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Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana
9 December 1994
New York, Park Avenue
[CIVIL WAR NEWSPAPER]. The Daily Citizen, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 2 [but issued 4] July 1863. Broadside, folio, 500 x 290 mm. (19 11/16 x 11 3/8 in.) edges untrimmed (as issued), printed in four columns plus masthead on the blank side of a sheet of floral wallpaper (pink roses with green leaves on an overall pattern of light blue rosettes), the sheet formerly folded to letter size, with minor restoration along central vertical fold-line, some minor dampstains, but in generally good condition.
"GENERAL GRANT HAS CAUGHT THE RABBIT" THE LAST OF THE WALLPAPER ISSUES OF VICKSBURG'S DAILY CITIZEN, FINISHED BY GRANT'S VICTORIOUS TROOPS
J.M. Swords, the proprietor of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen, when his paper stock had run out during the Union siege of Vicksburg, hit on the expedient of printing broadside issues on backsides of sheets of unused wallpaper. Some six such issues, dated between June 16 and July 2, are known. When Vicksburg finally surrendered on July 4, Swords fled, and the issue he had set up for July 2 was found by Union troops, still in type, ready for printing.
In column 2, the rebel Citizen, in column 2 had facetiously reported: "On Dit.--That the great Ulysses--the Yankee Generalissimo, surnamed Grant--has expressed his intention of dining in Vicksburg on Saturday night, and celebrating the 4th of July by a grand dinner...When asked if he would invite Gen. Jo. Johnston to join he said, 'No! for fear there will be a row at the table.' Ulysses must get into the city before he dines in it. The way to cook a rabbit is 'first catch the rabbit.'..." At the base of column four, Grant's men added a short, now famous, riposte: "Two days bring about great changes. The banner of the Union floats over Vicksburg. Gen Grant has 'caught the rabbit;' he has dined in Vicksburg, and he did bring his dinner with him. The 'Citizen' lives to see it. For the last time it appears on 'Wall-paper.' No more will it eulogize the luxury of mule-meat and fricassed kitten--urge Southern warriors to such diet never-more. This is the last wall-paper edition, and is, excepting this note, from the types as we found them. It will be valuable hereafter as a curiosity."
For an account of the Citizen, and a list of the points which distinguish the genuine from the later facsimile issues, see Library of Congress Information Circular 3.
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