Berdan Sharpshooters, US Infantry Tactics by Secretary of War, 1861 and Colonel Hiram Berdan Transmittal Cover

US War Department. US Infantry Tactics, for the Instruction, Exercise, and Manoeuvres of the United States Infantry, Including Infantry of the Line, Light Infantry, and Riflemen. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1861. 24mo, embossed cloth boards, foldout frontis of infantry formations, 450pp plus 6pp ads. Ffep with owner's ID of Lieutenant Wm. Elmendorf, USA, Berdans' US Sharpshooters.

Plus cover with "Soldier's letter / H. Berdan / Col. Comg. 1st USSS." (with postage due)

Hiram Berdan (1824-1893) was an inventor, mechanical engineer and marksman. He held one of the top rifle shot positions in the country for a decade and a half before the Civil War. He also had repeating rifle and musket ball patents before the war. When war was declared, Berdan recruited 18 companies formed into 2 regiments, the 1st and 2nd US Sharpshooters. They often were detached for special assignments during battles. Their actions were critical at Gettysburg, in many cases delaying Confederate attacks, especially at Devil's Den and the Peach Orchard, but also Seminary Ridge and other positions. Berdan resigned in January 1864 and returned to his career as an inventor. He was later awarded brevet ranks for Chancellorsville (Brigadier General) and Gettysburg (Major General), although the senate did not confirm the latter. His grave marker at Arlington lists him as a brevet Major General.


Spine split along rear board, but not broken. Text block still tight. Scattered foxing. Corners slightly bent and lower ones worn.

Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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