Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life. John D. Billing.
Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life
Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life
Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life
Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life
Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life

Hardtack and Coffee, or The Unwritten Story of Army Life

Boston, MA: George M. Smith & Co., 1888. First Edition. Hardcover. "It is believed that what is herein written will appeal largely to a common experience among soldiers. In full faith that such is the case, they are now presented to veterans, their children, and the public as an important contribution of warp to the more majestic woof which comprises the history of the Great Civil War already written. That history, to date, is a history of battles, of campaigns and of generals. This is the first attempt to record comprehensively army life in detail; in which both text and illustrations aim to permanently record information which the history of no other war has preserved with equal accuracy and completeness." (from author's Preface, pg. vi) The now-classic account-memoir of the day-to-day life & minutiae as experienced by front-line Union soldiers during the American Civil War of 1861-1865. The author, John D(avis) Billings (1842-1933), served bravely as a Union soldier in a Massachusetts regiment, initially as a private & ultimately promoted to corporal. In his long post-war life, Billings became a historian & educator. This is one of several war-related works by Billings, & is regarded as a pioneeringly brought-to-life description of common soldiery as opposed to heroically mythologized leadership- the aims articulated by Billings as quoted above were indeed achieved & remain relevant. With profuse illustrations, including six color plates & over 200 sketches, by Charles W. Reed, also a veteran Union soldier. Offered here is the first edition of this landmark work, which our research indicates to be a probable second printing (with "1888" referred to on title page, copyrighted 1887 by Billings on verso thereof). Hardcover without dust jacket (none issued for this edition to the best of our knowledge) in red cloth with gilt lettering, black illustrations on front cover & spine. An essential collectible for Civil War & general military enthusiasts & scholars. In unrestored, relatively good-to-near-fine condition with mild-to-moderate rubbing, fading, spotting & spot-staining to front, back covers & esp. spine; moderate wear to edges & corners of same incl. fading, spotting, spot-staining & mild fraying (the latter esp. at spine-edges & corners); moderate-to-medium rubbing, browning, scratching & occasional spotting to edges of text block. Interior (again relatively) good-to-near-fine with light browning, sparse spotting & spot-staining to blank paste-downs, endpapers & page leaves; partial loosening of edges between paste-downs & endpapers with exposure to binding; general loosening of same but altogether (sometimes barely) intact with no completely loose pages or signatures; small hand-written price & signature of previous owner in pencil at front endpaper (both apparently antiquarian & therefore retained). Good- Near Fine. [Item #4858]

Price: $95.00