American Civil War Memorabilia
American Civil War memorabilia is collectible militaria relating to the American Civil War.
History & Description
The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 and claimed the lives of over 618,000 Americans. The war began when eleven slave states declared their secession from the United States following the election of an anti-slavery Republican as President. These eleven states formed the Confederate States of America. The remaining twenty-five states supported the federal government.
After four years of warfare, which was mostly contained in the Southern states, the Confederacy surrendered and slavery was outlawed throughout the United States.
The war is still a topic of debate in the United States and many Americans see it as the pivotal moment in their country’s history, second only to the Declaration of Independence.
Guide for collectors
Interest in the American Civil War never seems to wane and there is a large and established community of collectors and Civil War history experts. There are numerous websites that provide valuable information for American Civil War collectors.
American Civil War memorabilia can relate to old musical instruments, flags, clothing and military uniforms, manuscripts and canes. Weaponry, such as artillery, knives and swords, frequently command the highest prices at auction.
American Civil War memorabilia is commonly sold through both national and international auction houses and collectors can also purchase collectibles on eBay. However, the market for such items is so popular that there are a large number of fake items and collectors should research the authenticity of items before purchasing.
Notable auction sales
A 25th Army Corps flag from the American Civil War sold for $50,787.50 at a Heritage Auction Galleries sale in 2009.
On March 29th 2008 at Mike Kent Auctions LLC in Monroe, Georgia, a large Civil War era Bowie knife realised a price of $6,500.
On October 10th 2002 at Sotheby’s in New York, a fine and rare Civil War cane, circa mid-nineteenth century, realised a price of $3,585.
On May 31st 2007 at Freeman’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, three American Civil War manuscripts relating to the surrender of The Army of the Tennessee realised a price of $3,500.
On October 22nd 2006 at Early American History Auctions in Rancho Santa Fe, California, an American Civil War era 35-star flag, circa 1863, realised a price of $3,000.