The Most Valuable Civil War Artifact to Pawn

January 31, 2020 - Antiques, Art and Collectibles

Do you currently own Civil War Memorabilia or antiques?

Curious if your Civil War piece is worth a trip to the pawn shop? In this article, we’re covering the kinds of Civil War memorabilia are actually valuable, and how much you could make by selling them at your local pawn shop!

What is the Most Valuable Civil War Memorabilia to Pawn?

While most Civil War memorabilia isn’t worth much, some pieces have actually made a pretty penny in auction and at pawn houses. Here are some of the most famous Civil War memorabilia that have been sold for a ton of money:

Terms of Surrender Letters Signed by Robert E. Lee

On April 9th, 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia when his army fell to the Union XXV Corps in the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. While the original letters sent between Lee and Union lieutenant general Ulysses S Grant have been lost, there are copies of his terms of surrender, all of which he signed personally.

Copies of these letters sold for a whopping $537,750 at Heritage Auctions back in 2007, so the letters are even more valuable now 11 years later.

Battle Flag of General JEB Stuart

One of the most famous cavalry officers of the Civil War was JEB Stuart, who died on May 13, 1864 following a mortal wound at Yellow Tavern. He’s also famous for the flag he carried with him in battle, which was made by his wife, and later burnt in a campfire accent. This flag, which has been professionally preserved, sold for close to 1 million dollars back in 2007.

Ulysses S. Grant’s Presentation Sword

In March 1864, the residents of Kentucky presented Ulysses S. Grant with a sword upon his swearing in as general in chief of the United States Army. The sword was extremely beautiful and intricate, with studding of 26 diamonds, and crafting from both silver and gold, with a large amethyst mounted at the top. It was sold in 2007 for a whopping 1.6 million at Heritage Auctions, making it the most expensive piece of Civil War memorabilia ever sold at auction.

Civil War Letters from Gettysburg

While there are thousands of Civil War letters out there, some can be quite valuable. In fact, letters from Francis John King of the 190th Pennsylvania Infantries, wrote letters that are currently valued at $50,000. His accounts, specifically of the Battle of Gettysburg, are incredibly engaging, and responsible for why these letters are worth so much money.

Here are some of the other remarkable items that have sold for a ton of money:

  • General JEB Stuart’s Gold Pocket Watch- $131,450
  • Major General Burnside’s Presentation Sword- $271, 000
  • Confederate Flag Captured at Macon- $179, 250
  • Rare Whitworth Sharpshooter’s Rifle- $155,350
  • Dragoon Revolver, inscribed by Colonel Milliken- $805, 000

Final Thoughts on Civil War Memorabilia

When it comes to historical items, not everything is of equal value. It’s hard to know what’s worth something without bringing it to an expert pawn shop where it can be valued. But don’t automatically assume the memorabilia you own isn’t worth something; bring it to a store today to see what it’s worth!

David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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