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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Three Special Orders Signed
by Gen. Townsend Re. Capt. Abbott

EDWARD D. TOWNSEND. Brig. Gen. and Assistant Adjutant General, 3 Special Orders Signed, from the Adjutant-General’s Office, War Department, to (and docketed by) Capt. Henry L. Abbott, Colonel of Volunteers, Corps of Topographical Engineers, variously under Generals Barnard, Banks, &c. Henry L. Abbott (1831-1927) commanded the Army of the Potomac’s siege artillery at Petersburg. For this and other recognizable services during the war, he was brevetted brigadier general.

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Item #20577.01-.03, $160

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper with United States Colored Troop (USCT) Images

[AFRICAN-AMERICAN SOLDIERS], Newspapers. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, December 13, and December 20, 1862, 16 pp. each. (Two issues)

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Two war-dated newspapers showing African Americans in the Civil War:

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, December 20, 1862: “The South Carolina Loyal Colored Regiment in Action,” including “Picking off Rebel Sharpshooters.”  And, “The Negro Drivers of the Baggage Train.”

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated, December 13, 1862: Contrabands looking on at “Camp at Stafford’s Store Virginia.”

Item #22483.01-.02, $375

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.

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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

Frederick Douglass Recruiting African American Soldiers

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Broadside: “Men of Color, To Arms! Now or Never!” Philadelphia [ca Spring, 1863]. 1 p., 8 x 10 in. Subscribed in type by Douglass and fifty-four other African American leaders, including William Forten, Rev. William T. Catto, Rev. Stephen Smith, Rev. J. C. Gibbs, and many others.

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Are Freemen less brave than Slaves?

Item #26162, $25,000

Civil War Song Sheet: When Johnny Comes Marching Home

[PATRICK GILMORE], Broadside, “When Johnny comes marching home.” Philadelphia, Johnson & Co., Song Publishers. [1863-65]. 6 x 9 in., 1 p.

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When Johnny comes marching home again, Hurrah! Hurrah! / We’ll give him a hearty welcome then, Hurrah! Hurrah!...

Item #22946, $375

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, $1,500

General Schofield’s Personal Gettysburg Official Records

[GETTYSBURG; GEN. JOHN M. SCHOFIELD], Books, 3 Volumes – The War of the Rebellion: Gettysburg Official Records, devoted to the Battle of Gettysburg. Owned by Union General John M. Schofield (with his stamp in first volume).

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Item #23060, $750

A Copperhead Newspaper Prints, Then Criticizes,
the Emancipation Proclamation

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION, Newspaper. New York Journal of Commerce. New York, N.Y., January 3, 1863. 4 pp., 24 x 32½ in.

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An early report of the Emancipation Proclamation, where the editors describe Lincoln’s bold move as “a farce coming in after a long tragedy....Most of the people regard it as a very foolish piece of business.”

Item #22448.01, $1,450

Beauregard’s Thanks for Donation for
“our gallant soldiers now battling manfully for our rights & our Independence…”

G. T. BEAUREGARD, Autograph Letter Signed, to Col. Charles J. Helm in Havana Cuba. From Charleston, S.C., January 28, 1863. On “Head Quarters, Department of South Carolina, Georgia & Florida” stationery. Endorsed on verso by Helm. 1 p., 8 x 9⅞ in.

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A cordial letter to Col. Charles J. Helm, Confederate agent in the West Indies, sending thanks to “Mrs. Phebe M. Newcomb” for her donation of wool socks to the Confederate Army. He takes the opportunity to speak eloquently to the privations that Southern troops, specifically the Washington Artillery of New Orleans, have endured. “Permit me to thank you, & thro’ you Mrs. Phebe M. Newcomb, for the wollen socks she has been kind enough to make…

Item #21784, $3,900

Returning the Western World to Blockade Duty to Squeeze the Confederacy

GIDEON WELLES, Manuscript Document Signed, to Samuel B. Gregory, February 16, 1863; Endorsement signed by Acting Rear Admiral SAMUEL P. LEE. 1 p.

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Item #22844, $1,000

Union Soldier Tells His Wife of the Rebel Attack on New Bern, North Carolina

HENRY PICKFORD, Fragment of Autograph Letter Signed, to his wife Sarah Pickford, c. March 1863. 2 pp.

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we had quite an excitement in Newbern about a week ago the rebels made three or four attacks on the City and were finally repulsed we lost one man on board of one of the Gunboats that is all

Item #21265.13, $140

“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, ON HOLD

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.

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

Item #11625, $2,500

Evacuating Elizabeth City and Leaving Nothing for the Rebels, to the Dismay of Freedpeople and Unionists

THOMAS BOURNE, Autograph Letter Signed, April 18, 1863, Elizabeth City, [North Carolina]. 2 pp., 8vo.

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this place is to be evacuated all the troops and the gunboats leave with us there is a general move of the darkeys they all want to go with us they do not dare to stay here after we leave for fear of the guerrillas I believe we are to take every thing with us that can be of use to the rebs

Item #21265.25, $300

Lincoln Reviews the Army of the Potomac

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, May 2, 1863. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Collecting confiscated rebel cotton. Ironclad Keokuk sinking after the battle at Charleston. Pres. Lincoln, General Hooker, and their staff at a review of the Army of the Potomac. Bombardment of Fort Sumter.

Item #H-5-2-1863, $100

Accounting for “Contraband” Sailors in the Civil War Navy Bureaucracy

SAMUEL P. LEE, Letter Signed, to Samuel B. Gregory, June 4, 1863. 1 p.

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When enslaved African Americans fled to the ships of the Union blockading fleet, officers often sent them to “contraband” camps such as those at Port Royal, South Carolina, or Fortress Monroe, Virginia, or shipped them north. However, the Union Navy, short on manpower, also encouraged able-bodied male contrabands to enlist. In September 1861, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles authorized the enlistment of contrabands “under the same forms and regulations as apply to other enlistments.” As crew members of navy ships and gunboats, these black sailors served on blockade duty and even on expeditions up southern rivers and creeks.

On January 5, 1863, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered commanders of squadrons to forward monthly returns of “contrabands” employed on board the respective vessels under their command. The USS Western World had been part of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in 1861 and 1862. After extensive overhaul, the Western World was reassigned in March 1863 to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for service in the Chesapeake Bay.

In this letter, Acting Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee chastises the Western World’s commander for the lack of details in his May 1863 “Contraband” report.

Item #22845, $1,000

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 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

Abraham Lincoln Introduces Ulysses S. Grant’s Superintendent of Freed Slaves to the American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission

Abraham Lincoln, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to Robert Dale Owen, July 22, 1863, Washington, D.C. On Executive Mansion stationery. 1 p., 5 x 8 in.

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“Mr John Eaton Jr. … having had charge of the freed-men … comes to me highly recommended by Gen. Grant, as you know, & also by Judge Swayne[1]of the U. S. Supreme Court.

On July 22, 1862, exactly a year before he wrote this letter, Lincoln read a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet, agreeing to Stanton’s advice to hold it back until the Union could claim a military victory. On September 22, after the Battle of Antietam, he issued a Preliminary Proclamation, stating that enslaved people in any areas still in rebellion would be freed, and that freed men would be welcomed into the armed forces of the United States. Once Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, Secretary of War Edward Stanton worked to create a federal system to support freed slaves, and allow them to most effectively support the Union.

Item #26470, $110,000

South Carolina Impressment Agent Negotiates With General Beauregard for the Release of Slaves to their Masters

WILLIAM SHANNON, Autograph Letter Signed, to General Thomas Jordan. Charleston, August 17, 1863, 2 pp. With: newspaper advertisement, entitled: “Labor For Coast Defences,” a public letter from Governor M.L. Bonham, August 19, 1863, 1 p.

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Shannon, a militia colonel and state agent for the impressment of slave labor, requests the discharge of a number of slaves impressed for labor on military fortifications in Charleston, from the chief of staff of General Beauregard. Local planters depended on Shannon to force the state governor and the Confederate army to abide by the terms of the legislation granting the power to impress slave labor, in this case for a month’s time. A rare document concerning the joint effort between the Confederate government and the local planters to use slave labor for military fortifications. I am officially identified with the success of a scheme which I have labored earnestly to make efficient, outside of that motive no man can be more deeply interested than I am in the success of the defence of Charleston, but I feel constrained from a sense of duty to ask the discharge of those Negroes furnished under the call for the 15th July, who have worked over thirty days and which are relieved by the supply rendered in the past few days. The motive prompting this direct application is that I am informed by the Engineer Department that the Negroes could not be discharged…

Item #21799, $2,000
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