Battles for the Union by Captain Willard Glazier, 1874.

Glazier, Captain William. Battles for the Union, Comprising Descriptions of Many of the Most Stubbornly Contested Battles of the Civil War, Together with Incidents and Reminiscences of the Camp, March and the Skirmish Line, Embracing a Record of the Provations, Heroic Deeds and Glorious Triumphs of the Soldiers of the Republic.  Philadelphia: Henry Altemus Company, 1874. Octavo, Forest Edition. Illustrated. Bound in original brown cloth with gilt, silver, and black embossed pictorial spine and boards. Presented with a new archival slipcase. 

Presented is a first edition printing of Battles for the Union by Captain Willard Glazier. The book includes lengthy and vivid descriptions, illustrations, and anecdotes of the major battles of the Civil War. In his preface to the text, author Willard Glazier notes: "I have endeavored in this work to present in the most concise and simple form the great contests in the War for the Union. Should my late comrades in arms consider my pictures faithful, I shall feel more than compensated for the effort I have made to commemorate their glorious deeds." The book was published in Philadelphia in 1874, less than ten years after the end of the Civil War.

Willard Glazier (1841 – 1905) enlisted in Company E of the Harris Light Cavalry in August of 1861, just six days after his nineteenth birthday. His unit, which later became the 2nd New York Cavalry, was sent in the fall of 1861 to defend Washington, D.C., a duty they continued until the spring of 1862. Glazier quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant. In October of 1863, Glazier and the 2nd NY Cavalry joined the Battle of Manassas, where he was captured by Confederate troops. Glazier was held as a Prisoner of War at the infamous Libby Prison, in Richmond, Virginia.  In February of 1864, Glazier and about 100 other Union soldiers broke out but were eventually caught. He was transferred to Columbia, South Carolina, and then back to Georgia, to Andersonville Prison. Successful in escaping a second time thanks to the assistance of slaves, Glazier returned to Albany in December of 1864.  He re-joined the 26th​ Regiment of New York Cavalry Company L, in February of 1865  as First Lieutenant and served the Union through the end of the war. After the war was over, Glazier wrote several titles regarding his experiences, including Capture, Prison-Pen and Escape (1865), Three Years of Federal Cavalry (1870), and Battles for the Union (1874). 

The book was incredibly well received in its time. “Every loyal citizen should preserve green in his memory the battles by which our place among the nations was maintained, and we know of no work more admirably adapted for this, or more deeply interesting in its contents, than Battles for the Union.” (Philadelphia Times).  

“This book is like a kaleidoscope, with the prominent battles for the Union constituting its shifting scenes. You have only to turn the wheel and Antietam’s field is again red with patriot blood, or the rivulet of Bull Run swells to a crimson river. The object of painting a battle scene with pen and ink is to make it like a picture, and that object has been accomplished in this work. Sheridan’s steed, “as black as the steeds of night,” again dashes against the retreating wave at Cedar Creek and hurls it back to victory, and Kilpatrick, Custer, and Bayard renew the brilliant actions which covered their names with glory. The style of the book is lucid, and the narrative full of interest to the end. If the remarkable sale of the Prison-Pen establishes a precedent in this young author’s experience of book-making, we predict for Battles for the Union an unparalleled success.” (Boston Transcript). 


Very good condition. Octavo. Bound in original brown cloth with gilt, silver, and black pictorial embossed boards and spine. Internally clean, with only minor foxing and light toning due to age. Frontispiece portrait engraving of the author. Illustrated throughout. Presented with a new, matching brown cloth archival slipcase with a picture of original boards on the cover.

Slipcase Dimensions: 8 1/8"H x 5 1/2"W 1 1/2"D

Book Dimensions: 7 3/4"H x 5 1/4"W x 1 3/8"D

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