New York: T. & W. Mercein, 1815. First edition. Hardcover. A fine copy of the first standardized set of American drill regulations, written by a board of military officers headed by Winfield Scott, who had recently risen up the ranks during his service in the War of 1812, to Major General. This volume contains the text and plates and maps published together, complete, bound in a period binding with the original paper spine and blue papered boards.
Following the War of 1812, the attention of the War Department turned to the use of regulations and drill in the Army as a means of analyzing the Army's early failures in the war. Secretary of War John Armstrong argued that the poor performance in the war was due to a lack of a standard system of tactics.
Armstrong issued a War Department order to "so modify the Rules and Regulations for the Field Service and Manoeuvres of the French Infantry' as translated by MacDonald as to make them correspond with the organization of the army of the United States ..." (War Department, Washington DC., December 21, 1814"). This French work was the 'Rules and regulations for the field exercise and manoeuvres of infantry', by Irenée Amelot de Lacroix (Boston: T. B. Wait, 1810), translated by Lt.-Col. MacDonald. Secretary Armstrong ultimately resigned his post because he had misjudged the willingness of the British to attack Washington DC and had done little to defend the city.
"Winfield Scott (1786-1866) was one of the most important American military figures of the early 19th century. After fighting on the Niagara frontier during the War of 1812, Scott pushed for a permanent army that adhered to standards of professionalism. In 1821, he wrote “General Regulations for the Army,” the first comprehensive, systematic set of military bylaws that set standards for every aspect of the soldier’s life. Named commanding general of the U.S. Army in 1841, Scott unsuccessfully ran for president as the Whig Party nominee in 1852. His Civil War tactics were originally derided, but eventually became part of the Union’s successful strategy." (History.com) He served as commanding general of the army from 1841 to 1861.
Tall 8vo,  pp, Errata p, 320 pp, 41 plate numbered leaves of engravings. A fine uncut copy with wide margins, in the original quarter paper covered boards, very bright and clean. OCLC: 54748768 records 5 copies with numbering to 360pp. Shaw & Shoemaker, 36412; Sabin 74079. Very good + condition. Item #25945