The Battle of Harper's Ferry
You are viewing an
original 1861 illustration of the Battle for Harper's Ferry. It is from
an 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly, the most popular illustrated newspaper
of the day. Note that this is not a reprint, and I absolutely
guarantee its authenticity. This leaf is over 140 years old, and the date
is clearly marked on the front of print. On the day this leaf was printed,
Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States, and the Civil War was
in its opening chapter!
This is a rare and
historic illustration of one of the opening salvos of the Civil War. The
upper illustration is captioned, "The Burning of the United States Arsenal
at Harper's Ferry, 10 pm, April 18, 1861". The image shows soldiers and
civilians in the street in front of the arsenal as it burns to the
ground. It is a dramatic illustration. The lower image is captioned,
"The March of the Virginians on Harper's Ferry". It shows the Rebels
marching up a hill, and Harper's Ferry Burning in the distance. Making
this an even more collectible piece is the story between the two
illustrations. The story includes fascinating details of the event,
including "To many of us who looked on, the scenes of that night were
inexpressibly sad and solemn. The clouds of fire rolled up magnificently
from the depths of the romantic gorge, illuminating the confluent rivers
and encircling cliffs for miles around. In the martial column revealed by
the blaze there stood arrayed, with deadly ball and bayonet, the first
born pride of a hundred hitherto peaceful and happy families. Brethren,
what has forced this fatal necessity upon us? As the smoke and vapor of a
furnace goeth before the fire, so reviling before the blood".
WOW- what a prophetic message from an eye witness of
this early Civil War conflict. At this point few in the country realized
how long and bloody the War would be, but this particular observer had a
unique sense of the suffering to come.
This is a dramatic and highly collectible piece.
Harper's Ferry was such an important part of Civil War history, and
original period material is becoming increasingly difficult to find.
This piece would make an excellent addition to your collection, or a
wonderful gift for any Civil War Buff.
Unlike newsprint of this century, these older,
original pages do not yellow and fall apart. The reason is that modern
newspapers use an acid based process. Remnant acid in the paper causes
the paper to quickly yellow and deteriorate. A different process was
used in the mid-1800's which yielded an exceptional quality paper that
will last for centuries. Special acid free mats should be used when you
frame this piece to ensure that it will last another 150 years. Acid
free mats are available at most better frame shops. If you have any
questions related to handling or framing this piece feel free to email
me. The print is approximately 11x16 inches. I have been collecting
Civil War Newspapers for over 10 years. It is a fascinating hobby, and
I find that these pieces really get noticed when framed and displayed.
The leaf is in excellent condition. It has the rich
sepia toning that you expect in original material from this period. The
print will display very nicely.