New York. [ca. 1862-1863]. Fifty engraved portraits, each 9 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches. Each stored inside its own paper sleeve and housed together in two contemporary brown leather portfolios, stamped in gilt. Portfolios worn and rubbed. Images in excellent condition. Item #WRCAM49849
A wonderful contemporary collection of Civil War-related engravings. Featured personalities are mostly Union generals, colonels, commodores, and other officers and figures of note, plus presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Also includes an engraving of William Gannaway Brownlow, the anti-secessionist Tennessee newspaper editor and later governor of Tennessee immediately after the end of the Civil War. At the time of the publication of this set, Brownlow was a celebrity in the North for his ardent anti-secessionist stance.
Due to the portrait poses on which the engravings are based, as well as the stated ranks of the military leaders and the general selection of personalities chosen for the set, it must have been published in late 1862 or 1863. Of particular note is the image of Ulysses S. Grant, who was still so relatively unknown in comparison to some of the other military leaders that the publisher either erred and used the likeness of another man, or could not find a suitable portrait and used a different subject. Also, the portrait of Lincoln is early, as it shows the president without his trademark beard. While we have seen some of these engravings before, we have never seen the full set in the original leather portfolios. All engravings include the facsimile signature of the subject and credits the engraver as J.C. Buttre of New York, with many also crediting the original artist or photographer whose image the engraving is based on (most by Brady, with others by Fredricks, Appleton, German, Silsbee, et al; the Washington image is based on a Stuart painting). This is a very rare wartime-published collection of Union officers.
The following is a full list, in alphabetical order:
1) Anderson, Brig. Gen. Robert
2) Baker, Col. Edward
3) Banks, Nathaniel P.
4) Blenker, Maj. Gen. Louis,
5) Brownlow, William G.
6) Buell, Maj. Gen. Don Carlos
7) Burnside, Brig. Gen. Ambrose E.
8) Butler, Maj. Gen. Benjamin F.
9) Carr, Col. Joseph B.
10) Clay, Maj. Gen. Cassius M.
11) Corcoran, Col. Michael
12) Cox, Brig Gen. J. Dolson
13) Curtis, Maj. Gen. Samuel R.
14) Dix, Maj. Gen. John A.
15) Doubleday, Brig. Gen. Abner
16) Du Pont, Com. Samuel F.
17) Ellsworth, Col. Elmer E.
18) Foot, Capt. John
19) Foote, Com. Andrew H.
20) Fremont, Maj. Gen. John C.
21) Grant, Maj. Gen. Ulysses
22) Halleck, Maj. Gen. Henry W.
23) Hawkins, Col. Rush C.
24) Heintzelman, Brig. Gen. Samuel P.
25) Hunter, Maj. Gen. David
26) Lander, Brig. Gen. Frederick W.
27) Lincoln, President Abraham
28) Lyon, Brig. Gen. Nathaniel
29) Mansfield, Brig. Gen. J.K.F.
30) McCall, Brig. Gen. George A.
31) McClellan, Maj. Gen. George B.
32) McDowell, Brig. Gen. Irvin
33) Meagher, Col. Thomas Francis
34) Mitchel, Maj. Gen. O.M.
35) Mulligan, Col. James A.
36) Pope, Maj. Gen. John
37) Rosecrans, Brig. Gen. W.S.
38) Scott, Lieut. Gen. Winfield
39) Shields, Brig. Gen. James
40) Sigel, Maj. Gen. Franz
41) Slemmer, Maj. Adam J.
42) Sprague, Maj. Gen. & Gov. of Rhode Island William
43) Stringham, Com. S.H.
44) Wallace, Maj. Gen. Lewis
45) Wallace, Maj. Gen. W.H.L.
46) Washington, President George
47) Weber, Col. Max
48) Wilkes, Capt. Charles
49) Wilson, Col. Henry
50) Wool, Maj. Gen. John E.
There is only one similar item in OCLC, a collection called PORTRAITS OF CIVIL WAR OFFICERS calling for 110 plates (including Lincoln's cabinet and an engraving of his childhood home), also by Buttre, located at the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. That collection is bound, and was likely issued as a slightly different item by the publisher than the collection presented here. OCLC 20140615.