Friday, July 20, 2012


I was quite fortunate to purchase a couple of months ago an original copy of the July 2 (4) wallpaper edition of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen. These are quite rare, although two of them - assuming they were genuine - were sold on eBay this past week for $1,725 and $3,800, respectively. The copy I have is unique in that the soldier who acquired it attached a notarized statement dated 1915 detailing how he got the paper and attesting to its authenticity. Union Private Charles B. Thacher of Co. C, 124th Illinois Infantry, was given the paper on July 5, 1863, by his friend, Private William H. Wickersham of the same company, who, a printer by trade, had apparently helped set the print for the famous "NOTE" added in the lower righthand corner. If you don't know the story... When the Siege of Vicksburg ended on July 4, 1863, the Union army marched into Vicksburg. The invaders found that J. M. Swords, the newspaper's editor, had fled. They also found that the printer was setup to produce the July 2 edition of his newspaper. The soldiers removed a small portion of type along the righthand corner and added a note, proclaiming that copies of the newspaper would be "valuable hereafter as a curiosity." They were right. This wallpaper edition is the most famous and sought-after of any in existence. Volume 6 No. 4/2012 of  "North South Trader's Civil War" magazine contains a fine article on the history of this newspaper, including photographs of my own.