1862. 1 p., 8 x 11 in.

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In February 1862, General Mansfield Lovell sends reinforcements to Albert Sidney Johnston, the chief Confederate commander in the West, so he can defend Nashville and Fort Donelson. The move was fruitless; Fort Donelson fell to Union troops a week after this letter was written.

Item #21776, $2,900

Celebrating a Report of McClellan’s Death

BENJAMIN PRENTISS (1819-1901), Autograph Letter Signed (“Prentiss”) Columbus, [Kentucky], March 4, 1862. 1 p., 7¾ x 8¾ in.

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Item #20740, $2,400

Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, as President, to Secretary of State William H. Seward, “Executive Mansion,” Washington, D.C., March 5, 1862. Signed at bottom by “William H. Seward,” with a note in an unidentified contemporary hand. 1 p. 4¾ x 7¼ in.

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The United States is the only nation in history to end slavery through Civil War. Nations as diverse as Russia, the British Empire, France, Brazil, and others around the world ended their reliance on slave labor through legislative means that included some form of compensation to slaveowners for their lost “assets.” Here, President Lincoln requests that Secretary of State William Seward summon a meeting of the Cabinet. The following day, the president presented a special message to Congress with his plan end slavery through compensation. There were no takers among the slaveholding border states. The brevity of Lincoln’s letter belies its far-reaching implications and the tantalizing possibilities of “what might have been.”

Item #23747, $90,000

Creating Two New Civil War Military Departments

EDWARD DAVIS TOWNSEND. [CIVIL WAR], Printed Document Signed, “General Orders No. 34.” War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, D.C., April 4, 1862. 1 p., 5 x 7½ in.

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Item #22956, $450

Union Soldiers Recounts Conquest of Island No. 10

[ISLAND NO. 10], Amos Downing, Autograph Letter Signed, to his brother (Philip Downing). Island No. 10. [New Madrid], Missouri, April 9, 1862. 4 pp. With autograph envelope.

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A day after the Confederate surrender, Amos Downing gives his brother an exciting account of the Siege of Island No. 10 from the perspective of someone who may have served under Commodore Andrew Foote in the riverboat fleet that collaborated with General John Pope. Downing correctly identifies Fort Pillow, eighty miles to the south on the Mississippi, Memphis, and New Orleans as the next Union targets in the Mississippi Valley. His description of Confederate prisoners reveals a measure of discontent within Southern ranks. “The prisoners taken here are all Irish they say that they were force[d] in the service and are satisfied to be taken prisoner. They didnt know what to make of maters. They said first a big smoke and next a noise like thunder and next thing the devil himself would come among them and that was worst than fighting with sticks. They say the first shell killed fifteen men there lost is very heavy…

Item #21890, $750

Requesting Another Battery of Artillery During the Siege of Yorktown

CHARLES SMITH HAMILTON (1822-1891), Autograph Letter Signed (“C. S. Hamilton”), as General U.S. Army, with additional autograph endorsements on verso by S. P. Heintzelman, James A. Hardie and William F. Barry. Div. Hd. Qrs., April 12, 1862. To Gen. S. Williams. 2 pp, 7¾ x 10 in., ruled paper, closed tear.

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In the middle of the Civil War Siege of Yorktown, General Charles Hamilton fruitlessly asks for more artillery.

Item #20363.05, $800

Union Soldier Watches the CSS Virginia Bait the Navy at Norfolk, and Describes Growing Confidence the Union Can Sink Her

[CSS VIRGINIA], Autograph Letter Signed. Union soldier’s eyewitness account of seeing the CSS Virginia (Merrimack), Camp Hamilton, Virginia, April 13, 1862. 4 pp., 8 x 10 in.

With: BATTLE OF HAMPTON ROADS. Print. Engraving of the battle, removed from Harper’s Weekly, March 22, 1862, pp. 184-85, 21 x 8 in. Modern color.

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we had but one object in view that was to prevent the Merrimac from running the blockade, which we reasoned she desired to do in order to visit Yorktown and play the old harry with our gunboats there. Directly opposite our hospital within a half mile lay the Nangatuck and on her left our iron gunboat which I heard called 5 different names [the Monitor]…We now have confidence in our ability to sink her if we could have her where we want… our commodore is determined not to attack her off Sewall’s point or about there, as there is not water enough to maneuver his large vessels as well as the risks of their getting aground…, she is certain to be sunk if she ever passes fortress Monroe.

One month after the Battle of Hampton Roads, in which the USS Monitor confronted the CSS Virginia in an hours-long battle of the ironclads, a Union soldier stationed near Fort Monroe details the CSS Virginia’s attempt to draw the Union navy into battle. The Virginia was finally trapped, and Confederates destroyed it to keep it out of Union hands, on May 11th.

Item #24006.01-.02, $3,750
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