[BIOGRAPHY]. FURBER, George C. The Twelve Months Volunteer; or, Journal of a Private in the Tennessee Regiment of Cavalry, in the Campaign in Mexico, 1846-7; Comprising Four General Subjects I. A Soldier’s Life in Camp; Amusements; Duties; Hardships; II. A Description of Texas and Mexico, as Seen on the March; III. Manners; Customs; Religious Ceremonies of the Mexicans; IV. The Operations of All the Twelve Months Volunteers: Including a Complete History of the War with Mexico. Embellished with Correct Engravings, from Drawings by the Author. Cincinnati: J.A. & U.P. James, Walnut Street, 1848. [i-v] vi-xi [1, blank].  14-640 pp., 1 folded map (A New Map of Mexico, California & Oregon; 33.5 x 24.5 cm; first state, with date present), 3 plates, 4 full-page woodcut maps (text illustrations), 14 full-page woodcut scenes (text illustrations). 8vo (23.5 x 15 cm), original tan blind-stamped and embossed sheep showing cavalry and infantry, gilt-lettered black leather spine label, marbled edges, rubbed, faded, expertly rebacked with new sympathetic spine. Map conserved and repaired, mild to moderate foxing throughout.
First edition. Connor & Faulk 80. Garrett & Goodwin, p. 214: “This item has been referred to as ‘a veritable encyclopedia of the military and civil side of the war.’” Howes F420. Sabin 276217. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 546 & III, pp. 9-10, notes that the map is the same as that which appears in the book edition of Hughes’ account of the Doniphan expedition, also published by James. Tutorow 3610: “Furber was a private in Company G of the Tennessee Regiment of Cavalry and has given us here one of the best contemporary accounts of Scott’s campaigns.... The author concludes that Mexico was determined upon war and that her system of peonage was no less brutal than American Slavery.”
An unusual work because, according to the Preface, Furber was given leave from active duty to research the book and actually took subscriptions from his fellow soldiers while the war was still on. He notes that the book was intended originally to have just 550 pages and only six engravings. His extensive remarks on Texas are generally flattering, as are some of the same on Mexico.
The plates and maps, after Furber’s own drawings, are at once primitive and charming, including View of the Ruins of the Old Church and Fortifications at Goliad.