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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Civil War “The Union Forever” Flag Made by Philadelphia Sailmaker, ca. 1861

[U.S. FLAG - CIVIL WAR], Large (204 x 150 in.) 34-Star Flag of the United States with an applied fabric piece across approximately three-quarters of its width, with printed motto, “The Union Forever.” Philadelphia: J. Chase, ca. 1861.

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According to museum records, original owner James W. Pancoast was a farmer in Accomack County on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He flew this flag at the outbreak of the Civil War, but was compelled to take it down, and fled back to the North.

The flag’s date is based on the 29 months that the United States officially consisted of 34 states. Kansas was admitted to the Union on as the 34th state on January 29, 1861. West Virginia (50 trans-Allegheny counties that had been part of Virginia) were admitted as the 35th state on June 20, 1863.

“The Union Forever” was a common slogan in the North on the eve of and during the Civil War. It was the theme of poems, songs, and campaign slogans, and was printed on envelopes, campaign and recruiting broadsides, ballots, textiles, and other materials.

Item #26743, $19,000

Prang & Co. Broadside with Maps of Early Civil War Hotspots

[Civil War], “Maps of the Atlantic States, Forts Sumter, Pickens, Monroe and McHenry, in Connection with Norfolk and Gosport Navy Yard. Plans of Washington, Its Vicinity, Baltimore and Harper’s Ferry.” Boston: L. Prang & Co., 1861. 1 p., 26½ x 20½ in.

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This bold broadside, published in Boston, consists of an overview map of the entire eastern United States, with free states hand-colored red; maps of Baltimore; the District of Columbia; Norfolk Harbor and Hampton Roads with Fort Monroe. The largest maps, extending half the width of the broadside each are of Charleston Harbor with details of its fortifications and of the Pensacola Navy Yard and Fort Pickens. The broadside also includes images of Andrew Jackson with the quotation, “The union must & shall be preserved”; Abraham Lincoln; Winfield Scott, with the quotation “Please God, I will fight many years for this Union, and that too, under the protective folds of the star spangled banner”; and Major Robert Anderson, “The Hero of Sumter” and Routes and Distances by both steamboat and railroad from Boston and Washington to various parts of the nation.

Item #25740, $3,500

Abraham Lincoln: Large 1861 Inauguration Chromolithograph

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Chromolithograph. Presidents of the United States, [Philadelphia]: Published by F. Bouclet, lithographed by A. Feusier. Sheet size: 21 in. x 27 in. Image size: 24½ in. x 18¾ in.

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Item #25965, ON HOLD

Unusual Caricatures of Southern Aristocrats by Union Soldier on Letter to Parents

SAMUEL HYDE, Fragment of an Autograph Letter Signed, to his parents, no date [1861-1865], with his drawing of a “Suthern lady.” 2 pp.

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…the woods was ful of ded rebs

Item #21265.17, $225

Union Volunteers Refreshment Saloon

[CIVIL WAR], Print. Union Volunteers Refreshment Saloon of Philadelphia. James Queen, delineator and lithographer. Philadelphia: Thomas Sinclair, 1861. In period frame, 35 x 29 in.

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Showing Union troops arriving in Philadelphia from New Jersey via ferry and marching in formation towards the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, cheered on by Philadelphians. Text at the bottom lists members of the committee and men willing to accept donations for the saloon. This image became a choice souvenir for soldiers passing through Philadelphia.

Item #22953, $1,200

Same-Day Broadside Extra Printing of Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Inaugural Address. Chicago Tribune Extra, March 4, 1861. Chicago: Joseph Medill, Charles H. Ray, Alfred Cowles. 1 p., 8½ x 24 in.

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In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressor. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, whileshall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.

“The mystic chords of memory stretching from every battle field and patriot’s grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely as they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Extremely rare same day broadside. Only one other copy of this edition is presently known.

Item #26966, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Lincoln Raises the Flag

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, March 9, 1861. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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President Lincoln hoisting the 34-star American flag on Independence Hall, Philadelphia, with his speech. United States arsenal at Little Rock, Arkansas surrendered to the state troops. Interior of the new dome of the capitol at Washington. Front view of Fort Pickens, Pensacola. Inauguration of Pres. Jefferson Davis at Montgomery, Alabama.

Item #H-3-9-1861, SOLD — please inquire about other items

The Inauguration of President Lincoln (SOLD)

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, March 16, 1861. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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“touched...by the better angels of our nature...”

Item #H-3-16-1861, SOLD — please inquire about other items

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, SOLD — please inquire about other items

“I thought Cump would advise you as to the movements here…”

THOMAS EWING, JR, Autograph Letter Signed, to Thomas Ewing, his father. Washington, May 22, 1861. Written in pencil. 6 pp., 4⅞ x 7¾ in.

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Genl Scott is in bad humor with the administration for appointing Reeder Brig Genl in regular army … We have the idea he will not favor Cump’s appt, except as Colonel…

Ewing informs his father of political machinations in Washington and early Civil War plans and appointments. He painstakingly weighs the chances of his foster brother (and brother-in-law), William T. “Cump” Sherman, obtaining a general’s commission. He also offers a sober analysis of the relative strengths of the Union and Confederate armies in the Eastern theater. “The general impression is the first battle, after Pickens, will be at Norfolk. The Govt. is not ready. Genl Scott says Genl Impatience is the only opposing General he fears. At present, it is plain the enemy can put man for man in the field anywhere in eastern Virginia with us.

Item #21772, $1,250

On the Day of the First Battle of Bull Run,
Confederate Ordnance Chief Josiah Gorgas Orders
Equipment for 100,000 Troops

JOSIAH GORGAS. [BULL RUN], Manuscript Letter Signed, to Ira R. Foster. Richmond, Va., July 21, 1861. 1 p., 8 x 9¾ in.

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Item #22393, $1,950

Confederate Governor of Kentucky Seeks Prominent Louisville Editor’s Support for Secession in the Summer of 1861

[CIVIL WAR – CONFEDERACY], George W. Johnson, Autograph Letter Signed, to George D. Prentice, July 22, 1861, [Georgetown, KY?]. 3 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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The terms on which the Southern Confederacy desire Peace, are the union of the 15 Slave States and their Independence as a ‘Southern Confederacy’. For such recognition by the ‘United States’, they will concede, a condition to stand forever – towit Reciprocal Free trade between the two nations, in the Products of each.

Item #26799, $2,400

Lincoln Calls for the public to supports the U.S. Sanitary Commission

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. HENRY W. BELLOWS, Printed Circular Letter, to “the Loyal Women of America.” Washington, D.C., October 1, 1861. 3 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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The Sanitary Commission is … of direct practical value to the nation, in this time of its trial. It is entitled to the gratitude and confidence of the people… There is no agency through which voluntary offerings of patriotism can be more effectively made.  A. Lincoln.

Item #24870, $950

Autograph Book Kept by a Jewish Former U.S. and Future Confederate Naval Officer Imprisoned at Fort Warren, Signed by Dozens of Fellow Political and Military Prisoners

[JUDAICA. CIVIL WAR] JULIAN MYERS, Autograph Album. Fort Warren (Boston), MA, December 1861 to January 1862. 41 inscriptions on rectos of 21 pp., 5 x 7 ¾ in. With two 1899 clippings on Myers’ death of Myers at the rear. Disbound; worn, some leaves may have been lost.

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Julian Myers enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 13, against his parent’s wishes. He served with distinction, rising to lieutenant before the Civil War. After a 30-month tour in the China Seas, he was arrested on board the steam sloop of war USS Hartford under Admiral Farragut, in Philadelphia, on December 4, 1861 due to his Confederate sympathies. He used this album to gather signatures from his fellow prisoners at Fort Warren at the mouth of Boston Harbor. While some of the inscriptions are simple autographs, many of the prisoners have added a note explaining their positions and how they came to be imprisoned. 

Item #27805, $3,800

Report of Attacks on Forts Walker and Beauregard

JUDAH P. BENJAMIN, Autograph Letter Signed as Confederate Secretary of War, to President Jefferson Davis, with Davis’s endorsement. Richmond, Va., December 30, 1861. 1 p., plus docket, 7⅝ x 8⅞ in.

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Benjamin sends his official reports on the attacks on Forts Walker and Beauregard to Jefferson Davis, to be communicated to the Confederate Congress.

Item #20084, $4,500

The Secret History of the Civil War: The Thomas T. Eckert Archive of Civil War Codes and Ciphers (SOLD)

[CIVIL WAR], War Department Telegraph Office archive of 76 books belonging to Major Thomas Thompson Eckert (1825-1910). [Washington, D.C., 1862-77]. Including 35 manuscript ledger books of coded telegraphs sent and received by the War Department; two of ciphers received and sent from Fortress Monroe, 1862-1865; one book recording ciphers sent and received from the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, 1862-63; and two of telegrams sent and received from Assistant Secretary of War Charles A. Dana, whom Stanton had sent into the field to report on operations and the performance of his generals. Taken together, the books contain more than 100 messages from President Abraham Lincoln. Approximately six linear feet of documents housed in two of Eckert’s Civil War-era wooden trunks.

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A remarkable archive, loaded with up-to-the-minute correspondence as it arrived en route to and from the president and the War Department. The archive contains many of the most important telegraphic messages of the Civil War, and illustrates the role of ciphers and technology in the waging of that conflict.

Item #22088, SOLD — please inquire about other items

A Day After Grant’s Capture of Fort Henry, Confederate General Lovell Weakens New Orleans in a Futile Attempt to Shore Up Fort Donelson

MANSFIELD LOVELL, Autograph Letter Signed, to Albert Sidney Johnston. New Orleans, La., February 7, 1862. 1 p., 8 x 11 in.

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In February 1862, General Mansfield Lovell sends reinforcements to Albert Sidney Johnston, the chief Confederate commander in the West, so he can defend Nashville and Fort Donelson. The move was fruitless; Fort Donelson fell to Union troops a week after this letter was written.

Item #21776, $2,900

Celebrating a Report of McClellan’s Death

BENJAMIN PRENTISS (1819-1901), Autograph Letter Signed (“Prentiss”) Columbus, [Kentucky], March 4, 1862. 1 p., 7¾ x 8¾ in.

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Item #20740, $2,400

Creating Two New Civil War Military Departments

EDWARD DAVIS TOWNSEND. [CIVIL WAR], Printed Document Signed, “General Orders No. 34.” War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, D.C., April 4, 1862. 1 p., 5 x 7½ in.

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Item #22956, $450

J.E.B. Stuart Writes to Legendary Confederate Spy Laura Ratcliffe

J.E.B. STUART, Autograph Letter Signed “S”, to Laura Ratcliffe. April 8, 1862. 3 pp., 3⅞ x 6 in.

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Full of braggadocio, Confederate cavalryman J.E.B. Stuart gives early mistaken reports of the Battle of Shiloh to an informant, the famous Confederate spy Laura Ratcliffe.“We are here quietly waiting for the yankees and if they ever come we will send them howling.”

Item #27574, $7,800
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