Petersburg Tobacco Label
Original Author: C. A. Butler, lithographer
Created: ca. 1857
Medium: Lithograph
Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Petersburg Tobacco Label

Tobacco sold in the nineteenth century often came with colorful labels designed to catch the consumer's eye. On the eve of the Civil War, with twenty tobacco factories and five separate rail lines for transporting goods, Petersburg stood as a major supplier of tobacco products. This label appeals to the martial aspirations of potential buyers by referencing Mexican War hero, and future Confederate general, Braxton Bragg. An artillery officer, he played a crucial role at the Battle of Monterrey (September 21–24, 1846) when his battery turned back a Mexican infantry assault. During the fighting, General Zachary Taylor purportedly ordered "A little more grape, Captain Bragg," which caught the imagination of the public as indicative of American bravery, fortitude, and perseverance under fire.