[CIVIL WAR, CONFEDERATE NEWSPAPER]. The Daily Citizen, Vicksburg, Mississippi, J.M. Swords, Proprietor, 2 July [issued 4 July] 1863.
Folio broadside, 19 1/8 x 12 1/16 in., PRINTED ON THE BACK OF A SHEET OF FLORAL WALLPAPER (small flowers with leaves in pale green, on pale pink ground, the centers of each blossom with reddish-brown center), roman type, printed in 4 columns, masthead at top of first column, column 3 headed "Yankee News from All Points," two clean marginal tears at left-hand edge, one with tiny loss of blank paper, some show-through of wallpaper ink, otherwise in very good condition.
A FINE COPY OF THE WALL-PAPER ISSUE OF THE VICKSBURG DAILY CITIZEN. Ulysses S. Grant's long and difficult siege of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg made paper unobtainable there, and, as early as June 16, Swords had resorted to printing on the blank sides of sheets of floral wallpaper. By July 2nd, after prolonged bombardment, the siege was clearly nearing its inevitable end. But there is no hint of this in the Daily Citizen printed that day, which remains jaunty, spirited and defiantly rebel. At the bottom of column two, the Confederate printer joked "...the great Ulysses--the Yankee Generalissimo, surnamed Grant--has expressed his intention of dining in Vicksburg on Saturday next, and celebrating the 4th of July by a grand dinner and so forth. 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'....." When Grant and his men did occupy Vicksburg on July 2, after Pemberton's surrender, the type used by Swords to print his last issue was still standing, giving the Federals the opportunity for a famous bit of wartime levity.
They re-set the bottom 14 lines in the column 4, adding a note dated 4 July: "Two days bring about great changes. The banner of the Union floats over Vicksburg. Gen. Grant has 'caught the rabbit,' and he did bring his dinner with him....This is the last wallpaper edition, and is, excepting this note, from the types as we found them. It will be valuable hereafter as a curiosity." In fact, a number of facsimiles of the July 4 issue exist. But this copy conforms in every detail to the points which define the genuine issue, as enumerated in the Library of Congress, Periodical Division, Information Circular 3, n.d..
Rare. The last time a copy of the genuine July 4 issue sold at auction was in 1992, according to American Book Prices Current; a copy of the Confederate issue of July 2 (without the Union riposte) was sold here on 17 June 2003, lot 40, $6,572.