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Civil War and Reconstruction

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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.


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

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.


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

Sherman Endorses the Publication of Butterfield’s Manual

WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to “Messrs Harper Brothers.” “Camp before Vicksburg,” Mississippi, March 29, 1863. 2 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.


In the midst of preparations for the final campaign against Vicksburg, Sherman writes to Harper Brothers concerning the publication of Daniel Butterfield’s Camp and Outpost Duty for Infantry. In a war in which the bulk of combatants were new recruits, the art of training and disciplining men was crucial to battlefield success, making Butterfield’s manual, Hardee’s Tactics, and other books essential instructional material. “Should you succeed in this I would advise its publication in … on linen paper, as to be carried in the pockets of officers on outpost duty and such as are published on paper should have a pliable leather, waterproof cover for similar reasons. This to be sure would increase its cost, but … increase its real value fourfold…

Item #21785, $3,600

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.


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

“Black bellied Yankees” at The Battle of Fort Blakely

FREDERICK MORTIMER CRANDAL, Autograph Letter Signed, to Julian E. Bryant. “Up the Alabama,” April 25, 1865. 4 pp.


A Union colonel, in command of the 48th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops, writes to his friend, Col. Julian E. Bryant, of the 46th Regiment of U.S.C.T., recounting his regiment’s  part in the Battle of Fort Blakely. “We have had hard marching & hard fighting. A week in trenches & a successful charge. The ‘Black bellied Yankee’ made their mark … everyone gives us credit for doing well & I think we did excellently well.My loss was not very heavy, not over thirty all told. The other Regts in my Brigade suffered much more severely on the last charge, I being held in reserve & not being under fire but a few moments, they did gallantly…

Item #21813, $3,000

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.


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, $3,000

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.


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

9th U.S. Colored Infantry - William Royal Civil War Archive

[U.S. COLORED TROOPS]. CAPTAIN WILLIAM ROYAL, Archive. 45 Items from 1863-1869, primarily relating to Company F of the 9th U.S. Colored Infantry, including numerous inventories, correspondence, and pay receipts. Images shown on the website are only a sample of the complete archive. Royal, a white officer (as was typical), was in command of his company as part of the Union occupation of Richmond starting on April 3, when the Confederates abandoned their capital. He remained through the regiment’s service occupying Brownsville Texas under General Sheridan after the war. Also included are Royal’s marriage certificate and Bachelor of Laws degree, and five letters to him, including a friend mourning news of Lincoln’s assassination.


Item #22249, $2,850

New York Draft Riots: “A Great Fraud”

[NEW YORK DRAFT RIOTS], Broadside. New York: Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Association, [November, 1863]. 1 p.


Rare broadside printed four months after the New York Draft Riots, reflecting working class reaction against the politicians who misled the people into taking part in the riots. Signed in print by “A Democratic Workingman.”

Item #21788, $2,800

“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.


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

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.


“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

Charles Sumner Discusses the Emerging Duty
of the United States in Promoting Human Rights &
World Peace Evoking the Declaration of Independence and Championing Louis Kossuth and his Exploits

CHARLES SUMNER, Autograph Letter Signed, Boston, October 26, 1851. 4 pp., 7 x 9 in.


“The influence, we are now able to wield, is a sacred trust, which should be exercised firmly, discreetly, in conformity with the Laws of Nations & with an anxious eye to the peace of the world, so as always to promote the great cause of Human Rights. Our example can do much”

Item #20287, $2,750

A Confederate General Warns His Commanders
Not to Harass the Locals

[CONFEDERACY]. JOHN ECHOLS, Broadside. General Orders. Dublin [Virginia], September 5, 1864. 12 x 10 ½ in.


Foraging during wartime often pits an army against its supporters in the civilian population. In his final month of departmental command before returning to the Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate Brigadier General John Nichols warning his soldiers not to molest citizens or their property.

Item #23271, $2,600

Hingham, Massachusetts Raises Troops
Under Lincoln’s Draft Call

CIVIL WAR, Broadside. “War Meeting! An Adjourned Meeting of Citizens liable to be Drafted into the Military Service of the United States...” Hingham, Mass., February 13, 1864. 1 p., approximately 11¼ x 16¾ in., matted and framed to 18¾ x 24¼ in.


On February 1, 1864, Lincoln called for an additional 200,000 men to fill Union ranks. The town of Hingham needed 34 men to meet their quota, and used this broadside to advertise the muster.

Item #23272, $2,600

A Union Officer Sheds New Light
on the Battle of Fredericksburg, with Schematic Drawings

[CIVIL WAR]. EDGAR A. BURPEE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Alexander Burpee. Fredericksburg, Va., December 15, 1862, 12 pp., 5 1/8 x 7¾ in.


Mainer Edgar Alphonso Burpee describes the Battle of Fredericksburg, providing previously-unknown details regarding order of battle, Union movement through city streets, “unbecoming” ransacking of civilian property, and Confederates shelling Union-occupied parts of their city. He also includes drawings of the city’s streets.

Item #22500, $2,600

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.


Item #24699, $2,500

Gideon Welles Announces Lincoln’s Assassination to the Navy

[GIDEON WELLES], Printed Document Signed in print as Secretary of the Navy. General Order No. 51, Navy Department. Washington, D.C. April 15, 1865. Black border, issued just hours after the president’s death. One page with integral blank, 5½ x 8½ in.


Item #23915, $2,500

A Former Tennessee Congressman Thanks an Editor for Opposing Southern Nullifiers, and Criticizes Andrew Jackson’s Political Vindictiveness

JAMES B. REYNOLDS, Autograph Letter Signed, to Hezekiah Niles. Clarksville, Tenn., January 12, 1831. 3 pp., 9¾ x 8 in., with integral address leaf.


Former Tennessee congressman James Reynolds thanks newspaper editor Hezekiah Niles for standing against Southern nullifiers while offering insight into the spiteful tactics Jackson used against Reynolds once elected to the presidency. Jackson won the presidency in 1828 after losing in 1824 to John Quincy Adams. Apparently, fellow Tennessean Reynolds did not complain enough about the “corrupt bargain” election of 1824—and Andrew Jackson held a grudge.

Item #22535, $2,500

Col. James Clay Rice Lobbies for Military Promotions

JAMES CLAY RICE, Autograph Letter Signed, to William Kidd, Esq., Head Quarters 44th [New York Volunteers] Camp near Falmouth, Virginia, March 14, 1863. 2pp.


“This regiment is equal in bravery to a brigade… the boys are here who can fill [the] positions.”

Item #11625, $2,500

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.


Item #20740, $2,400
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