Wow, what a beautiful piece of Civil War history here. A great book from the Civil War that was issued to a Corporal in a Pennsylvania Cavalry unit for your buying consideration. It is signed by its' purported owner Meyer Samuel Levy. Would make a great gift or keep it for yourself!
This book will only be offered for a short time thru this distribution channel. If one of you does not acquire it, the book will be heading off to one of the high end auction houses that we utilize for our better items to consign it for sale. So, if you are seriously interested in acquiring this book before then, please contact us and we can determine a reasonable price for this special book. We all know what happens price wise when special/rare sought after items like this go to a high end auction house, let alone the 25% to 30% buyers premium that has to be paid on top of that. We look forward to hearing from you.
The story goes that the book was found in the attic of a house that had a fire at the bottom of box.
This is a very rare manual for non-commissioned officers. The book is entitled "Customs of Service for Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers as Derived from Law and Regulations and Practised in the Army of the United States" written by August Kautz (Capt Sixth US Cavalry, Brig-Gen U.S Volunteers). The book was published by J. B. Lippincott & Co. of Philadelphia in 1865. The next page says, "Entered According to Act of Congress in the year 1864 ...".
This book appears to have been owned by a Meyer Samuel Levy whom was mustered in as a private to the PA 5th Cavalry in February 24, 1864 in Philadelphia. He was a Corporal in March 1865 when his signature was purportedly put into this book. Levy was born in 1839 in Philadelphia and lived there until the age of 70, passing in 1909. I am still trying to find other signatures of this gentleman to confirm if this is an authentic signature or not. It does appear that the signature in the book was done with a quill pen. Interesting there was also another gent of this same name whom served with the Confederacy and was a blockade runner.
There are a number of interesting pieces out on the internet dealing with Mr. Levy that you can research. The first one is in a Jewish Currents article in 1962. See starting bottom of page 19 and then carrying on to page 20 which is a letter to his brother in Philly in June 1864.
This recount of the unit's history would have placed Levy at the destruction of the Weldon Railroad, and involved in a raid on the Richmond and Danville Railroad. Also would have seen action at Fort Powhattan, an assault on the works at Petersburg, and engagements at Roanoke, Stony Creek and Reams' stations where the unit suffered great casualties. Also at Charles City and New Market, Five Forks, Amelia Court House, and then finally in the last fighting that took place with Lee's break out of Richmond until the surrender of Lee'a Army at Appomattox. The 5th PA Cavalry group was mustered out on August 7th, 1865 at Richmond which is what shows in Corporal Levy's record as well.
The book is still very well bound together. The front and back covers are still firmly attached to the spline of the book. There is an impressed image of an eagle sitting on a banner or flag on the front and back covers. There are no missing or torn pages. The book is 303 pages in length. No musty or dusty smell to the book. The book does have a faint what I think is a tobacco smell to it. I see no foxing or brown spotting of the pages going on. There is an ink mark on the bottom of the pages that starts around page 165 and goes thru the end of the book. Also an ink spot on the top pages of the book that show up starting around page 250 thru the end of the book. In both cases, the ink spots only come no more the 1/8" onto the pages, most of the spots are much smaller.
I have just started working on researching the validity of the signature of Corporal Levy in this book. If any of you know of any good sources of where to find other signatures of Mr. Levy to validate to, I would appreciate your suggestions. Thanks.
First time I have ever come across this book which was also the case with the party I bought this Civil War manual from. I have researched this book online and have not found a recent sale of one at any of the rare/antique book sites I look to, nor do I see any of these manuals for sale on any internet store sites. If one of you knows of one, please bring it to my attention.
Some additional information about the author;
Kautz's Customs of Service (1864 & 1866)
A Captain in the 6th U.S. Cavalry and a Brigadier-General of Volunteers, August V. Kautz, wrote a volume for NCOs and Soldiers in 1864 and a volume for Officers of the Army in 1866. These books were the first comprehensive description of the duties and responsibilities of soldiers of all ranks in the Civil War. Drawn from regulation and custom - including all those enacted or evolved in the course of the War - the book is more than just a list of duties. Kautz's advice gives us a better view on the life of the Civil War soldier.
The book is 6-1/8" tall, by 4-1/32" across, by 13/16" wide. Let us know if you have any questions or need additional pictures. Don’t be shy to make an offer, we are always open to reasonable suggestions.
Make sure that you are of the opinion that this item is authentic, and that it meets your needs and requirements before deciding to acquire it. The item can be returned, there is a 15% restocking fee to do so. So, please carefully review all the attached pictures, ask all the questions you have, come see in person in Wilmington, DE or send a friend to see the item on your behalf, prior to deciding to acquire it.
Besides mailing this item to you, we would also be willing to deliver this book to you. I will deliver the book to you for free if sold at the Buy It Now price within 100 miles of Wilmington, DE. If the book is sold for a lesser price than the Buy It Now Price, I will deliver the book to within 100 miles of Wilmington, DE with the pricing being $.75 per mile for the round trip delivery plus any tolls/parking fees. So, for example, if 40 miles to your property and $10 in tolls, it would be $70 (2*40*$.75+$10) for seller to deliver this beautiful and rare Civil War book to you.
Please check out our other Timeless Tokens store listings as we are regularly adding new items. We specialize in vintage artwork, books, collectibles, furniture, musical instruments, paper ephemera, marine/nautical, and clocks/watches. Thanks for your business. (A14005).