Likely a one-of-a-kind newspaper from the private collection…

October 9, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

One of the thrills of collecting newspapers is coming across one which has never been discovered before nor since. Such is the case with our issue of the Civil War newspaper titled “The Red River Rover”, which I discovered at a Civil War Book Fair in Gettysburg many years ago.

This newspaper was “Printed on board Steamer Des Moines” and is dated March 21, 1864. It is a most fascinating and possibly unique little newspaper printed on lined, blue ledger paper. This is the first issue (and possibly the last) as the front page contains the “Salutatory” which explains how this paper came into being:

“We present to-day this little sheet to the citizens of Red River country and the soldiers who are now threading their way among the intricate bayous of this part of Louisiana, with the hope that it may be beneficial to those who follow the ways of treason, and entertaining to the brave boys who are now vindicating the integrity of the Federal Union even at the cannon’s mouth. It is printed upon the material of the Louisiana Democrat, of Alexandria, the last number of which was issued on the 15th of March, the day before the Stars and Stripes were raised upon the Court House, though it contained not one word of warning to its readers that the army of the United States was moving upon the waters of the Red River–but was brimful of blustering secession news, all favorable for success to the Confederacy…”

There is other interesting reading on pages 1 and 4, with the blank pages 2 & 3 being taken up with a handwritten letter of a soldier to his wife dated March 31.

Nice that it references where it received its paper (taken from Louisiana Democrat) with some comment on the Yankees moving in and capturing the town.