Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2013 Issue

The American Civil War from Yesterday's Muse Books


The Civil War.

Yesterday's Muse Books has issued a new catalogue, The American Civil War. 101 Items, Mainly from the Confederate Perspective. If it's going to be from a Confederate perspective, perhaps they should change the title to “The War of Northern Aggression.” Offered is a selection of 101 works, a few pertaining to the Union cause but not many. While many are contemporary accounts, most books were published in the last 50 years. Some are later historic accounts, but there are many compilations of letters and diaries from those who served during the war, published many years later, or reprinted from earlier editions. These books throw light on an extraordinarily difficult time, sorrows compounded by most of these representing those who fought for a lost cause. Here are a few samples.

Item 37 is Yours Till Death: Civil War Letters of John W. Cotton. The author is obvious, but the book was edited by Lucille Griffith and published by the University of Alabama Press in 1951. Cotton was a middle class farmer from Coosa County, Alabama. He was not dirt poor, but not a plantation owner either. His personal interests in the cause were limited as he was not a slaveholder, but he was one of many who put his life on the line to support southern independence. He would fight on until the end, even as desertions among Confederate soldiers ran high once it became clear that the cause was hopeless. It was a matter of honor for Cotton. In his letters, we learn about his three years of service, fighting in Kentucky and Tennessee, and later Georgia and South Carolina against Sherman as the war turned against his side. We also learn about southern farm life during this difficult time, as Cotton provides his wife with advice on running the farm. Cotton survived three years of war, only to die from measles the following year. This copy comes with a signed letter from the editor. $175.

Item 13 is Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew, by Clyde N. Wilson, published in 1990. Pettigrew was a most accomplished man in the days before the Civil War. He entered the University of North Carolina at the age of 15. He would go on to be a scholar, mathematician, author, lawyer, and legislator. He traveled several years in Europe, learning French, Spanish, German and Italian, along with the classical languages of Hebrew, Greek and Arabic. However, when the war broke out, he immediately enlisted, starting out as a private, but quickly moving up the chain of command, eventually appointed a Brigadier General. He almost died during the Peninsular Campaign, being captured and taken prisoner, but was later part of a prisoner exchange and returned to duty. He would lead one of the strongest brigades at Gettysburg, but they suffered enormous losses on the first day of fighting, though successful in advancing. On the third day, he was placed in charge of the division to the left of General Pickett on Pickett's Charge, an ill-advised attempt to gain ground that signaled the end of the Confederacy's attempt to capture territory in the North. Pettigrew was again injured, but led his forces in the necessary retreat. However, less than two weeks later, as they attempted to cross the Potomac back into the South, he was struck by fire once more, dying three days later. $40.

For a more detailed look at the Battle of Gettysburg, or at least the first two days before it all fell apart for the South, we have Gettysburg: The First Day (item 27. 2001. $30) and Gettysburg: The Second Day (item 28. 1987. $25). Both were written by Henry W. Pfanz. These are detailed accounts of what happened on July 1 and 2, 1863. The Confederates pushed forward with notable success on day one, while day two was essentially a stalemate, as the important Union lines held. The events of these two days would set up Lee's decision to make a large attack at the center of the Union line, the aforementioned Pickett's Charge, which signaled the turning point in the war.

Confederate General A.P. Hill's name is not as well known as that of many of his contemporaries, though his role was as important as most generals not named Lee or Jackson. He at times battled with other officers, particularly Longstreet and even Jackson, under whom he served until the latter's untimely death. That death led to his being placed in charge of more troops at Gettysburg. While no one in high command for the Confederacy escaped that battle without criticism, perhaps he received the least. He had performed well in numerous engagements prior to Gettysburg but was not as successful as his responsibilities rose. Then again, no one from the Confederacy had as much success after Gettysburg. Hill suffered from ill health, and much of the time from Gettysburg forward was incapacitated. He was killed fighting at Petersburg just a week before Lee surrendered. Item 16 is A.P. Hill: Lee's Forgotten General, by William Woods Hassler, published in 1957. $50. Item 18 is General A.P. Hill: The Story of a Confederate Warrior, by James I. Robertson, published in 1987. $15.

Item 99 covers a period longer than the Civil War, but such is necessary to understand why it came about. It is Ordeal of the Union, The Emergence of Lincoln, and The War for the Union, three sets in eight volumes by Allan Nevins, a 1971 reprint. It covers the years 1847-1865. It begins with the period of Manifest Destiny. Ironically, all of that expansion almost resulted in the U.S. being divided in half a little over a decade later. The expansion led to new territories, potential new states, but the question whether they would be free or slave divided the country irretrievably. $275.

Yesterday's Muse Books may be reached at 585-265-9295 or yesterdays.muse@gmail.com. Their website is found at www.websterbookstore.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions