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    Description

    [Battle of Gettysburg]. Civil War Soldier's New Testament Retrieved from Gettysburg Battlefield. This small book, published in 1862 and measuring a mere 4.5" x 2.75", bears several inscriptions in the back, testifying that the book changed hands several times during the war. The first inscription, possibly that of the original owner, follows the last verse of the Book of Revelation (page 316) and reads "John L. Barnes/Co. B/83 Regt Pen. (Vols)." If Barns (in official records his surname is spelled without the "e") was the original owner, it is unclear how the book fell into the hands of the enemy. It was likely lost when the 83rd engaged in combat during the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862). Barns went on to survive the war and was discharged on May 29, 1865.

    On the next page, a second inscription appears, identifying the new owner as J. W. Stephenson of the "Southern confederacy " who writes: "Book Taken Possession December 17th 1862 at Fredericksburg Virginia." Four months later, the book again changed hands, this time by an "E. Durfee" who states that he "captured this book of[f] the rebels the first of May 63." Durfee would only retain possession for two months as the final inscription attests: "Taken by J. S. Olsen at the foot of Big Round top July 1863." John Samuel Olsen was a teamster for the Union and was likely retrieving the dead from the battlefield when he came upon the book.

    This copy consists only of the textblock as the cover is missing. Scattered foxing throughout and overall soiling.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 635

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