Military Instructions for Officers Detached in the Field:Containing. Roger STEVENSON, Hugh Henry FERGUSSON.

Military Instructions for Officers Detached in the Field:Containing

Item #79818

STEVENSON, Roger. [FERGUSSON, Hugh Henry, editor]. Military Instructions for Officers Detached in the Field:Containing, A Scheme for Forming A Corps of A Partisan. Illustrated With Plans of the Manoeuvres Necessary in Carrying on the Petite Guerre. Philadelphia: R. Aitken, 1775. [8],vii,[1],232,[4], plus twelve plates, seven of them folding (plates VII and VIII misnumbered VIII and VII, as issued). Plate IX in full facsimile, plate VII in partial facsimile. 12mo. Antique-style three-quarter calf and marbled boards, spine gilt in six compartments, gilt leather label. Text foxed and soiled, old dampstaining throughout. Short horizontal tears in first and last gathering, occasionally just grazing a letter, some reinforced with tape. Plate VII (i.e. VIII) supplied in partial facsimile, plate IX in full facsimile. Overall, a good copy. A most important early American military manual, preceding the celebrated works of Baron Von Steuben and, appropriately, the first book bearing a dedication to George Washington. "In a country where every gentleman is a soldier," the author writes immediately after the dedication, "and every soldier a student in the art of war, it necessarily follows that military treatises will be considerably sought-after and attended to." Edited by Hugh Henry Ferguson, the present manual was one of the most significant military manuals associated with the years of the American Revolution, encouraging and instructing readers in the art of "la petite guerre." Significantly, it was published in Philadelphia by the revolutionary printer, Robert Aitken, in the year before the Declaration of Independence. The engravings illustrate the strategies promoted in the text, both historic and theoretical. These celebrated guerilla tactics, combined with a superior geographical knowledge of local terrain, gave the Continentals a significant advantage over the regimented fighting style of the British. In short, this is how the American colonies won the war. Interestingly, Evans names the editor of this work as Hugh Henry Fergusson, a close acquaintance of Washington who was nonetheless a British sympathizer and served as General Howe's commissary of prisoners. The illustrations were engraved by the publisher Robert Aitken himself, who also engraved similar military diagrams as some of the very first images of the American Revo.

Price: $2,500.00