Introducing: RareNewspapers.com – The Civil War…

September 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Collectible Civil War Era Newspapers

Blog-9-22-2016-Civil-War“History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.”

Records of a Nation in Turmoil

In the 1860s, Americans’ interest in the Civil War, and its collateral effects, caused a spike in demand for news reports. These were days of heightened concern, and newspapers were one of the few resources that people were able to rely upon for war news.

Aside from specific war news, Civil War newspapers also reported on citizens’ reactions to how the war was shaping the American economy and politics, and opinions about slavery.

Reading an authentic Civil War newspaper and holding the original print paper between your fingers will transport you to the frontlines of battle, and provide a glimpse into the psyche of Civil War-era citizens, politicians, and soldiers.

Original Civil War newspapers are genuine pieces of American history a collector or anyone interested in American history must have.

Harper’s Weekly

Harper’s Weekly was one of the most popular newspapers during the Civil War. Although its base was in New York, its moderate stance on slavery (pre-war) was seen as a way not to upset the newspaper’s Southern readership. However, once the Civil War began, President Lincoln and the Union received Harper’s complete loyalty and support.

As the war went on, the many illustrations and prints from Thomas Nast and Winslow Homer provided a vivid visual account of the battlefields, the people, and the bloodshed—”I’m hoping next week’s edition will show scenes of the battle of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. I’ve read all about it, now I want to see it!” – A Harper’s Weekly reader in 1861. Another Harper’s reader noted, “I look forward to the end of the month and seeing just what transpired at Charleston.”

The illustrations and prints from Harper’s Weekly remain striking in both their detail and artistry. We have several noteworthy issues of Harper’s Weekly in our inventory.

Civil War People & Generals

The Southern States’ call for secession from the Union grew louder after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. A disagreement between President Lincoln and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis over control of Fort Sumter led to overwhelming demand for war. Many men began enlisting for military service shortly after the battle of Fort Sumter.

Our vast inventory of genuine, historic Civil War newspapers highlight the efforts of military heroes from the North and the South that we have all come to know, including Ulysses S. Grant, George McClellan, Robert E. Lee, George Meade, “Stonewall” Jackson, William T. Sherman, and more.

Significant Civil War Battles & Events

Battle reports were common, including struggles at Fort Sumter, Bull Run, Manassas, Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Vicksburg, Fredericksburg, Richmond, and so much more.

We have newspapers covering the first shots at Charleston Harbor to the final surrender at Appomattox, plus the Lincoln assassination.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Southern Illustrated News

The Southern Illustrated News was to the Confederacy what Harper’s Weekly was to the Union. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Southern Illustrated News had a rather ornate masthead and its front pages regularly featured portraits of notable Confederate figures, such as Robert E. Lee, “Stonewall” Jackson, and John S. Mosby. Southern Illustrated remains one of the most sought-after Civil War-era titles in the collecting hobby to date. Visit our Southern Illustrated Pinterest board to view several interesting portraits.

Union Flag

Reporting the Civil War

Before the start of the war, there were 3,725 newspapers in the United States. American newspapers accounted for one-third of all newspapers printed in the world. Most of them were weeklies. At the time, standards for what constituted sound, thorough, and responsible journalism did not exist on the eve of the war, according to Ford Risley, a Civil War journalism expert and head of the Department of Journalism at Penn State University.

Newspapers printed news dispatches, editorials, illustrations, maps, and various other tidbits, such as President Lincoln’s famous letter to Mrs. Bixley “…to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” At times, the dispatches were entirely hearsay and wildly inaccurate, such as this series of short reports from the Daily Journal of Wilmington, NC or this report from the New York Tribune stating that Stonewall Jackson was “Dead Again.”

The Reporters

Reporters were a diverse group. Some had previous experience, but many reporters were lawyers, teachers, clerks, bookkeepers, and ministers. Their levels of education ranged from Ivy-league educated to only basic schooling.

Civil War reporters faced many difficulties, among them uncooperative and unreliable sources, difficulties with dispatching reports back to their newspapers, and even death. One correspondent closed a story with “Your readers must pardon a short letter. No man can write in a happy vein or style while minnie [sic] balls are flying uncomfortably close to his head.” Needless to say, conditions for Civil War reporters were not safe or ideal. More on how reporters lived and worked can be found here.

Confedeate Flag

Unique Printing and Reporting Conditions

After the Union won the Battle of Memphis in June 1862, the Memphis Daily took to the road and became known as the Moving Appeal. During just a four-year period, this newspaper published in nine different cities.

A truly one-of-a-kind newspaper was “printed on board Steamer Des Moines” on blue-lined ledger paper in 1864. This issue also contains a letter written by a soldier to his wife. Letters from soldier correspondence frequently contained glorified accounts of battlefield glory meant to inspire confidence in the readers back home. Occasionally, letters from soldiers had reliable news and insights.

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Much more can be said regarding newspapers from the Civil War, but for now, please enjoy the Rare Newspapers dedicated page dedicated to original and historic issues from this era:

The Civil War

 

The Civil War… December 28, 1861…

December 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we return to our reflection upon the Civil War events of 150 years ago… as seen through the eyes of the original readers of the Harper’s Weekly issue printed for December 28, 1861.

Note:  The following commentary was written by Dr. James Robertson* as part of a weekly review for the reprint edition of the “Harper’s Weekly” which was done at the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.  It provides much insight into the events of the day and scholarly commentary on both the illustrations and reporting found in the original 1861 newspaper.

* The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

The Civil War… December 21, 1861…

December 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we return to our reflection upon the Civil War events of 150 years ago… as seen through the eyes of the original readers of the Harper’s Weekly issue printed for December 21, 1861.

Note:  The following commentary was written by Dr. James Robertson* as part of a weekly review for the reprint edition of the “Harper’s Weekly” which was done at the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.  It provides much insight into the events of the day and scholarly commentary on both the illustrations and reporting found in the original 1861 newspaper.

* The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

December 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we return to our reflection upon the Civil War events of 150 years ago… as seen through the eyes of the original readers of the Harper’s Weekly issue printed for December 14, 1861.

Note:  The following commentary was written by Dr. James Robertson* as part of a weekly review for the reprint edition of the “Harper’s Weekly” which was done at the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.  It provides much insight into the events of the day and scholarly commentary on both the illustrations and reporting found in the original 1861 newspaper.

* The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

The Civil War… December 7, 1861…

December 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we return to our reflection upon the Civil War events of 150 years ago… as seen through the eyes of the original readers of the Harper’s Weekly issue printed for December 7, 1861.

Note:  The following commentary was written by Dr. James Robertson* as part of a weekly review for the reprint edition of the “Harper’s Weekly” which was done at the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.  It provides much insight into the events of the day and scholarly commentary on both the illustrations and reporting found in the original 1861 newspaper.

* The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

The Civil War… November 30, 1861…

November 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

For a little more than 6 months we have reflected upon the Civil War by posting details of the CW era Harper’s Weekly issues which were printed for exactly 150 years prior to the post.  This week’s corresponding issue is the HW dated November 30, 1861.  Over the past few months we have enjoyed Dr. James Robertson’s* summary of each Harper’s Weekly issue chosen.  Unfortunately we do not have access to his summary of the Nov. 30, 1861 issue.  If anyone does have access to his summary, please let us know and we will revise this post by including  it below (and give credit to the provider).  🙂  In the meantime, the link above will still enable our readers to view an authentic issue for November 30… from exactly 150 years ago today.

Our other posts re: Dr. James Robertson’s summaries may be accessed at:  The CW… 150 Years Ago Today.

* The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

The Civil War… November 23, 1861…

November 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we continue with the our reflection upon the Civil War events of 150 years ago… as seen through the eyes of the original readers of the Harper’s Weekly issue printed for November 23, 1861.

Note:  The following commentary was written by Dr. James Robertson* as part of a weekly review for the reprint edition of the “Harper’s Weekly” which was done at the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.  It provides much insight into the events of the day and scholarly commentary on both the illustrations and reporting found in the original 1861 newspaper.

* The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

Nostradamus on the Civil War…

November 19, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The  “Stockton Daily Independent” newspaper of Oct. 28, 1861 includes an article headed: “A Strange Prophecy” concerning Nostradamus & the Civil War. In 1609 he predicted: “…About that time (1861) a great quarrel and contest will arise in a country beyond the seas…The war will not cease for four years…” and more (see).

Keep in mind it was in 1861, just 6 months after the start of the Civil War, that the write noted: “…in no way consoling for us poor devils and wretches…who will have to suffer this war for four years. Let us hope that the astrologer was mistaken, at least on this point.” (see) But the prediction would be true. The Civil War would run almost exactly 4 years after its beginning.

The Civil War… November 16, 1861…

November 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we continue with the our reflection upon the Civil War events of 150 years ago… as seen through the eyes of the original readers of the Harper’s Weekly issue printed for November 16, 1861.

Note:  The following commentary was written by Dr. James Robertson* as part of a weekly review for the reprint edition of the “Harper’s Weekly” which was done at the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.  It provides much insight into the events of the day and scholarly commentary on both the illustrations and reporting found in the original 1861 newspaper.

* The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

The Civil War… November 9, 1861…

November 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we continue with the our reflection upon the Civil War events of 150 years ago… as seen through the eyes of the original readers of the Harper’s Weekly issue printed for November 9, 1861.

Note:  The following commentary was written by Dr. James Robertson* as part of a weekly review for the reprint edition of the “Harper’s Weekly” which was done at the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.  It provides much insight into the events of the day and scholarly commentary on both the illustrations and reporting found in the original 1861 newspaper.

* The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

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