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Civil War Soldier's Bible, NY American Bible Society, 1863 (SOLD)

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Product Description

This is another nice item being offered, it is a Civil War soldier’s Pocket Bible measuring 5 ¼” x 3 ½” x 1”. This size is a little larger than the typical pocket size, but still small enough for a soldier or officer to carry it in his knapsack or haversack. Faintly embossed on the spine is “HOLY BIBLE”. (There are actually examples of these bibles which stopped bullets in battle).

The title page reads "The Holy Bible / Containing the Old and New Testaments: / Translated out of The Original Tongues; / and with / The Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised.” At the bottom of the page is "`NEW YORK AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY, 1863”.

Founded in 1809 to print and distribute Bibles in America’s largest city, the New York Bible Society promoted the tenet that everyone should have access to the Bible. The society gave Bibles to the military beginning with the War of 1812, to seamen and soldiers passing through the city’s busy ports.

Bibles were distributed to Union and Confederate soldiers by the Society. The Civil War posed a real dilemma to the New York based society; continuing to distribute bibles to its auxiliaries in the Confederate states, despite its opposition to slavery. A splinter Confederate States' Bible Society was formed, but the American Bible Society continued to cross battle lines on both sides, distributing more than 3,000,000 bibles before the end of the war.

The bible appears complete but shows signs of extended use with some folded pages and staining. Written inside the front cover is a name that appears to be “Fran… W. Thorpe”. In my recent book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items”, I show similar examples and go into more detail about the importance of religion to the Civil War soldier. It would go great in a display of a soldiers personal effects.


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$5.50 (Fixed shipping cost)