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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Confederate Flag Given by Infamous Spy Belle Boyd to a Union Officer

ELEVEN-STAR “FIRST NATIONAL” FLAG WITH SINGLE STAR “BONNIE BLUE” FIRST UNOFFICIAL CONFEDEDERATE FLAG VERSO, Belle Boyd, the “Siren of the Shenandoah,” gave the flag to Captain Frederic Sears Grand d’Hauteville on June 18, 1862, telling him that it was the flag she waived to urge on Confederate troops at the Battle of Front Royal a month earlier. D’Hauteville’s 25-page autograph manuscript war memoir, with his account of the gift of the flag quoted above, is included. (See below for complete transcript). With additional photographs and manuscripts. Homemade, perhaps even by Boyd or a family member, and used only briefly before being given to d’Hauteville, the flag has been perfectly preserved, retaining the short ribbons along its hoist and showing no tears, holes, fraying, loss, or staining. Over 5 x 3 feet.

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June 18. Reached Front Royal, & met there the famous & very handsome, rebel spy, Belle Boyd, who gave to me the rebel flag, waving which, she led the attack upon Kenly in May.

The “stars and bars” circular canton pattern with eleven-stars was used for First National flags from July 2, 1861, when Tennessee and North Carolina joined the Confederacy, until November 28, 1861, when stars were added for Missouri and Kentucky. The other side of this rare two-pattern configuration is a tribute to the “Bonnie blue flag that bears the single star,” the unofficial first Confederate flag.

Frederic d’Hauteville’s small autograph note has been loosely stitched to the flag: “Confederate flag. Taken by F.S.G dH. and given by him to E.S.F. in 1862(?). To be given to Freddie d’Hauteville when he is fifteen.” His first wife, Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish, died in 1863. Freddy, his son by his second wife, was born in 1873, thus dating his note about the second gifting of the flag to between 1873 and 1888. The flag remained in his family, preserved in perfect condition, until 2015, when contents from their Swiss castle were sold, clearing the way for the property to be sold; it is now on the market for $60 million dollars.

Item #24356.99, $180,000

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

Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House,
Lee Escapes Again

ROBERT E. LEE, Autograph Letter Signed, to William N. Pendleton [Chief of Artillery]. [Virginia], September 13, 1863. 8 x 5 in., 1 p.

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This decisive field order enabled Robert E. Lee to elude Union General George Meade, just as he had done in July after the Battle of Gettysburg. “…go with the Artl [Artillery] tomorrow and at daylight towards the Rapidan river & see to its being placed in position to defend the fords”

Item #21553.01, $28,500

General Meade’s Gettysburg Victory

GEORGE MEADE, Broadside, “Head Quarters Army of the Potomac,” Gettysburg, PA, printed on the field, July 4, 1863 [4:15 p.m.]. General Orders 68. 5½ x 6 in.

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While both armies still occupy the field, General Meade congratulates his soldiers on their “glorious” victory at Gettysburg. This is one of a handful of surviving battlefield copies of the victory message that infuriated Lincoln.

Item #23519, $22,500

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 a grand 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

The Orders that Began the Battle of Mobile Bay: Admiral Farragut’s Signal Orders Sent by Lt. John C. Kinney

[DAVID G. FARRAGUT], Manuscript Document. Orders signaled by Lt. John Kinney for Farragut aboard the U.S.S. Hartford at Mobile, Alabama, August 5, 1864. [Washington, D.C.]. 2 separate pp., 5¼ x 8¼ in. Docketed by Gideon Welles.

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Sent the morning of Battle of Mobile Bay, these orders were relayed via signal flag from Farragut’s flagship, the U.S.S. Hartford, to the captains of the U.S.S. Brooklyn, Lackawanna, and Winnebago. The correspondence records Farragut’s orders moving his fleet past the forts at the entrance of Mobile Bay. They give a blow-by-blow of the opening salvo along with the loss of the Union ironclad Tecumseh.

Item #23551, $12,500

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

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, $10,500

William T. Sherman’s Special Field Orders No. 15 –
40 Acres to Newly Freed Families

WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Printed Document, Unsigned. Special Field Orders, No. 15. January 16, 1865. Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi: Savannah. 2 pp. 5 x 8 in. With a closely related document:

JOHN G. FOSTER. Printed Document, Signed by William L.M. Burger as Assistant Adjutant General to Major General Foster. General Order No. 8, Affirming and Implementing Sherman’s Special Order No. 15. January 25, 1865. Hilton Head, S.C. 1 p. 5 x 8 in.

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With General John Foster’s Implementation Order, Signed by AAG of First Regiment, New York Engineers, Who Saw Extensive Action during the War. Although the order does not actually mention mules, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend mules to the new settlers, providing the origin of the common phrase, “40 acres and a mule.” In one development arranged by General Foster, the Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island, 2200 freedmen had settled on household plots. The families who settled these lands were devastated when, soon after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson revoked Sherman’s orders, stripping the emancipated slaves of their homes and in many cases their only source of income. When the Army abandoned the colony under Johnson’s presidency, most of the freedmen had to return to the mainland in search of work.

Item #24378.01-.02, $10,000

William T. Sherman Talks Politics, Religion, and Princeton-Yale Football with a Suitor

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Five Autograph Letters Signed to Mrs. Mary Audenried, widow of Sherman’s former Chief of Staff. 18 pages, April 21, 1885 – February 8, 1887.

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“Rachel went to Princeton last week. Thanksgiving Day – to witness the ball play – the day was horrid and she has been under the weather ever since having taken cold.”

Sherman, during an affair with a young widow, advises her on handling her teenage daughter: “Let her play her own game…Tell her to take her own way and you choose yours. If she becomes a nun she can do no harm and is dead to the world” while criticizing the power of the Catholic Church. He also muses about his own mortality, complains that he “shall not stay long” at his Senator-brother John’s home because “there is too much politics there to suit my taste,” and relates that his daughter caught a cold at the Yale-Princeton Thanksgiving Day football game.

Item #20856, $9,000

Patriotic Appeal for Artillery Recruits at Beginning of Civil War

[CIVIL WAR], Artillery Recruitment Broadside, Fifth Regiment, U.S. Army, ca. 1861. 1 p., 22½ x 31 in.

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Printed by Ringwalt & Brown in Philadelphia, this recruitment poster sought men between ages 18 and 35 to enlist in twelve mounted batteries of light artillery. Touted as the “only Regiment of its kind in the service, and the last chance for those who wish to join the flying artillery,” the field officers “are men of experience in the Regular Army,” so enlistees could be certain of “doing the duty of Soldiers, under the command of Soldiers.”

Item #24672, $7,500

An Oversized Photo of General Grant
Taken after Lincoln’s Assassination

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Photograph. By Frederick Gutekunst. Philadelphia, Pa., [May 1865] 15½ x 18 in., mounted on 20 x 24 in. board. Likely dated “October 1865” [perhaps the date of production] in light pencil on Gutekunst’s label on verso. Blind stamp of Chicago Historical Society, and “Chicago Historical Society dupl” in pencil on verso.

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Item #22942, $7,500

A Union Officer’s Commission, and Field Report from
the 17th Connecticut Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg

[CIVIL WAR – GETTYSBURG], Allen G. Brady, Autograph Manuscript, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1863. 6 pp., in pencil, an unsigned draft or retained copy.

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A field report from the Battle of Gettysburg by Major Allen G. Brady, commander of the 17th Connecticut Regiment, written on the 4th of July, 1863, the day after the battle ended in a great victory for the Union.

“We had not more than time to form before the enemy were discovered advancing rapidly upon us on our right & a full Brigade obliquely towards our left….our fire was so destructive it checked their advance the troops on our left giving way the enemy came in behind us but we still remained firmly at the stone wall until the rebels were driven back.”

Item #21808, $7,500

A Wet-Plate Glass Negative of Confederate Spy Belle Boyd

BELLE BOYD, Photographic Negative. Sized for a carte-de-visite, 2½ x 3¾ in. Matthew Brady’s Washington, D.C. Gallery, ca. mid-1860s. Archivally framed and secured in protective glass, 11 x 12½ in.

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Item #21501, $6,000

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, $5,550

Lincoln Proclaims a National Day of Humiliation and Prayer

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Broadside, “A Proclamation for a Day of Humiliation and Prayer,” July 7, 1864, printed under a forwarding Proclamation by Governor John Andrew of Massachusetts, July 28, 1864. 1 p. 18¼ x 27¾ in.

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The president calls on loyal citizens to implore the “Supreme Ruler of the World, not to destroy us as a people.

Item #24675, $5,500

Diary of Massachusetts Soldier Twice Captured—at Second Bull Run and at Gettysburg

[UNION ARMY—GETTYSBURG] CALVIN H. CONANT, Manuscript Diary, August 1862-December 1863. Standard format leatherette pocket diary written in both pen and pencil. 142 pp., 3 x 4¾ in.

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marched to Gettisburg 10 miles...about 1 ’clock in afternoon went in to the fight. It was a hard one & was taken Prisoner as was 40% of my reg and the rest was either killed or wounded.

Shoemaker Calvin Conant was a private in Company G of the 13th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry when he was taken prisoner at the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 30, 1862. For the next three months, he was at home in Massachusetts waiting to be “exchanged” for Confederate a prisoner. He rejoined his regiment in December, after missing the Battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg. He participated in the Mud March and the Battle of Chancellorsville but was taken prisoner on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, soon after joining the battle. He spent the next six weeks in a parole camp outside of Philadelphia before rejoining his regiment in mid-August 1863.

Item #24007, $5,500

Former President John Tyler Makes a Last Attempt for Peace in 1861 – Two Months Before He Voted for Virginia Secession

JOHN TYLER, Autograph Letter Signed, to James G. Berret, written from Brown’s Indian Queen Hotel (at the corner of 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, where twenty years earlier, he had taken the oath of office after the death of President William Henry Harrison), February 3, 1861. 1 p., 7¼ x 9¼ in.

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In January 1861, former president John Tyler issued a call for a “Peace Conference” to resolve sectional division and avert Civil War. Here, he writes to Washington D.C. Mayor James G. Berret to thank the City Council and the Willard brothers for providing the concert hall at the Willard Hotel for the meeting. The meeting convened on February 4, 1861 with 131 representatives from fourteen free and seven slave states attended, none from the deep south. Tyler made opening remarks to the audience that included six former cabinet members, nineteen ex-governors, fourteen former senators, fifty former representatives, and twelve state Supreme Court justices. But seven southern states had already seceded, and representatives were already meeting in Montgomery to form a new Confederacy.

Item #23993.01, $5,500

Broadsheet of Lincoln’s 1862 State of the Union Message

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Broadsheet, “Sentinel Extra” [place unknown[1]], ca. December 2, 1862, 9⅛ x 24 in. 2 pp.

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We cannot escape history… In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free… We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth...”

One month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation, the president proposes colonization and his plan for compensated emancipation, discusses foreign affairs, reports on progress of the Pacific Railroad, the war and finance. This rare “Sentinel Extra” broadsheet (apparently unrecorded in OCLC) has other news of the day on the verso, including a fantastic article quoting General Meagher’s reaction to the resignation of several officers after McClellan was removed.

Item #22179, $5,500

1862 Civil War Bulletproof Vest Broadside

[CIVIL WAR], Broadside. “Good News to the Army.” Bartlett & Munn, Agents for Manufacturers. Newbern, N.C., April 17, 1862. 1 p., 9¾ x 6 ½ in.

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A remarkable broadside advertising the sale of bulletproof vests to Union forces in North Carolina in the wake of the occupation of much of coastal North Carolina by General Ambrose Burnside’s Expeditionary Force.

Item #21777, $5,500
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