Civil War memorabilia

Stevens Auction Company in Aberdeen, MS recently held a two-day estate sale held March 16-17, 2007. Included in the event was an auction of Civil War memorabilia.

“This sale was a huge success by any measure,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company. “The Friday session featured two lifetime collections of Civil War memorabilia.”

The Civil War consignors included a Tupelo man whose collection was so enormous he housed it in a private museum. The other collector, from Savannah, Tenn., had “an encyclopedic mind when it came to knowledge of the Civil War,” Mr. Stevens pointed out. Items sold included long-barrel firearms and black powder guns; battle swords; caps and cadet uniforms; photographs; and pottery.

Highlights from the Civil War session on Friday night included:

Weapons from the era piqued the interest of the crowd. The top lot of the night was a Colt .44 caliber Dragoon pistol (2nd model, 1850); it rang out for $19,000. Also, an over-and-under .40 caliber shotgun, side hammer with patch box, signed in two places (Griswalt, Casedega, N.Y., circa 1840), hit $2,400; and an 1892 Winchester 38-41 caliber rifle with 30 in. barrel sold for $2,200.

A Civil War-era slave’s leg iron, with ball and chain (circa 1850), commanded $1,400; a reunion badge for the Forest Cavalry Corps. (circa 1900), saw a top bid of $750; and an actual slave tag (Charleston, #475, 1862), went for $700. Sports cards and memorabilia also came under the gavel on Friday evening, with the high achiever being a Babe Ruth signed baseball; it was a hit at $900.

There were so many lots to sell over the course of the two days, not all of them came up for bid, so the spillover will be incorporated into Stevens Auction’s next sale, on April 21st, 2007. Other quality consignments have also been secured, to include a magnificent bedroom suite from an estate in New Orleans, with a Prudence Millard bed; and the estate of a former cotton planter in Greenwood, Miss.

The sale will also feature the entire contents of Troy Plantation, the onetime home of James Knox Polk, the 11th president of the United States. Mr. Polk lived in Troy Plantation from 1835-1849. The facility has been reduced in size over the years, but is still a working plantation, comprising about 950 acres of property.

For more information, visit Stevens Auction Company online at

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