Click on each image to see a transcription.
Left: Bears inscription: "Taken from the house of Jeff Davis, President of the Confederate States, Jacob T. Field, surgeon Civil War." (Call number: Rare VB360 .A2 1826)
Top right: This copy of Gaieties and Gravities by Horace Smith (New York, 1852) was liberated at the battle of Fredericksburg. The inscription reads: "On the 12th of Dec. 1862 the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rappahannock, occupied Fredericksburg and captured this book." (Call number: Rare Z986 .G73)
Bottom right: Letter written in 1900 documenting that a Union soldier picked up this copy of Gaieties and Gravities in the street when his battery marched through Fredericksburg. In 1905 the book was returned to Douglas Gordon of Baltimore, and his descendant donated it to the VHS in 1972. It reads:
My dear Major Thomas:
On the morning of the battle of Fredericksburg. December 12th, 1862, I crossed the river with two of my batteries to place them in position between the town and the base of Marye's heights.
After putting the guns in position and while skirmishing was going on in our front, my attention was called to one of my men, who was sitting on a gun limber very unconcerningly reading a book; my adjutant, who was with me, asked the man what he was reading and the book was passed over to the adjutant with the request to give it to me, the man saying, "The Major may like to read it at night", he further said he had picked it up in the street, while the battery was coming through the town.
The inscription on the blank leaf was placed there directly after the battle.
Yours very truly
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