The Daily Citizen [Union Response Wallpaper Edition].
Vicksburg, MS: Daily Citizen, July 4, 1863. First Edition Thus. Broadside. The most famous edition of the Daily Citizen was its last, June 2 *and* 4, 1863. The publisher, J. M. Swords, was confident that while General Grant had besieged the city for weeks, it would not fall to him and, moreover, that he and the Union would soon be forced into ignominious retreat by the arrival of General Joseph Johnston and the Confederate army. Swords, in an effort to rile up his Vicksburg readership and embolden them to stand strong, issued a snarky rebuke of General Grant in the July 2 edition of the paper:
On Dit.--That 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' &c.
When Vicksburg fell, two days later on June 4th, Union soldiers found the June 2 copy still locked in the press, they famously added a small note and printed a handful of a ‘new edition’. The Library of Congress describes the work and its significance as follows:
“The Daily Citizen was edited and published at Vicksburg, Mississippi, by J.M. Swords. Like several other Southern newspapers of the Civil War period its stock of newsprint paper became exhausted and the publisher resorted to the use of wallpaper. On this substitute he printed the following known issues: June 16, 18, 20, 27, 30, and July 2, 1863. Each was a single sheet, four columns wide, printed on the back of the wallpaper.
On July 4, Vicksburg surrendered, the publisher fled, and the Union forces found the type of the Citizen still standing. They replaced two-thirds of the last column with other matter already in type, added the note quoted below, and started to print a new edition. Evidently, after a few copies (how many is unknown) had been run off, it was noticed that the masthead title was misspelled as "CTIIZEN." The error was corrected, although the other typographical errors were allowed to stand, and the rest of the edition printed.
July 4, 1863
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.”
The prophecy contained in the note has been fulfilled. The original copies are treasured, and there have been over 30 reprints of this issue. Since many copies of the reprints exist, they have little monetary value. The genuine originals can be distinguished by the following tests:
Single type page. 9 1/8 inches in width by 16 7/8 inches in length.
Column 1, line 1, title, THE DAILY CITIZEN, or THE DAILY CTIIZEN in capitals, not capitals and lowercase, or capitals and small capitals.
Column 1, line 2, "J.M. Swords,......Proprietor." Notice the comma (or imperfect dot) and six periods. Column 1, last line, reads: "Them as they would the portals of hell itself.”
Column 3, line 1, reads: "Yankee News From All Points.”
Column 4, line 1, reads: "tremity of the city. These will be defended.”
Column 4, paragraph 3, line 7, first word is misspelled “Secossion."
Column 4, article 2, line 2, word 4 is spelled “whisttle."
Column 4, last article before Note, final word is printed with the quotation mark misplaced, 'dead' instead of dead”. Column 4, Note, line 1, comma following the word "changes" rather than a period.”
The Library of Congress identifies 5 known copies of the issue printed on June 4th, 1865, and we are very pleased to offer this one. Though reprints are widely available (and often misrepresented in the market as ‘true’), those original to the press are genuinely rare. Very Good. Light even toning, fold marks (12 panels), cello-tape professionally removed from back lateral folds and folds supported with Japanese mending paper, small bit of cello at top, several small pinholes, printing poorly registered (last line of text at bottom of sheet), else clean and bright. Pale blue floral wallpaper print at rear, black ink text at front. Approx. 11.5x19”. Item #9679