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Charles Stratton (General Tom Thumb)...
A Rare Confederate title with print of General Benjamin F. Cheatham...
Item # 644833
January 10, 1863
SOUTHERN ILLUSTRATED NEWS, Richmond, Jan. 10, 1863
* Very rare Confederate title
* Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
A very rare publication from the Confederacy, only a few issues of which having come into our inventory over the past 35 years. Although much of the content was literary in nature, there are news reports and a few illustrations.
The front page features a nice print of: "Gen. Benj. Franklin Cheatham" with much of the balance of the ftpg. taken up with a lengthy biography of him. Page 2 has most of a column taken up with: "The Times" which reports on the latest events in the Civil War. A few items include: "Everything remains quiet at Fredericksburg. The Yankees are, however, still on the other side of the river...They drill at least five hours a day...The report of the Yankee sent to examine into the causes of the defeat at Fredericksburg has been published...all lay the blame on the person who had the furnishing of the pontoons--Halleck, we suppose...From Murfreesboro we learn that on the 29th the armies were in sight of each other & a great battle was expected...The enemy had landed in great force on the Yazoo river, seven miles from Vicksburg...the government has received the following telegram from General Bragg announcing that he had obtained a great victory near Murfreesboro..." with the text of the note.
Page 3 has: "The charge of the 34th North Carolina Reg't. at The Battle of Sharpsburg" with text concerning it, followed by a lengthy poem (see). Close to two pages is taken up with: "The First Campaign of a Fat Volunteer. A Sketch of the John Brown War" which seems to be a factual report as told by a soldier, but done in literary format. It is continued in a future issue.
The back page has half a column headed: "Editor's Drawer" which relates to the Civil War (see). There is also an article concerning Charles Stratton, or "...the veritable General Tom Thumb..." (see).
Begun on September 13, 1862 the "Southern Illustrated News" sought to fill the void left when the Southern States lost access to Harper’s Weekly and other illustrated newspapers from the North. In its “Salutatory,” in the first issue the editors state: "...We propose to issue an Illustrated Family Newspaper…devoted to literature, to public instruction and amusement, to general news, and to the cause of our country in this trying hour when she is engaged in a terrible, but resolute and hopeful struggle for her liberty and independence..." Although it could be argued it never lived up to all of these goals as reports from the war were very limited, it was an important publication nonetheless. At its peak boasting as many subscribers as the largest daily paper in Richmond. As with all Southern publications it suffered from lack of supplies, reporters, artists and engravers as many had been drafted either into the military or into the service of the Confederate administration to engrave paper money and stamps. The engravings were crude when compared to Yankee publications.
Eight pages, A light water stain, some loss at blank margins not close to any text, a professional repair to the upper left corner does not affect any text.