Sale 779 — Civil War Postal History and Autographs

Sale Date — Wednesday, 10 July, 1996

Category — Civil War Diaries

Cat./Est. Value
[Confederate Diary]. 78pp, 3-3/4 x 5-3/4, by an anonymous Missourian who was a Paymaster and at one time on the staff of Genl. Bowen. Written in minute but readable hand, it begins with him on the run from Feds in Missouri after a battle at Mt. Zion in Dec. 1861: "Our men & boys were hunted down like wolves throughout northern Missouri during its entire winter & succeeding spring. I also, of course, had to share a like fate. From wood to wood, prairie to prairie, county to county, they hunted me." At one point he is captured and then bribes the Federal officer with a $10 bill to let him go. He writes: "Left Audrian Co. in co. with Lieu. Joseph Carr for the south to join the army & fight our way back to our homes." The writer, while not fighting on the front lines, was deeply committed to the Confederacy. Well-educated, he gives a good sense of the day by day activities of the administrative arm of the military in Arkansas and Mississippi, though near the end of the diary (May 1863), a certain bitterness is evident: "It is said Pres. Davis will be reviewing us to morrow. If he comes to dismiss -3/4 of our army officers & choose new ones, even if compelled to do so blind folded, to thrust an equal proportion of qr. masters, commisaries, contractors & surgeons who are sucking the very life blood from the heart of the government, then he may do some good." First page of diary appears to be missing, otherwise intact, original calfskin covers, Fine, desirable and rare

E. 1,000-1,500
[Diaries]. Two volumes, 50pp and 28pp respectively, written by Sgt. Augustus S. Thompson of Co. B, 112th Reg. Ill. Vols., dates Aug. 17, 1863-Oct. 1, 1863, May 12, 1864-Jan. 23, 1865 and Feb. 7, 1865-June 20, 1865. Short but lively entries throughout, Sgt. Thompson describes battle outside Cleveland, Tenn. by overwhelming rebel forces, Battle of Resaca, Ga., Atlanta campaign including recording death of Genl. McPherson, rumor of capture & death of Genl. Hardee, battle of Atlanta, destruction of railroads, fall campaign in Tenn., fearful of Forrest, fighting at Columbia, battle of Franklin, Nashville, campaign in North Carolina, ironclads shelling Ft. Anderson, surrender of Lee, troops celebrating, assassination of Lincoln, surrender of Johnson, review of troops in Washington by Sherman, Grant, Meade, capture of Jeff Davis, etc. Virtually every entry has something of interest: Thompson, avoiding the usual descriptions of weather and making coffee, gives the impression of nearly non-stop fighting. Diaries with original leather covers, has become separated in volume one but is otherwise intact, written in pen and pencil, in a very readable hand - includes several pages of post-war business entries (not included in page count), Fine and desirable

E. 600-800
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[Diary]. 3-3/4 x 5-5/8 in., 14pp, written in pencil by unidentified Union soldier in North Carolina, Dec. 1862 - Feb. 1863, describes attacking rebel line - 130 prisoners and re-capturing two guns "the rebs captured from us at Bull run"; two marching soldiers felled by one shot, rebel sharpshooter hitting water dipper being shared by two "23d boys"; boarding steamer; New England style snow storm; sending home $27 by Adams Express, etc. The last entry is "fish for dinner" - as there were blank pages available to the writer, he may have been killed by a sharpshooter that evening or the next day; wear and soiling but with original cardboard covers

E. 300-400
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[Diary]. 1865 entries by a Elmira, N.Y. doctor, Sidney Darrin, whose duties including attending to prisoners at Barracks No. 3 as there are two entries, one regarding a long chat with a rebel prisoner, another noting rebels arriving to distribute blankets. Other entries mention taking of Richmond, surrender of Lee and subsequent celebration, death of President Lincoln ("The news swept the North like an earthquake"), writing a letter to Horace Greeley, train passing with the remains of the president; book with original leather cover, normal wear, Fine

E. 300-400
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[Diary]. 3 x 6 in., leather covers, written by Andrew French, a Philadelphian - part surveyor, part handyman, who managed to avoid the war, at least for 1861, which is the year this diary records. There's an entry for every day, including the first week of 1862, when he notes that he cannot buy a diary for the new year. Nothing to exite the modern reader, but French wrote in a good neat hand, and as the weather descriptions and street names and visits to friends begin to accumulate, one is entertained. Besides, there's a description of a corpse, a visit to Blood's Despatch and at least one attempt at being a patriot - "I designed a small eagle", Fine item

E. 100-150
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