August 12, 2014

Toys in the Attic - Civil War News Trading Cards

1962 Topps Civil War (aka Civil War News)

It's time for another self indulgent 'Toys in the Attic' trip down memory lane. Like many boomers, as I was growing up I collected trading cards. The Beatles, Baseball and TV shows cards were a passion. But I’d have to say my true favorite was the 1962 Civil War News series. Gore & blood-soaked images of soldiers shooting, stabbing, and blowing each other up! I was in heaven. The card's various titles are often self-explanatory. There's "Bloody Combat," "Direct Hit," "Death To The Enemy," "Pushed To His Doom," "Dynamite Victim," "Hanging The Spy," "Massacre," "The Cannon Roars," "Wall Of Corpses," "Crushed By The Wheels" and many other similar titles, all of which feature gruesome combat scenes. The words "death," "deadly," "dying" and "dies" encompass the titles of 18 cards, ensuring The Civil War News its own bloody place in trading card history. Some people feel the Topps cards were a historic embarrassment because the pictures are so bloody and the stories on the backs are mostly fictional. I feel quite the opposite. I think they capture the real pain and suffering of the war. In fact, the best way to describe the feeling one gets from reviewing Civil War News is the age-old adage, "War is All Hell."

The History-
A century after the Civil War took place, Topps issued their Civil War bubblegum cards (that's what the set was actually called) but has became known by collectors as The Civil War News. . Released in 1962, the 88 card set consisted of 87 cards depicting the most well-known battles that took place during the Civil War. The fronts contain color drawing depicting graphic, bloody and extremely realistic images painted by famous pulp artists Norm Saunders, Maurice Blumenfeld and Bob Powell along with the name and date of that battle. The card backs, which chronicled each civil war event via a newspaper journal format, using a generic banner called CIVIL WAR NEWS  When put in order, the cards show an accurate sequence of events as to what took place during the Civil War. The last card in the deck (Card #88) is a checklist card. While kids, specifically little boys, were infatuated with the Civil War trading cards, the cards were met with a great deal of opposition from parents who did not want their children viewing such graphic and violent scenes. Inside 5¢ each wax pack was a replica piece of Confederate money. There are 17 different bills with denominations ranging from $1 to $1,000. These bills were folded in half to fit inside packs.

The Civil War News has retained its popularity among card collectors today. Along with another graphic 1962 card entry, the equally gruesome Mars Attacks, released by Topps under the dummy corporation of Bubbles Inc., The Civil War News commands top value among non-sports card aficionados.
Heck there is even a Civil War News Facebook page and it’s an excellent one and well worth a visit just for the original artwork featured. 

Here are some recent auction results, courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas, Texas: 
Complete set of 88 Topps The Civil War News cards in excellent to excellent/mint condition $448.13
Complete set of 17 Topps The Civil War News Confederate currency inserts in excellent to excellent/mint condition $262.90


Topps 1962 The Civil War News Card & Currency Insert Checklist

Cards:
1. The Angry Man, John Brown's Raid – October 16, 1859
2. President Jeff Davis, Montgomery, Ala – Feb. 18, 1861
3. The War Starts, Ft. Sumter, S.C. – Apr. 12, 1861
4. Rebel Power, Bull Run, Va. – July 21, 1861
5. Exploding Fury,  Fort Henry, Tenn. – Feb. 6, 1862
6. Pulled To Safety, Ft. Donelson, Tenn. – Feb. 16, 1862
7. Death At Sea, Norfolk, Va. – March 8, 1862
8. Destructive Blow, Norfolk, Va. – March 8, 1862
9. Savages Attack, Pea Ridge, Ark. – March 8, 1862
10. Destruction At Sea, Monitor vs. Merrimac – March 9, 1862
11. Attack, Front Royal, Va. – Mar. 26, 1862
12. Bloody Combat, Kernstown, Va. – Mar. 23, 1862
13. Dying Effort, Cross Keys, Va. – Mar. 27, 1862
14. Fight to the Finish, Shiloh, Tenn. – Apr. 7, 1862
15. Nature's Fury, Island #10 – Miss. River – Apr. 7, 1862
16. Direct Hit, New Orleans, La. – Apr. 24, 1862
17. The Flaming Raft, New Orleans, La. - Apr. 26, 1862
18. Death To The Enemy, Williamsburg, Va. – May 5, 1862
19. Pushed To His Doom, Winchester, Va. – May 24, 1862
20. Death Fall, Fair Oaks, Va. – May 30, 1862
21. Painful Death, Port Republic, Va. – June 7, 1862
22. Wave Of Death, The Seven Day Battle – June 26, 1862
23. Crushed By The Wheels, Mechanicsville, Va. – June 26, 1862
24. After The Battle, Gaines' Mill, Va. – June 27, 1862
25. Hanging The Spy, Eden, Pa. - June 29, 1862
26. Messenger of Death, Frayser's Farm, Va. – June 30, 1862
27. Massacre, White Oak, Va. – June 30, 1862
28. The Cannon Roars, Malvern Hill, Va. – July 1, 1862
29. Bridge of Doom, Rustburg, Va. – Aug. 15, 1862
30. Charging The Bullets, Manassas, Va. – Aug. 30, 1862
31. Terror Of The Sea, New Orleans, La. – Sept. 15, 1862
32. Death Struggle, Antietam Creek, Md. – Sept. 15, 1862
33. Fight For Survival, Fredericksburg, Va. – Dec. 13, 1862
34. Wall Of Corpses, Fredericksburg, Va. – Dec. 16, 1862
35. Gasping For Air, Stones River – Jan. 3, 1863
36. Midnight Raid, Hartsdale, Va. – Mar. 30, 1863
37. Death Barges In, Twin Forks, Ga. – Mar. 30, 1863
38. General Grant, Northern Headquarters – Apr. 1, 1863
39. General Lee, Southern Headquarters – Apr. 1, 1863
40. Bullets Of Death, Port Gibson, Miss. – May 1, 1863
41. Protecting His Family, Westford, Va. – May 2, 1863
42. The Battle Continues, Chancellorsville, Va. – May 10, 1863
43. Costly Mistake, Chancellorsville, Va. – May 10, 1863
44. Shot To Death, Jackson, Miss. – May 15, 1863
45. The Riverboat Explodes, Memphis, Tenn. – June 5, 1863
46. Vicious Attack, Gettysburg, Pa. – July 2, 1863
47. Death Battle, Seminary Ridge, Pa. – July 3, 1863
48. Smashing The Enemy, Champions Hill, Miss. – July 4, 1863
49. The Explosion, Port Hudson, La. – July 8, 1863
50. Stolen Secrets, Pauline Cushman – July 25, 1863
51. Horse Thieves, Simstown, Ky. – Aug. 10, 1863
52. Friendly Enemies, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Sept. 10, 1863
53. Train Of Doom, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Sept. 15, 1863
54. A Horseman Falls, Chickamauga, Ga. – Sept. 20, 1863
55. The Silent Drum, New Lisbon, Ohio – Nov. 15, 1863
56. Burst Of Fire, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. – Nov. 24, 1863
57. Hand To Hand Combat, Missionary Ridge, Tenn. – Nov. 25, 1863
58. Angel Of Mercy, Clara Barton – Dec. 25, 1863
59. Submarine Attack, Charleston, Va. – Feb. 17, 1864
60. Suicide Charge, Fort Pillow, Tenn. – Apr. 12, 1864
61. The Flaming Forest, The Wilderness, Va. – May 5, 1864
62. The General Dies, The Wilderness, Va. – May 5, 1864
63. Ambushed, Yellow Tavern, Va. – May 11, 1864
64. Jaws Of Death, Bloody Angle, Va. – May 12, 1864
65. Flaming Death, Spotsylvania, Va. – May 12, 1864
66. Victim Of The War, Resaca, Ga. – May 15, 1864
67. Deadly Duel, New Hope Church, Ga. – May 25, 1864
68. The Will To Win, Cold Harbor, Va. - June 3, 1864
69. Death In The Water, Cherbourg, France – June 19, 1864
70. The Sniper, Haven Falls, Ga. – July 15, 1864
71. No Escape, Whistle Falls, Ga. – July 16, 1864
72. The Cannon's Victim, Peachtree, Ga. – July 17, 1864
73. Through The Swamp, Grey Embers, Ga. – July 21, 1864
74. Fighting For Victory, Atlanta, Ga. – July 22, 1864
75. The Family Flees, Atlanta, Ga. – July 22, 1864
76. Blazing Cannon, Mobile Bay, Ala. – Aug. 5, 1864
77. Trapped, Fisher's Hill, Va. – Sept. 22, 1864
78. Sudden Attack, Cedar Creek, Va. – Oct. 19, 1864
79. Council Of War, Lincoln & Grant – Nov. 1, 1864
80. City In Flames, Atlanta, Ga. – Nov. 15, 1864
81. Deadly Defense, Nashville, Tenn. – Dec. 16, 1864
82. Destroying The Rails, Savannah, Ga. – Dec. 21, 1864
83. The Looters, Savannah, Ga. – Dec. 23, 1864
84. Deadly Arrows, Columbia, S.C. – Feb. 16, 1865
85. Attacked From Behind, Waynesboro, Va. – Mar. 2, 1865
86. Dynamite Victim, Petersburg, Va. – Apr. 2, 1865
87. The War Ends, Appomattox, Va. – Apr. 9, 1865
88. Checklist

Confederate Currency Inserts:
1. $1 Bill - Type One
2. $1 Bill - Type Two
3. $2 Bill - Type One
4. $2 Bill - Type Two
5. $5 Bill - Type One
6. $5 Bill - Type Two
7. $5 Bill - Type Three
8. $10 Bill - Type One
9. $10 Bill - Type Two
10. $20 Bill - Type One
11. $20 Bill - Type Two
12. $20 Bill - Type Three
13. $50 Bill - Type One
14. $50 Bill - Type Two
15. $100 Bill - Type One
16. $500 Bill - Type One
17. $1000 Bill - Type On

Title: Civil War
Type: Cards sold via 5¢ wax packs
Design: Color hand-painted images
Verso: Gray with a red-brown border
Genre: Historical
Producer: Topps
Year released: 1962
Cards in set: 88
Wrapper produced: Yes
Chase Items: 17 Confederate banknotes

Websites & Sources
Civil War News Facebook page
Bob Heffner's Civil War News Cards
Civil War Gum Cards

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