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    1865 Civil War Diary with Historic Old West Connection. This diary belonged to Thomas Morgan James, the cousin of the famed outlaw brothers Jesse and Frank James. Unlike the James brothers who fought on the Confederate side, cousin Tom was a Yankee. Civil War service records in the National Archives coincide with the written notations on the blank first page where Thomas has both stamped and signed his name. He enlisted as a Private in Co. A of the 19th Ohio Volunteers, and rose to the rank of Sergeant. The diary is complete and tightly bound, and Sergeant James has made entries for every day of 1865 with the exception of January 15 through February 23, which he has left blank. Civil War diaries are generally found incomplete with pages missing and many dates unentered. Tom James was diligent and attentive to his surroundings. We have read about two-thirds of the entries, and while no major battles are covered, James reports on skirmishes and patrols and his capture of "Secesh bushwackers" while on patrol. Both the end of the war and the Lincoln assassination are reported. Monday April, 10, he wrote "it is rumored that Gen. Lee has surrendered to Grant," and Tuesday, April 11 "the rumor is confirmed. Lee has surrendered his whole army and all his equipment. Big time in camp bells ringing and cannon booming." Word of the Lincoln assassination took three days to reach his camp. Sunday April 16, he reported "...a rumor that Lincoln has been killed." Unlike many War diaries, he continues the entries throughout the year rather than ending in mid-April, 1865.
    This diary was consigned by a great-niece of Jesse and Frank James' mother, Zerelda Amanda (Mimms) James, through her second marriage to Albert Bowman. It is a fascinating piece of history in its own right, with considerable added value for its wild west connection. Ordinary Civil War diaries that are far less complete by soldiers identified by first name only have been knocking on the four figure door. This much more historical, complete and well written example is likely to realize. . .

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2003
    1st-3rd Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 660

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