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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Giving South Carolina’s Governor Authority to Conduct Foreign Affairs

[SECESSION]. SOUTH CAROLINA COMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION, Printed Document, “An Ordinance To amend the Constitution of the State of South Carolina, in respect to the Executive Department,” Charleston, South Carolina, [ca December 24, 1860]. 2 pp., 8¼ x 13¾ in.

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Shortly after Abraham Lincoln’s election as president in November 1860, secessionists in South Carolina demanded a convention to remove the state from the United States. South Carolina’s secession convention assembled in Columbia on December 17, 1860, but fearing an outbreak of smallpox there, they reassembled in Charleston from December 18 to January 5, 1861. On December 20, they passed a secession ordinance.

Item #24671.01, $2,000

South Carolina Reclaims Judicial and Legislative Power from the Federal Government

[SECESSION]. SOUTH CAROLINA COMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION, Printed Document, “An Ordinance Concerning Judicial Powers” and “An Ordinance Concerning powers lately vested in the Congress of the United States,” Charleston, South Carolina, [ca. December 26, 1860]. 3 pp., 8¼ x 13¾ in.

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Shortly after Abraham Lincoln’s election as president in November 1860, secessionists in South Carolina demanded a convention to remove the state from the United States. South Carolina’s secession convention assembled in Columbia on December 17, 1860, but fearing an outbreak of smallpox there, they reassembled in Charleston from December 18 to January 5, 1861. On December 20, they passed a secession ordinance.

Item #24671.02, $1,500

South Carolina Secretary of State Reports to Governor on Foreign Affairs of the “Nation”

[SECESSION]. ANDREW G. MAGRATH, Autograph Letter Signed, likely retained copy, to Francis W. Pickens, Charleston, South Carolina, March 24, 1861. 4 pp., 7⅞ x 12½ in.

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in anticipation of the Convention of the Seceding States, a common necessity should induce a common obligation on these States to share with each other, the means of defence or the dangers of attack.

Item #24671.04, $4,000

South Carolina Governor’s Draft Proclamation Urging Civilians to Evacuate Charleston

MILLEDGE L. BONHAM, Manuscript Document Signed, Charleston, South Carolina, August 17, 1863. 4 pp. on lined blue paper, watermarked F A Gordon 1862, 8 x 12½ in.

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Whereas the convention on the 8th Jany 1862 expressed “as the sense of the people of South Carolina … that Charleston should be defended at any cost of life or property … I, Milledge L. Bonham Commander-in-chief in & over the State of South Carolina do recommend to, and enjoin upon, all good citizens the removal from Charleston, as early as practicable, of all non-combatants....

Item #24671.05, $4,500

A Fighting Vermont Regiment Summary of Actions after Gettysburg, July 5-13, 1863

ADDISON W. PRESTON, Autograph Document, c. July to October 1863, 2 pp., 8 x 12¼ in.

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Item #23879.01, $1,250

Vermont Cavalrymen Want to Get the Most for their Reenlistments

ADDISON W. PRESTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Senator Solomon Foot, December 17, 1863. 3 pp., 7¾ x 10 in.

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After the patriotic fervor of 1861 filled Union armies with volunteers, the United States struggled to fill and expand Union armies. In March 1863, Congress passed the Enrollment Act, establishing a national draft to provide manpower for the Union Army. Drafted men could hire substitutes or pay a commutation fee of $300, and both policies were controversial, leading to the slogan, “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight.”

On October 17, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called for 300,000 additional volunteers for the Union army, divided by the War Department into quotas for each of the respective loyal states. If a state did not meet its quota by January 5, 1864, a draft would fill the remaining quota for each state. The quota for Vermont was 3,300 men, in addition to the requirements of the July 1863 draft not completely filled. Active recruiting furnished more than 3,700 men by the end of January 1864, and more than 1,000 veterans, like those in Preston’s cavalry regiment, reenlisted in the field. On March 14, 1864, President Lincoln called for 200,000 more volunteers.

Item #23879.05, $600

Recovering after the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid

[HUGH JUDSON KILPATRICK], Manuscript Document Signed by Adjutant, to Lt. Col. Addison W. Preston, March 8, 1864. 2 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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On your way you will thoroughly scout the country on either side of your route, arresting all white citizens able to bear arms. You will make every effort to bring along with your command as many negrows as possible.

At the end of February 1864, Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick launched a raid to rescue prisoners of war held in the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. The raid turned into a disaster when Kilpatrick’s men were stopped northwest of the city and a supporting force of infantry under Colonel Ulric Dahlgren was routed by Confederates. Dahlgren was killed, and papers found on his body detailed plans to burn Richmond and assassinate Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Richmond newspapers published the papers, and the southern public called for the execution of Union prisoners. Kilpatrick escaped with some of his cavalry to join General Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James on the Virginia Peninsula, though he lost more than 1,300 men killed and taken prisoner.

Here, Kilpatrick orders Preston and the 1st Vermont Cavalry to move on West Point, Virginia, at the confluence where the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers form the York River. Kilpatrick was soon transferred to the Western Theater as part of General William T. Sherman’s army.

Item #23879.04, $375

Future Medal of Honor Winner and Boy General Orders the 1st Vermont Cavalry to Report

EDWARD W. WHITAKER, Autograph Letter Signed, to Lt. Col. Addison W. Preston, March 26, 1864. 1 p., 8 x 10 in.

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I am directed by the Commanding General to say that you will turn over your orders to the bearer and report in camp with your command so soon as relieved.

Item #23879.03, $375

Confederate Cavalry Commander Stuart’s Only Known Letter to Confederate Congress

J.E.B. STUART, Manuscript Letter Signed, to Muscoe Robert Hunter Garnett, April 16, 1863. 2 pp., 7¾ x 10 in.

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I understand from Brig. General W. H. F. Lee that you have signified a desire to aid in any legislation needed for the Cavalry service—if we would state succinctly what is wanted….

An Act providing for remuneration for Cavalry horses permanently disabled by… The extension of the law, authorizing military Courts to each Army Corps or Department, so as to include a Division of Cavalry attached to agrand army…A Veterinary Surgeon to each Brigade of Cavalry…

The amount of saving in horseflesh to the Confederacy by a competent Veterinary Surgeon to each Brigade would be incredible.

General J.E.B. Stuart sends a message to Confederate Congressman Muscoe R. H. Garnett with suggestions for legislation to improve the Confederate cavalry. General William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, General Robert E. Lee’s second son, hand-delivered the letter, which articulates Stuart’s love of horses and commitment to the Confederate cavalry. This letter, purchased from the descendants of a Union soldier who had captured it during the Fall of Richmond in 1865, appears to be the only known J.E.B. Stuart letter addressed to the Confederate Congress in private hands.

Item #23856, $14,000

Gettysburg Doctor Returns to Civilian Practice after Helping in Army Hospitals

[BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG]. HENRY JANES, Medical Director. Autograph Document Signed, releasing Dr. Robert Horner from further service at the expiration of his contract. Camp Letterman, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, October 24, 1863, 1 p. 8 x 10 in.

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“AAsst Surg. Robt Horner is hereby relieved from duty at this place on account of the expiration of his contract…”

During the course of the Civil War, 5,532 doctors served for short terms in military hospitals after battles, typically at the rate of $100 per month for at least three months. Following the Battle of Gettysburg, Camp Letterman became the largest field hospital ever built in North America. By August 1863, all temporary field hospitals were closed, but Camp Letterman remained, with over 3,000 patients. Approximately 1,200 men were initially buried on site at Camp Letterman. It closed in November 1863, when the last remaining patients left.

Item #23817, $850

Connecticut Civil War Colonel Sketches Jacksonville, Florida Headquarters, Muses on the Fountain of Youth, Supports Freed Slaves Getting Land and Recognizes their Humanity

[CIVIL WAR]. WILLIAM H. NOBLE, Autograph Letter Signed, to his wife, [Jacksonville, Fla.], [April?] 8, 1864. 16 pp., 8 x 10 in., on 4 folding sheets stitched together.

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Just make up your mind that negro nature & human white nature are very near alike....

Every now & then it is proclaimed with great joy that Mr So & so, some northern nabob or speculator has purchased some rebel plantation & prepares to work the same. … It’s of more consequence locally & nationally, thus the negro should buy & toil as he surely will on his acre of land, than that princely men in Illinois should have inserted his loose change in a southern plantation.

Connecticut native William H. Noble, writing to his wife, responds to rumors of the fountain of youth, vilifies northerner plantation renters who continued the Southern system as new feudal barons, and calls for the redistribution of plantations to former slaves to ensure national stability. Jacksonville, Florida, was occupied and then abandoned by the Union four times. The result was a broken, skeletal city at the Civil War’s conclusion.

Noble reflects on how the African Americans’ freedom will change Southern and national life, and that regardless of race, he believed human nature was the same. Further, the former slaves needed an interest in and responsibility for their own advancement. Presaging Booker T. Washington, he thinks developing industry more important than carpetbaggers coming south offering education. With a detailed sketch of headquarters in Jacksonville, including tents, stables, and the brigade flagstaff.

Item #23878, $3,500

The Dark and Bloody Ground of Civil War Kentucky

CIVIL WAR—KENTUCKY, 24 Autograph Letters Signed (6 pre-war, 16 war-date, and 2 post-war), to Lucy Ann Robbins Ligon, 78 pp, folio, various places including Hickman, Kentucky, Tupelo, Mississippi, and Knoxville and Memphis, Tennessee, 1856-1865. Condition good to poor, with foxing, chipped margins, light toning throughout, but several letters have good content ranging from personal and matrimonial, to political and war related.

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“When you find him out for me just tell him to write to me your say so is sufficient recommendation if he is not worth a dollar I don’t care so he does not drink whiskey to and excel play cards and has business qualifications I want the jewel to consist of himself. I want him to be handsome intelligent polite good natured no profusion of fob chaines necktie or big words need apply for they cannot fill my eye” (Harriet Binford, May 11, 1860)

 “the banks have nearly all suspended and what little money a person can get is doubled and discounted.... gloom and despair seems to have over every branch of business … yesterday we had a very large meeting of the citizens of this County to have an expression of their feelings and greatly to my surprise about half were in favor of a disolution of the union and thereby destroying the fairest fabric ever reard by mortal hands and on that I consider second only to the religion we profess I consider that all that this country has suffered by all the plagues pestilence and bankrupsy as small in comparison to a disolution of this union” (Josiah Parker, November 30, 1860)

 “we are at this time just about half way between tow large contending armeys the one at Cairo numbers at this time I suppose about 30000 the one at New Madrid about 18000 and it was expected yesterday that they would meet in Misouria.... we are in daily expectation when we will have an army in this part of Kentucky perhaps and most likely at Hickman it is thought that as soon as the election is over which is tomorrow that there will be something disisive done in Kentucky I fear she has waited to long for it is now thought that she will again become the dark and bloody ground which if it should will be fearful to contemplate....”  (Josiah Parker, August 4, 1861)

Item #22562, $1,950

Membership Certificate to the Naval Library
and Institute for Lt. Cmdr. George Dewey

[GEORGE DEWEY], Printed Document. A lithographed membership certificate to the Naval Library and Institute. Signed by Charles Steedman, President, & witnessed twice by Oliver L. Fisher. Navy Yard, Boston, Mass October 15, 1871. 11½ x 16½ in.

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Item #22023.01, $750

107th U.S. Colored Troops Archive
of White Officer Charles B. Safford

[CIVIL WAR – UNION], Archive of letters from and to Charles B. Safford, written from 1859–1866, including 51 letters from Safford to his wife Clara between June 1862 and October 1866, detailing his enlistment, experiences in camp in the western theater, his wounding and convalescence in army hospitals, his commission as a captain in the U.S.C.T., and his experiences in Virginia after the war in mustering soldiers out, participating in courts martial, and leading a company of African-American troops. Also included are 2 letters from Edward P. Safford, Charles’ brother and fellow soldier, to Clara; 11 letters from Clara to Charles, all from 1865; and 8 letters from his mother and other relatives in Massachusetts to Charles in 1865. Notable as well is the response to Clara Safford’s February 1865 letter to Abraham Lincoln, requesting her husband’s discharge. The army denied the request in April 1865. Postwar letters include 39 love letters from Thomas Brooks to Clara Safford from 1870-1871, shortly before he became her second husband; 11 letters from Mary L. Estabrook, Clara’s former mother-in-law, to Clara and her grandson, 1870-1876, and assorted other family letters. The collection also includes a 1/9 plate ambrotype, two cdvs (possibly of Clara), and two mounted photos, c. 1885 of two men.

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Things are getting along here pretty nicely since the President’s Proclamation declaring all slaves free after the first of January 1863. The niggers are leaving quite fast and it does make their owners so mad. There is nothing scarcely that pleases me so well as to see how awful ugly it makes them feel to see their darkies toddle.

A substantial and well written collection during and around the Civil War from an Illinois soldier and later officer of the active 107th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry. Despite the racist language, Safford was strongly anti-slavery and volunteered to lead colored troops.

Item #22376, $8,800

“Copperheads Vigorously Prosecuting Peace: Is it the Peace YOU Want?”

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside, “Copperheads Vigorously Prosecuting Peace. Is it the Peace You Want?” c. March 1863. 1 p., 15½ x 23½ in.

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Read what they say…  Abraham Lincoln has usurped power, violated the Constitution, and put in peril the liberties of the people, but Jeff. Davis has not…. The South may make war on the North, but the North must not defend itself.... They have not a word to say in behalf of the Union, and our own imperiled liberties…

The Peace Democrats, or Copperheads, were a vocal minority of Northern Democrats who opposed the Civil War and the administration of President Abraham Lincoln, and were willing to recognize an independent Confederacy. This anti-Copperhead broadside, probably printed for the 1863 Connecticut gubernatorial, turns the resolutions of the February 1863 Hartford Convention against the Copperheads.

At top, a caricature shows Copperheads attacking Lady Liberty, who is holding a Union shield. First published in Harper’s Weekly on February 28, 1863, over the title, “The Copperhead Party.—In Favor of a Vigorous Prosecution of Peace!” this cartoon came to symbolize all those who opposed the Lincoln administration’s conduct of the war.

Item #23005, $2,750

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

Franklin Buchanan Sends His Autograph – The First Commander of CSS Virginia and the Confederacy’s Only Full Admiral

FRANKLIN BUCHANAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to John Neafie, April 25, 1874. 1 p., 5 x 8 in.

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“The only public office I have held since the war was the Presidency of the Maryland Agricultural College which I resigned at the expiration of the first year…”

More than a decade after its destruction, the first commander of the CSS Virginia responds to a request for an autograph. On March 8, 1862, Captain Franklin Buchanan and the crew of the CSS Virginia gave the U.S. Navy its worst defeat to that point, and not eclipsed until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor nearly eighty years later. Wounded during the battle, Buchanan did not participate in the second day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, when the USS Monitor confronted the CSS Virginia in an hours-long battle of the ironclads.

Item #24006.03, $450

Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy Orders the Harriet Lane to Proceed to Charleston – Where It Would Fire the First Naval Shot of the Civil War

GIDEON WELLES, Autograph Letter Signed, Navy Department, Washington, April 5, 1861, to John Faunce, commander of the Revenue Cutter USS Harriet Lane. At the start of the Civil War, Welles orders the Harriet Lane to Charleston. With multiple emendations, possibly a retained draft. 1 p., 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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“The Harriet Lane under your command having been detached from the Collection District of New York & assigned to duty under the Navy Department You are hereby instructed to proceed to within ten miles due east from, and off Charleston…”

By April 1861, federal troops at Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, were running out of supplies. President Abraham Lincoln authorized a relief expedition, including ships with supplies and five hundred soldiers, escorted by four Navy steamers, including the former revenue cutter Harriet Lane. On April 11, the appointed arrival day, she became the first U.S. Naval ship to fire a shot at the beginning of the Civil War.

Item #24791, $17,500

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

Ulysses S. Grant Follows Up on African American Troops’ First Battle at Milliken’s Bend: “Drive the enemy from Richmond. Reinforce Mower all you can and send him to do it.”

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Autograph Note Signed, to Elias S. Dennis, June 13, 1863, 1 p. 7¾ x 2½ in.

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Grant was determined to take Vicksburg, and retaking the surrounding countryside in Mississippi and across the river in Louisiana were critical parts of his plan. Here, he moves around troops to further his design after an important showing by the USCT a few days earlier. In his Memoirs, Grant observed that “This was the first important engagement of the war in which colored troops were under fire,” and he praised their actions.

Item #24508, $4,000
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