This is an nice example of a Gilham's Manual printed in Richmond in 1861. Maj. Gilham was the Tactics instructor at VMI - Virginia Military Institute and was asked/ ordered to develop this manual after the John Brown Raid. This particular copy is an excellent copy with strong binding. The binding has an embossed equestrian statue on the front cover and the title in Gold embossing on the spine. Also on the spine is the mark of the publisher West and Johnson.
This example was owned by a VMI cadet who left VMI early in the Civil War to join the Confederate army. In the Front of the book in ink is "Cadet G J Mason V.M.I." There is a modern copy of a period image Mr Mason in his French Uniform. Along with the manual is some research on Mr. Mason. He was born July 1, 1844. His father John Mason was minister to France under president Pierce. He was in the class of 1865 and left VMI to enlist in the 29 VA cav. There is no record of his service in the 29th Va, though according to his records he was paid for military service on April 30, 1862. He enlisted on August 1, 1862, at Hicksford VA. He ended up in Co. H 13th Va Cav - transfered from the 12th VA Cav. He was wounded on June 30 1863 - gunshot to right thigh. He returns and serves until he was paroled after the surrender of Johnston in Greensboro NC 29,April 1865. After the war he serves as a sub lieutenant in the French Foreign Legion in the Franco-Prussian war. He rose to the rank of Captain. He received the Legion of Honor, and th cross of Cambodia. He returned to this country in 1881 with the french delegation to celebrate the centennial. He later commanded a regiment in Tonquin (later Indo-China). He died of dysentary in Hong Hoa on July 23, 1884.