Civil War PrintsBy

Civil War Prints

A United States source sold a series of 50 different new prints with scenes and portraits from the American Civil War (see list below).

All the prints purchased as samples for research were printed on 12 5/8" X 20" paper. The image size varied from print to print but most images about filled the paper leaving 1 to 2-inch margins. Each print had the title across the bottom. Most margins and backs fluoresced a mottled bright white under long wave black light.

The majority of the new prints are in black ink on an ivory (off-white) colored paper. Several are in full color and noted on the list of titles below. Most are copies of original tin types and other early photographic images in public museum collections such as the Library of Congress and National Archives. Several are taken from original period lithographs and original paintings.

One of the warning signs of the new prints is a grainy or coarse pattern (Fig. 2). The coarse texture is caused by the dot printing method used to create photographic images in modern printing. The dot pattern and texture is worsened because all of the new prints have been greatly enlarged from the original size–most period tintypes of the Civil War were only 4x5" or less in size.

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Fig. 1 Wholesale prices for the new prints ranged from $2-$5 depending on the number purchased.

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Fig. 2 The dot pattern used in moden printing forms a coarse screen-like pattern. This is the eye of Abraham Lincoln as seen through a 10X loupe.

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Fig. 3 Some of the new prints include the name of the person or present day institution which owns the original photo, tintype or painting. Owner credits are not generally found on old prints.

Table List of 50 Civil War prints that were available in the new series in the 1990s.

Lee & Generals (color) 20th Maine Band
Stonewall Jackson (color) U.S.S. Cairo
R.E. Lee (color) George Pickett
Stonewall Jackson's staff Penn. Cavalry
55th NY, Ft. Gaines John Pelham
Ft. Morgan, Ala. William T. Sherman
R.E. Lee, seated Grant by tree
Clinch Rifles Lee, portrait
Lincoln-Antietam Albert Sidney Johnston
Washington Artillery Joe Wheeler
J.E.B. Stuart Lee, standing by chiar
Ft McRee, Pensacola, Fla Jackson, portrait
Confederates, Pens. Fla. Jefferson Davis
Charleston Artillery John B Gordon
Perote Guard-Mobile Ala. John S. Mosby
Grant, portrait George A. Custer
Lee on Traveller Joseph E. Johnston
Mosby's Raiders Lee and staff
Lincoln, portrait Phillip H. Sheridan
Mobile Cadets Nathan B. Forrest
Semmes, C.S.S. Alabama Wade Hampton
N.B. Forrest, field dress C.S.S. Tennessee
Three inch ord. rifle Ft. Sumter, S.C.
Lee, 1863 Joshua L. Chamberlain
Confederates, Gettysburg Kirby Smith