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Civil War and Reconstruction
Civil War and Reconstruction

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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

Grant Accommodates a Wounded Commander Who Had Four Horses Shot from Under Him at Shiloh

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Autograph Letter Signed as Major General, to [P.J. Sullivan]. Memphis, Tenn., October 14, 1863. 1 p, 9¾ x 7¾ in.

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After multiple wounds suffered at Shiloh forced him to leave his command of the 48th Ohio Volunteers, Colonel P. J. Sullivan served as post commander at Memphis, Tennessee, during Union occupation, and then as a judge on a military court of claims. Here, Grant gives him wide latitude to practice law in conformity with “existing orders.

Item #23849, $3,500

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

Rare Autograph of CSS Virginia Commander in Battle of Hampton Roads

CATESBY AP ROGER JONES, Clipped signature. n.d. 1 p., 2¾ x ½ in.

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Jones served on the USS Merrimac, and then helped convert it into the ironclad CSS Virginia. After Frank Buchanan was wounded in the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, Jones assumed command which he held during the battle with the USS Monitor.  In 1877, Jones was killed over a feud between his and another man’s son.

Item #24006.04, $395

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

Mary Lincoln’s Signed Copy of The Life of Marie Antoinette Queen of France

MARY LINCOLN, Signed Book. “Mary Lincoln. / 1878,” in her copy of Charles Duke Yonge, The Life of Marie Antoinette Queen of France, 2d rev. ed. (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1877), xvi, 432 pp., 8vo. bound in tooled purple cloth boards with titled spine. A carte-de-visite portrait of Mary Lincoln has been affixed to the front free endpaper.

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she bore her accumulated miseries with a serene resignation, an intrepid fortitude, a true heroism of soul, of which the history of the world does not afford a brighter example.

Item #24759, $6,000

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin From 1852 – Year of First Publication – Presented “in 1881 by Mrs. Ann Lewis, a colored friend, as her choice treasure.”

[HARRIET BEECHER STOWE], Uncle Tom’s Cabin,; or, Life Among the Lowly. Boston: John P Jewett & Company, and Cleveland, Ohio: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1852. The first edition was issued in Boston by the same publisher earlier in the same year. Its immediate success is witnessed by an addition to the imprint above the publisher’s name: “Seventieth Thousand.” Two volumes, 312 and 322 pp. respectively, both inscribed, “The Crawford’s/ Ithaca/ New York/ Presented in 1881 by Mrs. Ann Lewis, a colored friend, as her choice treasure.” With later pencil inscription, “Given to Mr & Mrs E.M. Newton by Mrs Crawford/ Sept 16 1924.

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Item #24794, $2,200

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

Incredible William T. Sherman re Robert Anderson and Start of Civil War in Kentucky

WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, January 6, 1878, to Eliza Anderson, the widow of General Robert Anderson, Washington, 12 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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Sherman recounts the events in Kentucky at the start of the Civil War, and pays tribute to fellow general Robert Anderson, in a touching letter to Anderson’s widow. The letter offers insights into both Anderson’s and Sherman’s lives and careers.

Item #23842, $12,500

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

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

Robert E. Lee’s General Orders No. 9 – Printed in the Field

[ROBERT E. LEE], Broadside Signed in type “R. E. Lee, General”: “General Orders No. 9”, “Head Quarters Army Northern Virginia [near Appomattox Court House], April 10th, 1865.”

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“With unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration of myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.”

Item #24512, $9,500

Alexander Stephens on Mismanagement of Confederate Government and Economy

ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, Autograph Letter Signed as Confederate Vice President, Crawfordville, Ga., April 29, 1864, to James A. Seddon, Confederate Secretary of War. 8 pp (the first 4 and last 4 of what was a 16-page letter), 4½ x 7 in.

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“You can not possibly regret more sincerely or profoundly my disagreement with members of the administration upon some of the late measures of Legislation than I do myself… [The crops] should be & should have been husbanded & guarded as gold. Not a grain of corn or blade of grass should have been wasted or lost or misapplied… Many plantations have been virtually abandoned to the negroes without any suitable superintendent. Many persons still at home under the uncertainty of getting details are failing to plant their usual crops...”

Vice President Stephens writes the Secretary of War strongly voicing his objections to acts passed by the Confederate Congress and about the economic, social, and military disintegration of the Confederacy.

Item #24014, $2,750
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