RARE COMPLETE "SHOULDER STRAP" SET OF CIVIL WAR MEMOIRS, INCLUDING THOSE OF GENERALS GRANT, SHERMAN, SHERIDAN AND MCCLELLAN, EACH ISSUED BY MARK TWAIN'S PUBLISHING COMPANY
(SHOULDER STRAP SET) GRANT, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs. WITH: MCCLELLAN, George B. McClellan's Own Story. WITH: CRAWFORD, Samuel Wylie. The Genesis of the Civil War. The Story of Sumter. WITH: CUSTER, Elizabeth B. Tenting on the Plains, or General Custer in Kansas and Texas. WITH: (HANCOCK, A.R.). Reminiscences. WITH: SHERIDAN, P.H. Personal Memoirs. WITH: SHERMAN, W.T. Memoirs. New York: Charles L. Webster, 1885-92. Ten volumes altogether. Octavo, original green cloth, gilt medallions on front boards, "shoulder strap" design to spines.
Complete Shoulder Strap set of seven Civil War histories printed by Twain's publishing house in its short-lived but impressive decade of operation, featuring Grant's Memoirs (1885-6), McClellan's Own Story (1887), Crawford's Genesis of the Civil War (1887), Custer's Tenting on the Plains (1889), Hancock's Reminiscences (1887), Sheridan's Personal Memoirs (1888) and Sherman's Memoirs (1892), each volume with the trademark gilt-decorated "shoulder strap" on the spine.
This exceptional ten-volume "Shoulder Strap" series is named for each work's gilt-decorated spine band that evokes the stars on an officer's "shoulder strap." Featuring the finest of contemporary Civil War histories, this series pays tribute to Mark Twain's brief but impressive venture into publishing. In 1884 Twain joined with Charles Webster, who was married to Twain's niece, in an effort, at first, to publish "his own books, and he began successfully with Huckleberry Finn in 1885. Almost fortuitously he got the contract to publish U.S. Grant's Memoirs [1885-86]— a huge success… Other Civil War generals preparing their memoirs naturally hoped to appear with their great commander. McClellan's Own Story  was arranged for without difficulty. A Genesis of the Civil War  by General Samuel Crawford was offered and accepted. General Sheridan's Memoirs (1888)" soon followed (Paine, 831). This series also includes the posthumous Reminiscences of Union General Hancock (1887) written by his wife, Tenting on the Plains (1889) about General Custer, and concludes in 1892 with a revised edition of General Sherman's Memoirs. By then, however, any profits had been exhausted, and Twain's publishing house filed for bankruptcy in 1894. Most volumes first editions, with the "shoulder strap" editions of Tenting on the Plains (first published 1887) and Sherman's Memoirs (enlarged fourth edition, with revisions by Sherman, of the 1875 first edition). With frontispiece portraits, illustrated with numerous steel engravings and maps (many folding). Dornbusch II:1986; III:2428; II:2103. Eicher 539. Mullins & Reed 35. Nevins II:59; I:124. Coulter 35. Rader 1009. Eberstadt 105:101, 122:86. See Dornbusch II:2400. Crawford with bookplate; library pocket affixed to rear free endpaper.
Interiors generally clean. Several volumes with expert restoration to text block, inner hinges, and original cloth. Overall a very good set, especially rare complete with the Hancock edition.