Mar 31, 2016 - Sale 2408

Sale 2408 - Lot 359

Price Realized: $ 4,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,500 - $ 5,000
(MILITARY--CIVIL WAR.) Infantry Tactics for the Instruction and Maneuvers of the Soldier, a Company, Line of Skirmishers, and Battalion, for the Use of Colored Troops. 370 pages and [63] plates, many folding, plus 47 pages of drum rhythms and bugle calls; lacks general title page, which seems to have never been bound in. 12mo, original gilt and blind-stamped brown cloth, ownership signature of hiram a oakman, 1st lieutenant in the 7th massachusetts infantry, and 30th u.s. colored infantry. In a specially made gilt morocco-backed cloth clamshell case. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1863

Additional Details

exceedingly rare. a copy, with a fine association, having belonged to Hiram A. Oakman, First Lieutenant with the 7th Massachusetts Infantry, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 30th U.S. Colored Infantry. Manuals such as this were meant to be literally 'pocket-size.' The pagination is unusual; following 370 pages of text and music [48 pages of drum beats and bugle calls], there are 63 plates, with erratic numbering. In the original binding, which was once purple, now evenly faded to reddish brown. This is the first edition of the first and only such manual printed for the exclusive use of Colored Troops. Curiously, there exists no difference at all between the manual for use by white troops and this little volume for black troops. The only real distinguishing factor is the cover, which reads 'U.S. Infantry Tactics for Colored Troops. 1863.' This seems to have been more of a gesture to people like Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany and others in the black community who had been agitating for the use of colored troops from the outset; something to inspire pride as well as provide instruction. only the second copy at auction in the last 25 years and one that saw action.
The 30th Colored Infantry saw action at Fort Fisher, Wilmington and other campaigns, mostly in North Carolina.