Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2005 Issue

The Civil War Still Rages at Chapel Hill Rare Books

Civil War acquisitions from Chapel Hill Rare Books


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from Chapel Hill Rare Books, of, naturally, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Chapel Hill Rare Books specializes in Americana and 19th and 20th century American and English literary first editions. However, they note that they also carry material from other fields, so there's no need to feel constrained when searching their inventory. The Carolina bookseller has been in business for close to three decades and maintains memberships in both the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America) and ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers).

We start with Chapel Hill's Catalogue 162: Civil War: Recent Acquisitions. This is an extensive catalogue of over 400 items pertaining, either in full or in part, to the Civil War or Civil War personages. These include books by and about various generals and other military leaders, but also many from the pens of privates and other enlisted men. In these latter instances, the books are often short-run privately printed titles. The lowly enlisted soldier's name may be long forgotten, and his book rare and obscure, but their portraits of war may be more realistic than those of the generals. These were the men who did not participate in the glorious strategies, or share in the adulation received by their superiors, but they certainly knew what war was all about.

There is one bias in the titles, at least in terms of quantity. Located in the heart of the old Confederacy, it is not surprising Chapel Hill would have more books written by people who served the Southern cause. There are many books here that come from the Union point of view as well, but collectors of the Confederacy will be particularly amazed by the selection of titles available. And there were plenty of "unreconstructed" confederates who still celebrated their cause in writing long after the last shots were fired. Here are a few samples from the catalogue.

One Union soldier by the name of Hubbard found himself in a terrible dilemma in the notorious Andersonville Confederate prison. Nicknamed "Poll Parrot" for his incessant chattering and beak-like nose, he was quite unpopular with his fellow prisoners. The fact that Confederate guards pulled him aside at various times made them leery of his intentions, so it was no great surprise that when an escape tunnel they were digging from under a tent was discovered, suspicions fell on him. When evidence pointed toward Hubbard as the snitch, a crowd surrounded "Parrot" with the intention of lynching him. Hubbard broke away, and to avoid his fellow prisoners, went to the one safe place, across the so-called dead line, where guards were ordered to shoot anyone who so passed. Hubbard was ordered to return, but fearful of what awaited him with his fellow prisoners, refused, telling the guards to shoot him. Perhaps he thought that as a cooperator, they would not. If so, he was wrong. The guards shot and killed him. The guard who fired the shot would be tried in 1873, but was acquitted. The story of this incident can be found in Over The Dead-Line, or Who Killed "Poll Parrot," by K.C. Bullard, published in 1909. Item 82. Priced at $650.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] DAVID BURLIUK WITH ORIGINAL DRAWING and Signed twice. David Burliuk Rare ACA Gallery exhibition catalogue, undated. CA$400 – 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS. Text by Margaret Atwood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2019. $CA400 - 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] LAWRENCE WEINER: POSTERS. Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada,1987. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: WILBUR SMITH: THE DARK OF THE SUN. Heinemann, UK, 1965. Signed First edition. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: ROBERTSON DAVIES: LEAVEN OF MALICE. SIGNED Clark, Irwin, & Co., Canada. 1954. 1st edition. CA$400 – 600
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [THE NOTABLE TRAILS LIBRARY]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: THE TRIAL OF DR. X; ROE V. WADE; THE GALILEO AFFAIR; THE TRIAL OF BERNHARD GOETZ… CA$300 – 500
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [MILITARY FICTION]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: Canada's Royal Military College. REVIEW, THE STONE FRIGATE, A HISTORY OF THE RMC… CA$300 – 400
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [WW1] CANADIAN (C.S.E.F.) SIBERIA 1918-1919 PHOTO ALBUM. With approximately 303 original official war photographs, postcards, and personal photographs. CA$8,000 – 10,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: HANS BELLMER: THE DOLL. 1995, 1st Ed. CA$150 – 300.
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: FAN HO; HONG KONG YESTERDAY. ModernBooks edition, 2006. First edition. 4to. CA$300 – 600.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: TARYN SIMON: AN AMERICAN INDEX OF THE HIDDEN AND UNFAMILIAR. Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2012. Third edition. CA$600 – 1,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: BARBARA KRUGER PICTURE/READINGS. [Self-Published], 1978 First edition. CA$800 – 1,200.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.

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