Civil War

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This page serves as the Civil War Home page, and deals with  several varied aspects of the war, including  the social and political movements, along with the graphic arts  of the war.   

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cw222.jpg (122392 bytes)1863 PRO UNION CIVIL WAR PAMPHLET. About the War. Plain Words to Plain People by a Plain Man. No author listed (Ezra Hunt); Union League of Philadelphia. 1863 16pp wraps. 8 ˝’ x 5 ľ”. Gives a a pro Union view of the stages leading to and during the war. Small loss of paper along top right edge, o/w VG-F cond. (Cw.222); $75.



One of the big problems on the home front was the large group of Northerners who opposed the war. These copperheads, as they were called, organized secret societies such as the Knights of the Golden Circle. Certainly the most prominent of these men was , Clement Laird Vallandigham.  They sought to embarrass the government by discouraging enlistments, opposing the draft, and even helping Confederate prisoners to escape. Copperheads became influential in the Democratic party and in the elections of 1862 scored important victories in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.   

Clement Vallandigham was born in  Ohio, 1820. and was a member of the state legislature before being elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served from 1857 to 1863. Vallandigham was a prominent member of the Peace Democrats, or Copperheads, a group of Northerners who opposed the American Civil War. He also became commander of the secret, antiwar organization known as the Knights of the Golden Circle.  In 1863 Vallandigham was arrested and convicted of harboring treasonable sentiments. He was banished by Lincoln to the Confederacy but returned to Ohio in 1864.  


cw080.jpg (20948 bytes)VALLANDIGHAM, CLEMENT LAIRD. Carte de visite. 4" x 2 3/8". C.D. Fredricks, N.Y. backamark. slight soiling, corners clipped, else VG. (Cw.80)$120.

nw154.jpg (589244 bytes)CIVIL WAR COPPERHEAD NEWSPAPER -  THE CRISIS. the Hottest Rebel Sheet to be found in the North or the South”  The Crisis. Columbus Ohio. 20” x 13” 4pp complete, from bound volume.  Described as “the Hottest Rebel Sheet to be found in the North or the South”, this paper, an organ for the copperheads, or peace democrats, opposed the war and attracted the hatred of the Lincoln administration. It was denied circulation in some cities. The editor, Samuel Medary had been an opponent of the Civil War from the beginning in 1861, and insisted slavery could not be prohibited by law. As the war progressed, he became more outspoken in his criticism of the war and those who participated in it. On March 5, 1863, some 150 incensed soldiers from Camp Chase attacked The Crisis' offices, but was not put out of business. In 1864,Medary was indicted by federal grand jury as a spokesman for a subversive group. The Cincinnati Inquirer put up bail and legal defense fund to test wartime freedom of press., but Medary died before the trial.. All issues are in VG– Fine cond., no tears or missing pages. (NW.154); $40. @ or 4/$100.



During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate armies were modeled similarly , that of state volunteer militia units organized around a body of regulars from the  U.S. Army. After the enthusiasm for war on both sides wore off after the  bloody campaigns of 1861 and 1862,, the states attempted to keep their original regiments up to strength and to create new units by offering bounties . When neither voluntary enlistment (nor the  state compulsory service) produced the number of men needed, both the North and the South resorted to a federal draft. The southern Congress enacted a draft in 1862. The U.S. Congress passed a militia law that same year and started a draft the next year through the Enrollment Act of 1863.  Voluntary enlistments were credited against the district quotas, with selection of the remainder by lot. The federal system continued the policy of being able to hiring a  substitute or paying fees instead of service. Resentment against the economic imbalance of the state system raged into violence when those inequities were continued and expanded under the federal draft. Bitter opposition to the draft continued through the rest of the war. 

Bonds were used by various counties and cities in the North to raise funds for bounties to entice young men to enlist into the Union Army. Each county was required to raise a certain number of soldiers to fight in the Civil War. If enough young men volunteered, everything was fine. But, if the county did not meet its quota, it was forced to "find" additional men. This was done by offering a bounty to any volunteer, paid with funds raised from the sale of these Bounty Fund Bonds.


cw432.jpg (335660 bytes)1864 TOWN OF CALLICOON NEW YORK VOLUNTEER BOUNTY FUND. Sept 17, 1864 12 1/2" x 7 3/4" interest bearing town bond payable first day March 1865. Nice graphic appeal. (Cw.432); $195.  

cw218.jpg (104437 bytes)NEW YORK STATE BOUNTY BOND. 6 3/4" x 11 3/4" 1865 Civil War State of New York $1000 Bond.   "Payment Of Bounties To Volunteers." Features   Very Good to condition, slash cancelled marks. (Cw.218); $135.pending

cw429.jpg (116329 bytes)ESSEX COUNTY VOLUNTEER WAR BOND 9 1/2" x 7 3/4 two page (bi-fold) bond for the town of Newcomb to raise funds for the payment for bounties.  Fine cond. (Cw. 429); $135.

cw681.jpg (519223 bytes)CIVIL WAR – BOUNTY BOND . Wood County (Ohio)Bounty Fund Bond, 6 x 8 ˝,  Installment Number Two entitling Edward Thomas the sum of Fifty Dollars with six per cent interest dated first-day September, 1868. "Issued under the provisions of an Act passed March 7, 1787, entitled ’An Act to amend an Act to provide a Bounty to Veteran Volunteers, passed April 13, 1865, passed April 5, 1867.'   Printed by Toldeo Blade PrintingWith revenue stamp. Fine.  Cw 681, $165.


cw430.jpg (1083679 bytes)CIVIL WAR – 1865 SOLDIERS BOUNTY FUND BOND. Soldiers Bounty Fund Bond, No. 2 - The County of New York, 1865 . 8 ˝ x12. Signed by Charles Godfrey Gunther, Mayor of New York. Six per cent Bond to pay enlisted volunteer Union Soldiers, “By Authority of an Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors, and by an Act of The Legislature of the State of York New”; dated 31st March, 1865 and signed by Charles Godfrey Gunther, Mayor of New York and Matthew C. Brennan, Comptroller. Beautiful Bond in blue print with bold red “Seal of Supervisors, County of New York,” printed by A. Brown & Co. 47 Nassau St. N.Y. Uncancelled,  original light fold lines, overall  Fine Condition.(cw430); $250. SOLD



cw434.jpg (228739 bytes)CONFEDERATE BONDHOLDER'S INTERIM DEPOSITORY CERTIFICATE 1864. Nice bondholder scrip certificate #16 issued by the TREASURY OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA,Richmond, Virginia, March 10, 1864. Acknowledges receipt of $100 "...for which amount Registered Bonds of the Confederate States of America will be issued.. .under the 'act to reduce the currency and to authorize a new issue of notes and bonds' approved February 17, 1864...." Printed on pink paper and filled out in ink and hand signed. Fine condition with the usual scalloped edge at left, with ink. These certificates were often issued when the Confederate Government was unable to meet the demand for printed bonds. Little was known about these certificates until the publication of Dr. Douglas Ball's "Confederate Interim Deposit Receipts & Funding Certificates in the Commonwealth of Virginia," in 1972. This example is ex R.M. Smythe. Reference: Spink-Smythe Civil War Sesquicentennial Sale, Dallas, April 12, 2011, lots 511-673.(cw434); $170.




cw406.jpg (319716 bytes)BOUNTY RELATING PROCURING A SUBSTITUTE.  Bangor Maine, March 10, 1865. 5  x 8" imprinted receipt for bounty. Of note is this bounty was paid for  procuring a substitute, and had been inserted by manuscript. Overall fine condition. (Cw.406); 85.


It became painfully apparent very soon after the war began, that pecuniary aid for the relief of the wives and families of the soldiers would be needed. The wages of the volunteers were not enough for the needs of the case, and, moreover, much of the time those wages were greatly in arrears, and often it was difficult or impossible to send the money home when obtained. Acts were passed allowing the authorities of counties, cities and towns to appropriate funds for relief as might be needed, and empowering them at their discretion, to levy a tax to obtain money for such purposes.


cw856.jpg (181211 bytes)CIVIL WAR RELIEF FUND RECEIPT. Deleware County, Troy Township (Ohio), 1865. 3 1/4 x 5 1/4. Relief Fund for Families of Volunteers.Paid to Mary Cummer (probable for Charles Cummer,, enlisted 9/20/1861 as a Private, mustered into "E" Co., Oh 1st Infantry. Original fold lines , iverall condition is G-VG. (Cw.856); $28. 

cw863.jpg (207966 bytes)CIVIL WAR RELIEF FUND RECEIPT. Saco, Maine, 1861 . 3 5/8 x 8  3/8”. Pay to Mrs Taylor Soldier’s Wife.Fine cond.  (Cw.863); $28

cw680.jpg (1152794 bytes)CIVIL WAR – VOLUNTEER SOLDER’S FAMILY AID BOND 1862 . Volunteer Soldiers Family Aid Fund Bond, City of NY. 9” x 13” . Attractive bond with vignette of Liberty and allegorical female with seal of New York city. These bonds were issued by the City of New York to provide financial aid to families of soldiers  who were serving in Union Army during the Civil War. Signed by the mayor of New York City, George Opdyke. There are a few small edge nicks and a repaired 2 “  separation along fold line, overall VG - Fine cond.  (Cw. 680); $150.  



cw680a.jpg (850291 bytes)Back of Bond



A fine  example of the graphic arts of the Civil War is the illustrative lettersheet, which in essence combined the text of a song with letter paper.  These songsheets generally were 8 1/2 x 11 inches, folded once horizontally, with the illustration on the front page, with the other 3 pages available to write on.  Most of the surviving sheets are found with only the illustrated cover intact.  Several firms produced work during this period, mainly G.P. Hardwick of Washington, DC, W.A. Stephens of Philadelphia, J. Gay and J. Magee of Philadelphia. However it was the  Charles Magnus firm that was the most prolific publisher of illustrated stationery during the Civil War, making envelopes, letterpaper, songsheets, maps, prints, games, playing cards and other items. 

cw442.jpg (119331 bytes)PATRIOTIC LETTERSHEET. Give Us Back Our Old Commander. Song regarding Gen. McClellan. 8" x 5"; Charles Magnus, NewYork. Hand colored, Single page, Fine cond. (Cw.442); $95.

cw441.jpg (124503 bytes)PATRIOTIC LETTERSHEET. How Sherman's Veterans' Took Atlanta.. 8" x 5"; Charles Magnus, NewYork. Hand colored, single page , Fine cond. (Cw.441); $95.. 

cw443.jpg (85735 bytes)PATRIOTIC LETTERSHEET. Columbia The Home of the World. Show the Capitol Building.  8" x 5"; Charles Magnus, NewYork. Hand colored, single page , a bit of age toning and light soiling, o/w VG+ cond. (Cw.443); $65. 


From the outset of the Civil War, patriotic themes began to appear on envelopes illustrating various scenes, portraits, and sentiments. It is estimated that at least 200 different publishers and printers produced these covers, albums could be bought during the war in which to mount the envelopes. Curiously, the collecting of Civil War patriotic covers actually began during the war. It is believes that between 7,500 and 10,000 different designs exist. For those interested in further information on this subject, a recommended book is “The Catalog of Union Civil War Patriotic Covers” by William R. Weiss.

All are postally unused, measure app. 3 1/4" x 5 1/2".  


cw364.jpg (39279 bytes)PATRIOTIC COVER -  MISS LIBERTY AND MOTTO - Illustrated Patriotic Envelope. The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved.  Exhibits light light use, small amount of old adhesive toning on four corners on back, o/w Fine. (Cw.364); $35.  

cw363.jpg (40573 bytes) PATRIOTIC COVER - CANNON EAGLE AND FLAGS - Illustrated Patriotic Envelope. Nice graphic with printed sentiment below. Back of envelope is torn, face is Fine. (Cw.363); $35.


cw433.jpg (92603 bytes)CIVIL WAR ERA GUN POWDER LABEL. 6" circular paper label with great graphic of a broadside view of a cannon, along with surrounding text . A bit of discoloration, unused, overall fine cond. (Cw. 433); $125.

cdvcw162.jpg (129478 bytes)CIVIL WAR CDV-  TINTED CARTOON – CHILD HOLDING MAP WITH DIVIDED UNION   Carte de visite 4" x 2 1/2". Photograph of cartoon of child holding a map showing the devided Union with the words “Secession” in the middle .The title “North “ is printed below. Copyright T.S. Willingale, New York.  Fine (Cdvc162) $125.00

cdvcw161.jpg (134559 bytes)CIVIL WAR CDV-  TINTED CARTOON – BLACK CHILD HOLDING EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION.  Carte de visite 4" x 2 1/2". Photograph of cartoon of black child holding banjo in one hand, the other holds a paper with the words Emancipation Proclamation. The title “South “ is printed below. Copyright T.S. Willingale, New York.  Fine (Cdvc161) $125.00


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