“BOTH AN EYEWITNESS AND AN HISTORIAN”: FIRST EDITION OF LOSSING’S PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR, WITH HUNDREDS OF WOOD-ENGRAVED ILLUSTRATIONS
LOSSING, Benson John. Pictorial History of the Civil War in the United States of America. Illustrated by Many Hundred Engravings on Wood, by Lossing and Barritt, from Sketches by the Author and Others. Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1866-68. Three volumes. Tall octavo, publisher's full brown morocco gilt, raised bands, all edges gilt. $2000.
First edition of this impressive early first-hand account of the Civil War, Lossing’s authoritative three-volume work, profusely illustrated with engraved frontispieces and hundreds of in-text wood-engravings, handsomely bound in original publisher’s full morocco-gilt.
This graphic account of the Civil War includes portraits, maps and plans, battle scenes, weapons and warships, forts and arsenals, military uniforms and flags. "Since Benson Lossing was both an eyewitness and an historian, his study has value in the extent of his coverage and in his unusual first-hand impressions" (Nevins II:20). An accomplished wood-engraver, Lossing became "the leading author of illustrated histories and biographies on American subjects in the last half of the 19th century" (ANB). Much of this work is based on unpublished drawings, photographs, diaries and letters, and material provided by Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, "whose artists accompanied the great armies throughout the whole struggle." Broadfoot, 280. Sabin 42131. Owner signatures.
Only a few instances of mild foxing, one spread with offsetting from laid-in paper (since removed). A nearly fine copy.