American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Memorabilia, Militaria, Collectors
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Causes of Civil War
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Civil War Now: Aftermath
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Misc Civil War History
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  RIP: Remains
  Facts: Strange & Rare


Collectors, Collectibles - Civil War

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Starting Your First Civil War Collection by Frank Mrockza (book review)
For the past 25 years Frank Mrockza has built his civil war collection. He's found some prizes and fallen victim to some replicas, and with "Starting Your First Civil War Collection" he wants to help new collectors find more of the first and fewer of the second. Some collectors focus on battlefield memorabilia, while others focus on the strategy or political aspects or Lincoln memorabilia - Mrockza's own collection focuses on the Gettysburg. The book also includes photosgraph, including one of his favorite pieces: a U.S. belt buckle with a map of Confederate troop positions.

Confederate States Paper Money: Civil War Currency from the South
The 11th edition of "Confederate States Paper Money: Civil War Currency from the South", edited by George S. Cuhaj comes in color, and with over 350 color photos. Like most such guides, it offers to help id the various notes and to offer pricing in 6 grades (from Good to Unc). As noted in the preface, the study of Confederate currency is an ever evolving field: this edition is more than double in size than the first one published in 1958 - filled with information on the history of the notes and ways to collect them.

Collectible investments: Value of Confederate debt rising
During its 4-year existence, the government of the Confederate States of America issued debt instruments valued at over $800 million. After the military defeat of the Confederacy, much of this paper was lost or thrown away, but enough survived to trigger the interest of collectors. As we move towards the 150th anniversary of the founding of the CSA, that interest is growing. After the war the Union refused to recognize the rebel government debts and none of the long-term instruments reached due date. That left many of the later coupon bonds intact, allowing collectors to put together admirable sets of representative varieties.

Confederate weapons are prized finds for militaria collectors   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It's the details that reveal to historian Jack Meyer whether the antique gun is Civil War replica or the real deal. Meyer is the author of two books, one of which focuses on Columbia's Palmetto Armory, which built muskets, pistols and swords used by the Confederacy. And Palmetto Armory weapons were among the most wanted relics at the recent Land of the Sky Gun Show and Civil War Show at the State Fairgrounds - Muskets, swords, flags, letters, and slave collars and shackles, were all for sale. At a manufacturing disadvantage with the North, Southern-made weapons are more difficult to find.

Blast kills Civil War relics dealer and collector Samuel H. White
A man who sold Civil War relics that included munitions was killed by an explosion, and nearby residents were kept out of their homes as experts looked for more explosives. Samuel H. White, 53, was found in his backyard by neighbors who had heard the blast. What exploded was military ordnance, likely dating from the Civil War. White's business, Sam White Relics, advertised different militaria items and relics for sale including Civil War artillery shells, cannonballs and bullets. His online site says he would "disarm, clean, and preserve your Civil War period and earlier military ordnance" for $35 each.

6 pre civil war coins worth $150,000 will be auctioned off
Mike Joyce calls it one of the biggest numismatic finds in recent history. The news editor of Coin World magazine doesn`t disagree. Joyce will auction off 6 of the finest known examples of 1852 Charlotte Mint $5 Gold Liberty coins. A 7th rare coin, an 1850 Dahlonega Mint $5 Gold Liberty, will also be up for bid. 4 of the Charlotte Mint examples have been ranked by the Numismatics Guaranty Corporation as being in MS-63 condition, and hold estimated values of $25,000 apiece. The other two garnered even better grades of MS-64, holding estimated values of $50,000 each. The coins had previously been evaluated at a mere $200 each.

Confederate Firearms Auction Places New World Record At $11.2M
James D. Julia Auctioneers carried an $11.2 million firearms auction October 810, the highest earning firearms auction ever. The sale offered 1,349 lots, with an average sale value of $8,328. This year's auction commenced with the collection of Confederate arms gathered by Ben Michel, a fanatical collector of arms. The star of the collection was a rare LeMat first model, serial number 7, revolver on the Confederate iron-clad Atlanta. The revolver topped out at $166,750 after a bidding battle. An extensive collection of Confederate long arms included the extremely rare Tarpley carbine, $80,500. Toughly 100 of these were made and only 20 exist today.

Civil War -era U.S. Postage and Fractional Currency avidly collected
As a niche, perhaps no genre of U.S. currency is more avidly collected than U.S. Postage and Fractional Currency. These miniature pieces of paper money replaced change during the American Civil War, and for the last quarter century have had their own collector's organization: The Fractional Currency Collectors Board. When Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase's greenback inflation drove hard money from the marketplace, the U.S. Congress mistakenly monetized postage stamps to replace the coins, withdrawn from circulation. 124 million of these Postage Currency notes were issued, totaling $20.2 million in revenues. This included 45 million of the 5-cent Jefferson notes.

Collector's stereo photos add new dimension to civil war history   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Bob Zeller, author of several books like The Civil War in Depth and The Blue and Gray in Black and White, is one of the foremost experts on Civil War photographs. Zeller will give a slide lecture, "The Best Photos of the Civil War in 3-D," at the Cape Fear Museum. Easily 2/3 of the surviving Civil War images are twin images for stereo use. Some books will tell you there were no battle-action photos taken during the war - I've found more than half a dozen. In fact, one of the first Civil War battles to be photographed, a naval battle in Charleston harbor on Sept. 8, 1863, was photographed by both a Confederate and a Union photographer.

Confederate collectibles captivate collectors
After writing about the rising value of Confederate money from the Civil War, I received stacks of mail telling of items they owned. Many started their letters with, "I'm not a collector, but..." They went on to talk about their cherished letters, currency, militaria... Of course, there are collector owners and collector seekers. Seekers keep going back for more. They are the ones often found at markets and antique shops searching for more hidden treasure. As far as Civil War artifacts, a collector might find the site of a skirmish and uncover bullets or an old uniform button. Of course, most all major battle sites have long been off limits to treasure hunters.

Burns' series boosted Civil War memorabilia sales   (Article no longer available from the original source)
By a "stroke of luck," Dan Stice started dealing Civil War artifacts at the same time Ken Burns captivated audiences with a 5-night series about the "War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865." "The market on Civil War stuff really skyrocketed in 1990 with Ken Burns. I couldn't keep it in my shop. I'd go to shows on the weekend and by Tuesday, two days after I brought it home, everything was sold. It was amazing to me how much of an impact that 5-night series Ken Burns put together had on the market. It just made a world of difference in prices. That's good, and here's why: The more valuable it is, the better the care."

After 5 years of negotiating, collector obtains valuable sword   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The German-made blade, with ruby gemstones and an Indian statue on the hilt, is lined with ornate designs. "It's probably the best one I ever owned," said Civil War memorabilia collector Ted Vicks. The sword belonged to General Simeon Brown, a Civil War veteran of the Sixth and Eleventh Michigan cavalries. The sword, valued at $20,000, would have cost about $1,500 to buy in the 1860s. To get the sword, it took Vicks five years of persistence.

Artifact Amnesty draws collectors and curious
A push to get the public interested in Florida`s historical sites and artifacts is trying to unite archaeologists and collectors groups that have long argued over who owns remnants of the past. About 50 people gathered for `Artifact Amnesty Day`. Many local artifact collectors showed up to let experts document their finds, which ranged from buttons to bullets. The `amnesty` title of the event was meant to draw in collectors letting them know their artifacts wouldn`t be reclaimed and they wouldn`t be judged for taking them. Miller said the event was a success 30 items were donated to the camp and 100 more were photographed.

Collectors flock to artifacts show   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Greg Coco purchased parole papers that belonged to civil war soldiers during the Autumn Gettysburg Civil War Collectors Show. "Parole papers are quite rare because most were destroyed in the years after the war." And there were plenty of rare objects to be found at the show, which featured nearly 200 Civil War artifacts vendors. The two-day event featured Civil War-era muskets, bayonets, pistols, bullets, swords, belt buckles, books and canteens. But there were some vendors, like Malcolm Addoms, who sold items not normally found in Civil War shops. "I'm the authority on Civil War field glasses until somebody smarter comes along," he said with a laugh.