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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Rare Houston Texas Newspapers: the Juneteenth Order Freeing Slaves, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and Much More

Juneteenth, Newspaper. Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, July 19, 1865. Newspaper. Houston, TX: E. H. Cushing. 4 pp., folio. Partial loss of up to two lines at bottom, but not touching the full printing of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Lincoln on January 1, 1863 (p3/c2) or Union General Gordon Granger’s June 19, 1865 order implementing it. With Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, July 15, 1863, with belated printing of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Lincoln on September 22, 1862.

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The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of [personal]rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them, becomes that between employer and free laborer.

According to historian Henry Louis Gates, Juneteenth, first celebrated in 1866, initially was an “occasion for gathering lost family members” and “measuring progress against freedom.”[1] In 1980, Juneteenth became aholiday in Texas, the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition, through the efforts of legislator Al Edwards. Juneteenth is now aholiday in the District of Columbia and forty-seven states—all but Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota.



[1]Henry Louis Gates, “What is Juneteenth?” June 17, 2013, The Root.

Item #26129, PRICE ON REQUEST

An Eloquent Farewell to His Troops from a Massachusetts General Who Marched to the Sea with Sherman and Fought in the Civil War’s Last Battle

WILLIAM COGSWELL. CIVIL WAR, Manuscript Document Signed. General Orders No. 14. [Farewell to the Army of Georgia], Near Washington, D.C., June 9, 1865. 1 p., 7¾ x 12 in.

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Brigadier General William Cogswell offers a dramatic farewell message to the troops under his command in the Army of Georgia. A Salem, Massachusetts lawyer, Cogswell turned his law office into a recruiting station after learning the 6th Massachusetts had been attacked in Baltimore. He was first in, last out, in his Civil War service: In 24 hours, he raised the first full company of the war (Company C, 2nd Massachusetts Volunteers) and his brigade fought in the final battle of the war in Bentonville, North Carolina. Despite his relative obscurity, Cogswell’s eloquence rivals the great farewell messages in military history.

Item #23320, $7,500

The Nation Mourns

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, May 6, 1865. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Engravings include: Lincoln and son Tad at home. Scene at the death bed of President Lincoln. Funeral service at the White House. Ford’s Theatre. Attempted assassination of Secretary Seward. Citizens viewing the body at City Hall, New York.

Item #H-5-6-1865, $750

“Black bellied Yankees” at The Battle of Fort Blakely

FREDERICK MORTIMER CRANDAL, Autograph Letter Signed, to Julian E. Bryant. “Up the Alabama,” April 25, 1865. 4 pp.

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A Union colonel, in command of the 48th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops, writes to his friend, Col. Julian E. Bryant, of the 46th Regiment of U.S.C.T., recounting his regiment’s  part in the Battle of Fort Blakely. “We have had hard marching & hard fighting. A week in trenches & a successful charge. The ‘Black bellied Yankee’ made their mark … everyone gives us credit for doing well & I think we did excellently well.My loss was not very heavy, not over thirty all told. The other Regts in my Brigade suffered much more severely on the last charge, I being held in reserve & not being under fire but a few moments, they did gallantly…

Item #21813, $3,000

Gideon Welles Announces Lincoln’s Assassination to the Navy

[GIDEON WELLES], Printed Document Signed in print as Secretary of the Navy. General Order No. 51, Navy Department. Washington, D.C. April 15, 1865. Black border, issued just hours after the president’s death. One page with integral blank, 5½ x 8½ in.

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Item #23915, $2,500

Illustrator Frank Leslie Publishes Fanciful Grand Reception of Civil War Notables as a Subscription Premium

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Lithograph. “Grand Reception of the Notabilities of the Nation, at the White House 1865,” New York: Frank Leslie, [April] 1865. 1 p., 19 x 23¾ in.

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Frank Leslie published this print as a premium for his new family magazine, Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, and copyrighted it on April 8, 1865, just a week before Lincoln’s death. The image, created by engraver Henry B. Major and lithographer Joseph Knapp, portrays Lincoln, flanked by the First Lady and Vice President Andrew Johnson, greeting Julia Dent Grant, wife of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant who stands nearby.

According to a notice printed at the bottom right corner, “Every Person who pays Ten Cents each for numbers 1 and 2 of Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, The New Family Paper, is entitled to a copy of this PLATE without extra charge,” or individuals could purchase the print for $3.

Item #25618, $2,000

Civil War Veteran in Maryland Predicts the War Will End Soon

DAVID F. MCGOWAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ellen [P. Fowler?], March 15, 1865, Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. 3 pp., 5x 8 in. Also includes DAVID F. McGOWAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Ellen [P. Fowler?], May 9, 1865, Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. 4 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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Sherridan has been doing some good work. 1400 prisoners passed here a few days ago that he captured And Report says he has captured 1000 more. A couple of officers stopped here last night, that had just been exchanged. They were captured last August and gave me a good account of their trials & tribulations down in Dixie. One of them gave $100. for a common pair of shoes from all appearances the Confederacy will soon collapse. Sherman has been heard from, is at Fayetteville, N. C. think Richmond will fall, before fall.

Civil War veteran David F. McGowan writes about prospects for Union victory and life in Maryland as the Civil War draws to a close.

Item #24471, $380

1865 General Orders,
Including Many Regarding Lincoln’s Assassination

[CIVIL WAR - WAR DEPARTMENT], Book. Bound collection of separately printed General Orders from the Adjutant General’s office for 1865. Containing 168 of 175 consecutive orders, and a 94-page index at front. Bound for Major General William Scott Ketchum, with his name in gilt on the spine and his markings or wartime notes on numerous pages. 4¾ x 7 in.

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Item #22265, $4,800

“Separating the Loyal from the Disloyal”
in Reconstruction North Carolina

[CIVIL WAR], Archive of materials relating to the administering of loyalty oaths in North Carolina after the Civil War during presidential Reconstruction. 1865-1866.

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Item #21814, $4,500

Lincoln Endorses Petition from Border State Unionists

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Endorsement Signed as President, ca. December 1864, on a manuscript petition, with two endorsements from Brigadier General Solomon Meredith. 2 pp., 7 x 9⅛ in.

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President Lincoln endorses a manuscript petition from border-state Unionists seeking the establishment of a permanent military post at Hickman, Kentucky. “Submitted to the Sec. of War who is requested to see the bearer. A Lincoln.

Item #21191.99, $12,000

Order Directing a Captain to Detach
from Command of the Kearsarge

GIDEON WELLES, Document Signed by Gideon Welles, November 23, 1864, 8 x 10 in., 1 p.

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An order from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to Captain John A. Winslow in Boston, directing that he is relieved of his command.

Item #22251, $1,750

A New York Soldier’s Affidavit Allowing
a Proxy to Vote in the 1864 Election

[CIVIL WAR], Partially Printed Document Signed by James M. Smith, countersigned by Jerome B. Parmenter, and Captain Joseph H. Allen. Richmond, Virginia, October 18, 1864. 1 p., 8 x 12½ in. With printed envelope restating affidavit’s claim on the outside.

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Item #21264.05, $375

Prior to 1864 presidential election, McClellan’s former groomsman tries to even the field

SETH WILLIAMS, Manuscript Letter Signed, to Marsena R. Patrick, October 4, 1864. 1 p.

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Assistant Adjutant General Seth Williams writes to Provost Marshal M. R. Patrick that he will ask Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant to establish regulations to govern political agents in the camps prior to the 1864 elections.

Item #21386.03, $950

A Confederate General Warns His Commanders
Not to Harass the Locals

[CONFEDERACY]. JOHN ECHOLS, Broadside. General Orders. Dublin [Virginia], September 5, 1864. 12 x 10 ½ in.

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Foraging during wartime often pits an army against its supporters in the civilian population. In his final month of departmental command before returning to the Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate Brigadier General John Nichols warning his soldiers not to molest citizens or their property.

Item #23271, $2,600

Ledger Report by Colored Sergeant, U.S.C.T.,
“Selling Government horse & bridle...” &c.

WILLIAM BUCKNER, Manuscript Document Signed. July 18, 1864. “Report of Sergeant [William] Buckner of Co. B 46 U.S. Inf.” 2 pp. folio.

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Scarce signed colored officer’s report listing several entries, including “selling of Government horse and bridle and saddles sold.” Report also mentions barrels of whiskey. William Buckner was a sergeant in the 46th Regiment of United States Colored Troops. From April through November 1864, this regiment was stationed in the District of Vicksburg at Milliken’s Bend. Sergeant William Buckner’s African American Civil War Memorial plaque number is C-59.

Item #21800, $575

Rebel Deserters Coming within the Union Lines

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, July 16, 1864.

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Item #H-7-16-1864, $350

The Success of Black Troops At Petersburg, Virginia, Under Butler

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside. New England Loyal Publication Society No. 200. Boston, Mass., June 27, 1864. 1 p., 9 x 10¾ in.

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“They grinned and pushed on, and with a yell that told the southern chivalry their doom, [they] rolled irresistibly over and into the work.”

Item #23626, $750

Lincoln, the War, and Emancipation

[EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, June 11, 1864. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Featuring illustrations of Philadelphia Sanitary Fair Central buildings, and Generals Gouverneur Warren and Horatio Wright on the front page. “Belle Plain, Virginia General Grant’s Late Base of Supplies”; “Army of the Potomac—General Warren Rallying the Marylanders”; “President Lincoln and His Secretaries”; Centerfold: “Army of the Potomac—Struggle for the Salient, near Spottsylvania [sic], Virginia, May 12, 1864”; three illustrations of the environs of Spottsylvania [sic] Court House; “Sherman’s Advance—General Logan’s Skirmishes Advancing Toward: the Railroad at Resaca”; and “Sherman’s Advance—Position of Osterhau’s Division on Bald Hill.”

Item #H 6-11-1864, $150

Ordnance Returns from Atlanta Campaign

[CIVIL WAR], Five partly-printed documents for the 102nd New York Regiment, Companies D, E and F, dated between May 15 and September 30, 1864. The forms list inventories and expenditures of ammunition and weapons used during the Atlanta Campaign.

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Item #12510, $400

The Massacre at Fort Pillow

[HARPER’S WEEKLY], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, April 30, 1864.

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Item #H-4-30-1864, $250
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