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Items of militaria dating from the American Civil War are an extremely popular area of collectibles.

The war lasted from 1861 to 1865, claiming the lives of over 618,000 Americans. The event is considered, alongside the Declaration of Independence, as one of the most pivotal moments in American history. It resulted in freedom for nearly four million African Americans who had been slaves.

A remarkable point about the items in this list is that most of them remained within the families of their Civil War owners for over a century, consigned by their direct descendants.

10) General J. E. B Stuart’s Key-Wind Gold Pocket Watch - $131,450

Heritage Auctions, December 2006
The personal pocket watch of one of the most famous Confederate cavalry officers.

9) Rare Whitworth Patent Civil War .450 Caliber Percussion Sharpshooter’s Rifle - $155,350

Heritage Auctions, December 2007
The rarest and most desirable of Civil War Confederate sharpshooters’ rifles, highly prized by Confederate marksmen at the time, now highly prized by collectors.


8) Confederate Battle Flag captured 1865 - $179,250

Heritage Auctions, December 2007
The flag captured at Macon, Georgia Arsenal, April 2nd 1865.

7) Major General Burnside’s Presentation Sword - $271,000

Bonhams, June 2012
Presented in 1864 by the United States Sanitary Commission to US Civil War Major General Ambrose E. Burnside.

6) Archive of J. G. Miller including flag - $370,000

Cowan’s Auctions, December 2008
Archive of Joseph G.H. Miller, 10th Virginia Infantry. Included an ANV battle flag, flag pole, ambrotypes of Miller and fellow infantry members during the war.

5) Major General William Mahone’s Presentation Sword - $388,275

Heritage Auctions, June 2007
This sword was presented by the citizenry of Petersburg, Virginia, to Mahone for saving their city during a six-month siege. This sword was likely the last Confederate-made sword, and therefore quite unique.

4) Terms of Surrender letters signed by Confederate General Robert E. Lee - $537,750

Heritage Auctions, December 2007
Copies made by Confederate Army commander General Lee, of four letters from General Grant, commander of the Union Army, dictating the Terms of Surrender for the Army of Northern Virginia.

3) Historic-cased, Gustave Young-Engraved and Ivory-Gripped Colt Third Model Dragoon Revolver, inscribed Colonel P. M. Milliken - $805,000

Heritage Auctions, September 2011
Colonel P. M. Milliken of the 1st Ohio volunteer cavalry was killed leading a charge against the Confederates at Stone River Tennessee in 1862. This Colt Third Model Dragoon Revolver was passed down through his family until its sale.

2) Personal Battle Flag of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart - $956,000

Heritage Auctions, June 2007
A favourite Confederate officer during the war, this was his personal flag, lovingly made by his wife Flora. It was slightly burned in battle, so suffered loss, but this even adds to its authenticity.

1) General Grant’s Presentation Sword - $1,673,000

Heritage Auctions, June 2007
A diamond-studded sword, presented to US Civil War general and future president Ulysses S. Grant in 1864, from the residents of Kentucky to mark his promotion to General-in-Chief of the Union forces.

To see the rest of our Top 10 lists, click here

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