Frank Leslie's Illustrated History of Civil War 1861-1865, Edited by Louis Shepheard Moat, 1895

Moat, Louis Shepheard. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated History of the Civil War 1861-1865, New York: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1895. Maroon cloth binding with gilt pictorial front boards and gilt titles to spine. 

Presented is a first edition printing of this pictorial history of the Civil War. Published in 1895, this large folio volume compiles articles and hundreds of the woodcuts originally used in Frank Leslie’s famous and widely circulated Civil War-era illustrated newspaper. The book was edited by Louis Shepheard Moat and includes an introduction by Joseph B. Carr, Major-General. 

In December of 1855, Frank Leslie introduced Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, a weekly publication featuring news stories on politics, fine arts, science, and exploration in each issue, which were heavily illustrated with woodcuts. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was the first successful pictorial newspaper in the United States. Competing with Harper’s Weekly and the New York Illustrated News, Frank Leslie found a stable readership with his paper’s extensive nonpartisan coverage of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and the ensuing trial and execution. By 1860, just five years after starting the newspaper, Frank Leslie’s had a circulation of 164,000. Right through secession and up to the bombing of Fort Sumter, Frank Leslie’s maintained its Southern readership by balancing its coverage of events and printing a variety of opinions. After the bombardment, however, the paper switched to a strong pro-Union stance and found a wider audience in a Northern populace now invested in war. Events leading up to and including the Civil War created an increased demand for news and unprecedented opportunities for pictorial reporting. From 1861 to 1865 the images of the war were largely seen through illustrated newspapers like Frank Leslie’s.  

The book is dedicated "To the Brave Soldiers who Fought the Battles herein Pictured and to the Society of the Sons of Veterans." At the beginning of the book is an alphabetical "Index to Illustrations" and "Index to History." This is followed by four charts of "Official Statistics,"  including the "Number of men in the Union army furnished by each state and territory," the "Principal Battles of the late Civil War," the "Total number of troops called into Service from the Northern States during the Civil War,"  and the "Principal Naval Battles of the Civil War". Next are over four hundred pages of full page and half page woodcuts and articles, illustrating, as the full title suggests, “The Most Important Events of the Conflict Between The States Graphically Pictured. Stirring Battle Scenes and Grand Naval Engagements. Portraits of Principal Participants, Military and Civil; Famous Forts; Pathetic Episodes… the Whole Forming an Authentic Pictorial History of the War.” At the end is a written synopsis of the Civil War, with several smaller illustrations throughout, presented in 31 chapters. 


In very good condition. Folio printing. Maroon cloth binding with gilt pictorial front boards and gilt titles to spine. Green floral endpaper. Internally clean throughout. Some damage to binding at top of spine and bumping along board edges. Illustrated throughout with woodcuts, charts, stables, and portraits. 

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