Confederate “Extra” with content from two eras…

April 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Finding oddities from the newspaper world is part of the fun of the hobby, and recently one came our way which I found to be very unusual.

The Daily Appeal–Extra” newspaper from Memphis, Tennessee dated April 20, 1861, contains content which is over two years apart. This is a “broadside extra” edition meaning the narrow sheet was published to report a specific event, and printed on one side only. But in this case, the reverse is not entirely blank.

First, it’s curious that this is a newspaper from a city which was only “Confederate” until the battle of Memphis, June 6, 1862, after which it was in Yankee control. The front has a very nice graphic devise at the top of the first column showing a cannon and Confederate flag, with heads: “THE WAR NEWS ! ” “Star of the West Taken As A Prize ! “and other related heads & reports.

But the most intriguing aspect of this issue is the back page. Although I am convinced this was issued in 1861 with the reverse blank, it nonetheless has a  print of a map of the Vicksburg vicinity, and nothing else. Now, let’s keep in mind that the siege of Vicksburg  didn’t happen until mid-May, 1863 thru its fall to the Yankees on July 4, 1863. Note that the heading of the map reads: “Position of the Fleets Above and Below The City” showing the positions of both Porter’s and Farragut’s fleets. Their appearance in the Mississippi did not happen until 1863. I surmise this “Extra” edition was lying around the printing office and since the back side was blank they used it as a test sheet for printing this map, which likely appeared in a the “Memphis Appeal” newspaper at some point in May, June, or July, 1863.  Consequently this becomes a truly fascinating curiosity to have printings from two different periods in a single issue, and one being a map.

Do any fellow collectors have another explanation?