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Civil War and Reconstruction

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At Petersburg, CT Volunteer Artillery 18th Corps Was Unequaled “in Artillery firing”

[WILLIAM FARRAR SMITH], Official Copy of a Letter, Signed Secretarially by C. A. Truesdell, Lieut. 1st Connecticut Volunteer Artillery, to J. H. Burton, Capt. of the 18th Stonington, Connecticut, August 20, 1864. 2 pp.

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Item #21263.02, $250

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

161 Young Men of Providence, R.I. Found “Loyal League” Pledged to Support the Union

[CIVIL WAR--RHODE ISLAND], Pledge and original membership roll of the Loyal League of Providence, Manuscript Document Signed, with 161 signatures, ca. January 1863, [Providence, RI]. 2 pp., 7¾ x 22¼ in.

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We, the members of the Loyal League, do hereby pledge ourselves, by words and acts, whenever practicable, to use our influence in support of the Government in all its measures for the suppression of the present unholy rebellion; and we will use our influence to discountenance and oppose all efforts in opposition to the Government and the Union.

Item #24584, $2,000

Scarce “Third Day of the Battle of Gettysburg” Magnus Hand Colored View

[GETTYSBURG]. CHARLES MAGNUS, “Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 3rd 1863. The Third Day,” color print. New York: Charles Magnus, 1863. 23 x 17 ½ in.

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Item #24699, $2,500

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

Hand-Made Union Patriotic and Religious Song Book

[CIVIL WAR], Manuscript Pen and Ink Folk Art Song Book, ca. 1864. 24 pp., 6⅝ x 8 in.

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This hand-sewn booklet contains eight songs popular during the Civil War era, with music and lyrics in calligraphy. Songs include “On a Green Grassy Noll” by J. D. Canning, with music by Ira Odell; “The Old Mountain Tree” by James G. Clark; “Harmonian Waltz”; “Year of Jubilee, or Kingdom has Come!”; “Squire Jones’s Daughter”; “The Sweet Birds Are Singing”; “Lament of the Irish Emigrant”; and “Soon and For Ever,” by J. B. Monsell. The last page of the booklet is dated February 21, 1864.

Item #24826, $4,500

Clothing the 1st Vermont Cavalry in the Civil War

COMPANY D, 1st VERMONT CAVALRY. [CIVIL WAR], Manuscript Document Signed, June 1862: List of clothing distributed to 54 men, including 25 caps, 24 blouses, 50 trousers, 66 flannel shirts, 15 drawers, 19 bootees, 69 stockings, and 3 blankets. Each row signed by the soldier who received the items. 1 p., 15½ x 23¾ in.

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Item #23879.02, $750

Chicago Lithograph of the Emancipation Proclamation

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Broadside, “National Proclamation of Emancipation.” Chicago: Rufus Blanchard. ca. 1863-64. Color lithograph, 11½ x 15½ in., on parchment-like paper.

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An elaborate and colorful Chicago pre-fire imprint of Lincoln’s historic proclamation. Embellished with three-quarter borders of scrolling oak leaves and acorns, twining with large letters proclaiming “Freedom” and “Forever”; the oak leaves hand-colored in green; at the top and bottom are engraved vignettes (symbols of industry and the arts, a village scene, an American eagle, and a harbor scene); the central portion with a field of pale blue with a ground of stars and a sunburst design at top.

Item #24989, $3,750

Key Documents Regarding South Carolina’s Attempt to Have President Buchanan Surrender Fort Sumter Without a Fight

[SOUTH CAROLINA]. [FORT SUMTER], Three copies of letters, to President James Buchanan, Senators from Seceding States, and Isaac W. Hayne. Washington, D.C., January 10, 1861, January 17, 1861, and January 23, 1861, 5 pp. total plus docketing.

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Item #24671.03, $5,500

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
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