Original Civil War-Era Documents
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These are definitely one-of-a-kind items! One of these would make a wonderful and unique gift for someone who's seeking Civil War autographs & ephemera, memorabilia related to a particular family name, to Civil War veterans, or who is interested in the contribution of their county and/or state to the war effort.

Some items will be the more familiar names, but others will be less common. Prices can vary widely, from the "investment" range to the surprisingly affordable. Not bad for a genuine piece of history!

This section will be added to and updated regularly, so bookmark this page and stop by again!

For the time being, items are listed in the order that they are added to this page.

New! Original Civil War "Wallpaper" Newspaper Issue: The Opelousas Courier, Volume II, No. 23 (April 24, 1863)
From the seller: "Folio broadside newspaper, approx. 13.75" x 19.25" and printed on one side of a sheet of wallpaper (which is block-printed in a purple leafy design), the text in five columns, formerly folded up (and with a brief section which sustained very minimal loss), and evidently printed by General Banks after his occupation of the city. The actual printed matter here comprises an odd mix of Northern and Southern generated copy, the two quite clearly distinguished from each other, with this trait suggesting that perhaps Banks wished to rush the newspaper into print. A rare title, unlike similar Confederate newspapers printed on wallpaper, this one not having appeared at auction in several decades. A Good+ copy. NOTA BENE: For the sake of sheer accuracy, there is another copy of this exact issue about to come up for sale at the Eric Caren Collection Part I sale, at Swann Galleries (September 15, 2011), lot 96. The estimate is slightly less than the price on this copy, and the descriptive text about the item is a little longer than the text here..."

1864 Handwritten Civil War Document Detailing Horse Purchases for the 12th Virginia Cavalry icon
From the seller: "Good+ Manuscript. 12mo-over 6"-7" tall. 1864 Civil War - CSA. Co. C., 12th Virginia Cavalry. 1p., manuscript, 5" x 11.75", April 20, 1864, near Natural Bridge, Virginia. Interesting original document showing the cost of horses for eleven named officers & soldiers, including: Capt. Jno H. FORD (gray horse; Bay; Sorel); Lieut. Jos. R. WOOD (black mare; Bay Horse); Corpl Jos. S. RUDOLPH (Sorel horse) and more. Detailed, w/ horse ages and costs. Ink is very faded, but is mostly legible. Half of the top line is trimmed. The verso with a manuscript copy of, 'The Vacant Chair,' pencil --a popular Civil War poem by Henry S. WASHBURN in honor of dead soldiers. Full verso."

1881 + 1883 + 1890 Handwritten Manuscript Journals - Diaries of P. H. GRISHAM, Civil War Veteran, Genealogist of Washington, D. C., Alexandria Virginia, Arkansas and Tennessee
From the Seller: "Good+ Manuscript. 32mo-over 4"-5" tall. Three curious diaries/logs/journals of Peter H. GRISHAM [mustered out a Corporal of the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry. ] Peter tends to write front to back and then change back to front in these 'pocketbook' type journal. Peter meanders making observations, jotting memories, detailing genealogical histories; Mrs. Mary BLEVINS, his sister, some famed people he knew through his father and notes the history of the family's steel works is in the snippets to follow. "July 10th, 1883. My duties have been arduous + have neglected to keep up any diary, regularly. I went to Arkansas-last May was a year-via Baltimore, Harrisburg, Pittsburg, Chicago, St. Louis by RRs and by Steamer too Memphis + by RR to Little Rock + Geary [? ] Ark. to my sister, Mrs. Mary BLEVINS near Pangburn, White Co. Ark? " "July 22nd, 1883-Wrote letter to J. Lundy BROTHERTON, Phila., in reply to his in regard to Benj LUNDY and Elihu and Elijah EMBREE who printed + published the 1st Emancipation newspaper in the US States some 50 years ago....took me to clerk at his great ironworks in 1838....I stayed at his house as a clerk near six years and was present when he died. " "About six years ago Bridget (an Irish girl that sews for them) that G. EATON, was paymaster general under Genl SCOTT killed himself before this: he ran away with the granddght. of his 1st wife. Col. CLARK...knows of it. " July 29th, 1883, Alexandria Va. This ancient city is still inhabited by many of the old Virginia Aristocracy who own the best of the property. The city was mostly of the tory sort I believe in the days of Washington-who attended Church here in the same building I did today....That it sympathized with England and the King may be inferred from the names of the streets-King St., Queen St., Prince.....It was also a strong rebel city during the late war sending about a thousand soldiers into the rebel army under Genl R. E. LEE who lived a few miles above opposite the city of Washington. The pocketbook has a page or two missing, one hinge is loose is written in pencil, blue crayon and pen. A number of pages are financial - stock holdings, monies loaned and repaid. Some more legible than others especially the log parts where he has crossed out information that was no longer relevant. 50+pp. Diary for 1881, also a pocketbook style tells the long tale of the death of Catherine M. MELVILLE and other historically relevant events for Washington City, DC as he writes. 20+pp.Diary for 1890 is for the most part very much like the others."

Sold! Civil War-Era Letter to South Carolina Soldier Abba BROWN icon
From the seller: "Hand-penned letter from George Brown & his wife to son Abba, dated October 16th, (18)64, Williamston. Written on 8 x 10 off-white stock and folded three times (no envelope). "My Dear Child/It has now been three weeks since we have heard a word from you/I have written every few days but still get no answer, but I know that the fault is not in you, for I know that you have written but we never get those letters. " Text occupies both full sides, with the mother imploring the son to try to retrieve a winter coat she has for him. Second half of rear has father apologizing for not sending him more money, and "I have visited Wit's place on Snake River/there is plenty of land for all our hands to work..." Item is in very good shape, with a crescent-shaped burn mark lower half of left margin."

Sold! Original Circa 1860s Handwritten Manuscript Letter By a Union Soldier to His Father Revealing His Most Recent Civil Wars Encounters and Experiences icon
From the seller: "Very Good. Manuscript. 16mo-over 5"-6" tall. Civil War Virginia holograph; Letter written by Union solider from New Market, VA., 4 pages, unsigned so possibly incomplete but interesting content. To his father; "...I said I did not know whether I should ride my horse or get sent through by rail as far as Winchester / I saddled my horse and rode out about two miles / went to captain to see if I would be sent my rail-he said no because bridge was gone / railroad bridge at the ferry across the Potomac was washed away by heavy rain / must ride my horse or stay behind / packed my duds & mounted my horse in a drizling rain / passed through Charlestown where John Brown was tried and hung 8 miles from the Ferry & stopped about 4 miles from Berryville / took quarters in old deserted tavern with Marve / started for Woodstock where regiment was / orders-no women companions / took off my overcoat and rolled it and strapped my saber and pitol, haversack & canteen to saddle, this lightened my load / we did not pass near enough to the field of battle this side of Winchester to get sight of it though I saw where the skirmishing commenced on the road & our men drove them back onto the hill about a mile and a half before they made a stand behind the stone wall / some trees by the road were all picked up by rebel bullets and they probably sheltered some of our men and an old house was burnet down by a shell from our guns that sheltered them. " Very good descriptive letter."

Sold! Handwritten Manuscript Autograph Signature of C. K. STRIBLING, Civil War Naval Officer Born in Pendleton, South Carolina icon
From the seller: "Fine. 64mo-up to 3" tall. Signed. Autograph Autograph signature, clipped and mounted of C. K. STRIBLING- naval officer, born in Pendleton, South Carolina, 22 September, 1796; died in Martinsburg, West Virginia, 17 January, 1880. He entered the navy as a midshipman, 18 June, 1812, and served in the frigate "Mohawk" on Lake Ontario in 1815, where he participated in the blockade of Kingston. He was commissioned lieutenant, 1 April, 1818. cruised on the Brazil station in 1819-20, and then in the West Indies suppressing piracy. He commanded the sloop " Peacock" in the East Indies in 1835-37, and was on leave for two years after his return. He was commissioned commander, 24 January, 1840, and in 1842-44 had the sloop "Cyane" and frigate " United States" successively on the Pacific station. For the next two years he had command of the receiving-ship at Norfolk, and he then went out as fleet-captain in command of the ship-of-the-line " Ohio, " of the Pacific squadron, during the latter part of the Mexican war, returning to New York in April, 1850. He was superintendent of the naval academy at Annapolis in 1850-'3, was commissioned captain, 1 August, 1853, and commanded the steam sloop " San Jacinto" on special service in 1854-55. He was commandant of the Pensacola navy-yard 1857-59, and served as flag-officer in command of the East India squadron in 1859-61. When the civil war opened he returned home, and, notwithstanding the secession of his native state, adhered to the Union. He served on the board to regulate the compensation of government officers in 1861, and on the light-house board in 1862. By operation of law he was placed on the retired list in December, 1861, but he continued to render valuable service in command of the navy-yard at Philadelphia in 1862-64, and from February till July, 1865, as commander-in-chief of the Eastern Gulf blockading squadron; after which he was a member of the light-house board until 1872. He was commissioned commodore on the retired list, 16 July, 1862, and rear-admiral, 25..."

Sold! Original 82nd U.S. Colored Infantry Civil War Muster Roll
From the seller: "Partly Printed Document Signed, Apalachicola, FL, 1865. 21 x 30". Union muster roll for Co. K. Pay roll. May, 1865. 2 pp Pay roll for May and June 1865. Detailed listing of 73 enlisted men and officers, most signing with their marks. Signed by Major George E Wentworth, who was promoted through the ranks since his enlistment as a sergeant in 1861. Historical Note The 82nd was organized in Apr 1864 from 10th Corps de Afrique Infantry and attached to the Department of the Gulf with gallant service at Port Hudson, Expeditions toward Pollard AL, from Ft. Barrancas, to Marianna, Euchee Anna Court House, up Blackwater Bay; serving at the siege, assault and capture of Fort Blakely, and the occupation of Mobile. After serving in the District of FL, it was mustered out 10 September 1866. Images available on request."

Sold! Daily life in the army and concerns for the home front during the Civil War...
by Henry HILL. From the seller: "...as recorded in an archive of 90 autograph letters from the field, virtually all to his wife in Colleton District, South Carolina, all signed, 26 November 1861 to 13 February 1865; accompanied by 10 other items, a pre-war letter from Hill to his wife, several manuscript documents relating to Hill's position in his church after the war, several receipts, etc. Hill, owner of a farm in the Colleton District, South Carolina, between Charleston and Savannah, was mustered into service in Captain Wheeler Smith's Company, 1st South Carolina Mounted Militia, on 12 November 1861 and was discharged with the rest of the company on 31 January 1862. He enlisted for Confederate service on 12 March 1862, joining Company C, 17th Battalion South Carolina Cavalry; this company, still commanded by Smith, became Company C, 5th South Carolina Cavalry on 18 January 1863, and was variously stationed at Green Pond, James Island, and Charleston, South Carolina, until April 1864 when the regiment was sent to Virginia. During 1864, it participated in numerous engagements around Richmond and Petersburg, including the Battle of Trevilian Station in June 1864, the largest all-cavalry battle of the war. The regiment returned to South Carolina, with Wade Hampton, in January 1865, thereafter retreating across the Carolinas in the face of Sherman's army, before surrendering with Johnston at Durham Station, North Carolina, 27 April 1865. Hill's letters to his wife, almost all expressing concern for her well-being and that of their children, emphasize his worries over the state of his farm and various debts, offer instructions on specific activities related to their crops, describe his unit's various bivouac areas, fortifications, and plans for movements, provide news of camp life and of other soldiers from their neighborhood, specific descriptions of battle and other war activities, and rumor and innuendo from other areas of political and military actions, all framed within an earnest, religious prose. Samples from the letters include: "The Yankeys landed at Pocataligo Wednesday and gave our men a small fite but we whopped them off 40 of them dead on the field which our solider stripped stark naked they had about 5000 strong and Col. Walker only had 800 men we lost 12 artillery horses" (24 October 1862). "Don't listen to anything you hear about giving up this part of the country. It is all lies." (Camp Jeffords, 29 October 1862). "I will write to Ben Stokes and get him to get some sort of negro to stay with you" (Camp Morgan, 17 April 1863). "I went out today to see a man shot which was a terrible scene, It was witnessed by 2 or 3 thousand soldiers and lots of spectators to look on. He was shot for joining companies and running off and going into other companies as a substitute. He was marched around the square with 2 bands playing . Then the priest prayed with him. Then he knelt down on his coffin and was shot dead. Six bullets put though him" (Camp Charleston, 19 May 1863). "We took 15 negra soldiers, some of them with sergeant stripes on. There is a good many of that kind among the Yankeys on this island now Capt. Edwards got in contact with a negro soldier. The negro shot at Lt. Danelen and missed him. Edwards charged the negro on his horse. Edwards chopped at hime with his sword. The negro defended the licks off by he hit him one lick with the sweord and dropped him down. Edwards went to stick him with the sword bu the negro caught the blade and pushed it off the negro got up and put his bayonet on his gun and made at the Capt. The Capt. Shot him with five balls before he killed him. That sassy rascal would not surrender until he was killed" (James Island, 17 July 1863). "It is reported by the Yankey prisoners that Grant is dead. If it is so we will rest awhile. General Early is shelling Washington, they say I rode my horse 65 days steady and sometimes all night, and sometimes 48 hours without a mouthful of anything to eat at all I sent a Sharps rifle by Mr. Thomason it is a Yankey gun. I killed the man and I want to keep his gun in memory of him" (19 July 1864). "We have had 2 or 3 pretty hard fights in the last 5 days. We lost one man in our company, Capt. Marvin, and several out of the 5th. We captured some 5000 prisoners, 16 pieces of cannon, and about 514 horse wagon loads of small arms."

Sold! 1864 Handwritten Manuscript Civil War Era Diary of [James SHERBURN] Pioneer New Hampshire Man icon
From the seller: "Very Good. Manuscript. 64mo-up to 3" tall. James M. SHERBURN's name when googled immediately brings up a site regarding the "James SHERBURNE Cemetery, where besides others, is buried the wife of James M. SHERBURN, James himself and as the following list shows many if not all their children: Capt. James M. Sherburne DIED Nov. 10, 1867 age 56 ys. 11 ms. Betsey C. (Blake), wife of James M. Sherburn, DIED April 20, 1854 ae 41 y rs 6 mo & 20 d s. Adele, Dau. of Capt. James M. & Betsey C. Sherburne DIED Apr. 9, 1869 ae 19 yrs. 22 dys. Charles H., son of Capt. James M. & Betsey C. SHERBURN, DIED Sept. 14, 1855 ae 9 y rs 9 mo. & 9 d s. Emeline P., dau. of Capt. James M. & Betsey C. Sherburn DIED Feb. 20, 1853 ae 8 y rs 9 m0. & 10 d s. Mary E. dau. of Capt. James M. & Betsey C. SHERBURN DIED July 16, 1853 ae 1 y r 3 mo. & 23 d s. Charles H., son of Capt. James M. & Betsey C. SHERBURN, DIED Aug. 9, 1854 ae 4 mo s. Charles H., son of James M. & Lucy C. d 1861 ae 1 mo. (not found). This information is not mine and as such we cannot 100% gurantee that it is the same due to the slight discrepancy in spelling with the "e" present at times and missing at others. All that stated this diary is a journeyman's trade diary more than anything Else. James seldom writes of personal matters though he does mention having Christmas "up Mother SHERBURN to diner...supper boiled Mother BICKFORD. " Other observations include people falling down wells and breaking arms type thing but more so this is a super economic detailing of 1864 New Hampshire. Prices of items, costs of work, 100s of names of people worked for and on and with. James was involved in many pursuits; lumber, butchering, hauling, milling, plowing, picking apples, curing and salting, making cider+++. This diary also includes James' weather observations nearly every single day."

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