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Letters to the Editor

Historical inaccuracies found in CDV

July 5, 2021

Dear Rail Splitter: 

Hello, my name is Justin Shaw and some time last year I had contacted you concerning a carte de visite I had purchased titled “51 Portraits of the Confederate Army and Navy” by C.D. Fredricks. You had informed me that it was believed to be from the 1863-1865 time frame and thought it could be in the $100 to $250 price range. I am contacting you back concerning this same cdv and a HUGE historical inaccuracy that can be found on it. Your typical people are depicted on it, such as Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, JEB Stuart, Robert E Lee; however,  I have discovered that for some reason there is someone pictured on it that should not be.  His name is Gen/Gov Sam Houston, the Founding Father of Texas and the War for Independence. His number on the cdv is 25.  Houston was never a member of the Confederacy! In fact, since he refused to join the Confederacy, he was kicked out of Texas office as Governor! After that happened, he thought his life was a failure. Why would Houston be on this CDV? More importantly, there’s a very distinct possibility that this would make this the very first “error card” in American history. In the world of today’s sports cards, an error traditionally increases the value quite a bit. What would it take for us to get this error recognized? Were there two versions of the CDV, one with Houston and one without? I feel like this error definitely warrants a closer look and estimation. Is it even possible for us to figure how many of these CDV’s may be in existence? In addition, it’s very rare to find a Sam Houston CDV anyway. He died in 1863.

Editor: We’re big fans of Sam Houston and always thought someone should make a movie or documentary about his life. He was touted as a presidential hopeful in 1860, his image appearing on campaign ephemera even after the nomination of other candidates. That said, we feel that while his inclusion on this composite image, or collage, was inappropriate, it remains more of a curiosity than an error. Since CDV’s are not collected at the same level as baseball cards, one cannot use the same standards and equate the two.