Can You Help With The Value of These Classic Civil War Books?

by Brett Schulte on October 6, 2009 · 1 comment

TOCWOC reader Vic Wilson wrote in asking about the partial set of the Offical Records given to him by his great uncle:

Hello. Please help me with some insight on the books I have. My great uncle has given me approx 80 volumes of “War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate armies”, and about 21 volumes of “Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion”. These are not reprints. These are the original sets published in the late 1800s’ and early 1900s’. In my opinion (I’m no book expert at all) their condition is fair to poor, but all pages are in the books and you can plainly read them. Also (if it makes any diference, good or bad) The oldest son of General Bryan Grimes (Alston Grimes) has signed these books with dates to prove his ownership. My question is do these books have any value other than history? I know its difficult to place a monetary value without looking at the books, so I’m really just asking would they be worth anything. Just for trivial reference, I live about 10 miles from the Grimes Plantation where these books came from. thank you for any insight.

I’m no expert in vintage Civil War books (Paul Taylor at With Sword and Pen is a GREAT resource in this area, for those wondering), but I would have to believe that the prior wner of the books has to add some value, even if they are in fair to poor condition. For those of you with more experience in this area, what do you think?  Does the condition outweigh the unique ownership?  I’d love to give Mr. Wilson a solid answer here.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michael Lynch October 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm

The Abraham Lincoln Bookshop might be able to offer some assistance here. They specialize in rare books on the Civil War and Lincoln, and also offer an appraisal service at an hourly rate. Their website is http://www.alincolnbookshop.com.

–ML

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