Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2006 Issue

The Civil War from Chapel Hill Rare Books

Ci

The Civil War from Chapel Hill Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

Though the last soldier to fight in this great war died half a century ago, it still rages on in the minds of collectors, historians, descendants, and all kinds of students of the war. "What ifs" abound for its many battles, so often won by the South despite daunting odds, though ultimately the South would fall to greater northern manpower and the indomitable will of its Commander in Chief. The Civil War is filled with stories of courage and honor, yet equally filled with tales of unspeakable horror. Chapel Hill Rare Books brings us back to this defining moment in U.S. history, when it was determined that the Union would stand but slavery would fall. Their latest catalogue, entitled Civil War, contains 375 items pertaining to the period when brother rose against brother, and much of a generation lay dead or maimed.

Chapel Hill is a North Carolina bookseller, so it should not be surprising that most of these items reflect the Confederate point of view. The majority are either books about Confederate leaders, soldiers, and their actions, or Confederate imprints. However, there are a few treatises from the northern side, and some from neither point of view. Whether you come from the North, South, or neither, if you remain fascinated by this enormous and deadly family dispute, as so many still do despite the passage of time, you will be fascinated by the collection Chapel Hill offers. Here is a quick look inside the catalogue.

Richard Taylor's Destruction and Reconstruction is generally considered one of the best memoirs of the Civil War, not to mention one of the more ironic. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant General in the ranks of the Confederacy, and was one of their more effective commanders in Louisiana and Alabama. His forces were the last east of the Mississippi to surrender, on May 8, 1865, a month after Lee threw in the towel. Taylor's memoir was published in 1879, the year he died, and covers his service in the war and post-war opposition to Reconstruction. The irony of Taylor's confederate career was that he was the son of President Zachary Taylor, who had pledged to personally lead troops against the South if it ever seceded, and would hang those who rebelled against the country with less reluctance than he had hanged deserters and spies while leading U.S. forces in the Mexican War. Richard chose to follow the path of his brother-in-law, Jefferson Davis, but it is a good thing Dad was not still around to discipline him after the South seceded! Item 251 is the rare first English edition, published the same year as the first American. Priced at $385.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.
  • <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> George Washington ADS, One of the Earliest in His Hand, A Survey from 1752, the Same Year He Inherited Mount Vernon.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Rare JFK Signed Check & Transmittal Letter During Campaign for 1956 VP Nomination, Both BAS Slabbed; Possibly A Unique Combo!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Daniel Boone Signed Receipt as VA Delegate; During His 1st of 3 Terms, Boone Was Kidnapped by British Forces Gunning for Gov. T. Jefferson & Other Legislators.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Benjamin Franklin Signed Receipt for “Pennsylvania Gazette,” Important & Beautifully Displayed
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Lincoln & His Civil War Cabinet: 8 Signatures, Beautifully Presented!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> G.A. Custer ALS from Fort Lincoln, Dakota Territory to Capt. Yates, Who Also Died at Little Bighorn, Re: Acquiring “good horses” from Kentucky for 7th Cavalry.
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Jefferson Davis ALS: “the negroes are humble and generally inclined to cling to their masters…neither crop or stock could be protected from their thieving” – Incredible!
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Lee Harvey Oswald Signed Letter: “if we finally get back to the states…maybe we’ll…settle in Texas,” Warren Commission Exhibit.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Babe Ruth First Edition Biography Signed Just Months Before His Death, Excellent Signature!
    <center><b>University Archives<br>Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books<br>August 17, 2022</b>
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> “B Arnold” ANS on Pre-Revolutionary War Promissory Note Dating From His Days as a New Haven Merchant
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Bob Dylan Signed LP “Blonde on Blonde” with Jeff Rosen COA.
    <b>University Archives, Aug. 17:</b> Marilyn Monroe & Joe DiMaggio Signed Checks, Handsomely Displayed.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions