Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2007 Issue

Confederate Military History Part II from Chapel Hill Rare Books


Part Two of the Hobday Collection of Confederate military history.

By Michael Stillman

Chapel Hill Rare Books
has now issued Part II of its catalogue of The William Hobday Collection of Confederate Military History. The first section of this extensive collection was covered in Part I of the Hobday catalogue last fall. Offered are all types of accountings of the Civil War, or "War Between the States" as the Confederates preferred to call it (or "War of Northern Aggression" as they really liked to call it). Some of these books are well-known histories, some are biographies of notable leaders. However, the majority were written by participants not so well known, often foot soldiers of the war who felt compelled to tell their stories late in life. The result is that many bear dates from around the turn of the century, when the old warriors realized time was running out on their chance to preserve history.

Most of these books may not appear totally impartial, particularly to a Northerner. Though their cause was lost, few Confederates ever changed their minds as to the rightness of their cause. One of the great things about America is that they remained free to argue for it, even after their guns were long silenced. The losers in America's Civil War likely fared much better than will the eventual losers of civil wars in places like Iraq and Lebanon. Here in the Hobday Collection you will again hear the Confederate soldiers, officers, and historians, fighting one last time for the South, not as young men with rifles, but as old men with pens. Here are a few of the notable and obscure titles awaiting the Civil War Between The States collector.

The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government is an obvious cornerstone to a Confederate collection, though perhaps not an unbiased view. The author of this 1881 history was Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and his book has been described more as an argument for secession and state's rights, a book that perhaps conceals more than it reveals. Certainly Davis was an unreconstructed Confederate to the end, though it would not be unfair to say that any superiority the South enjoyed in its military leaders was not equaled by its executive leadership. Two copies are offered, item 56, priced at $850, and item 57, priced at $500. For a sympathetic look at Davis, there is Jefferson Davis, Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, a Memoir, by his wife, Varina Davis. Item 59. $450.

Stand Watie was the only Indian on either side to rise to the level of Brigadier General during the Civil War. Watie was long a controversial but influential leader among the Cherokees. He signed the agreement to turn over ancestral lands in Georgia to the state, earning the wrath of the majority of his tribe which resisted, and eventually was forced to Oklahoma, many dying on the way. Watie and his followers were there already, and he was lucky to escape assassination once the others arrived. In time those wounds healed, but the Civil War would again split the tribe. Watie, a planter and slaveholder, was sympathetic to southern values, and joined the Confederates. He rose to the rank of general, mainly fighting pro-Union Indians, but helping regular forces as well. He became the last Confederate general to surrender, finally conceding defeat some three months after Appomattox. Item 5 is Mabel Washbourne Anderson's The Life of Stand Watie: The Only Indian Brigadier General of the Confederate Army and the Last General to Surrender. Ms. Anderson has signed this scarcely found 1915 first edition. $500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

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