IDENTIFIED COPY OF McCLELLAN’S MANUAL OF BAYONET EXERCISE

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Item Code: 998-663

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A good copy of McClellan’s bayonet manual identified to Lyman and William Ormsby of New York. Cloth covers, blind-stamped with an American eagle. “Lyman Ormsby / Capt. Co. I 22nd NY Vol” at top of flyleaf in ink. “William H. Ormsby” in pencil at middle. McClellan was part of the military commission sent to Europe in the 1850s to observe foreign armies and sought to introduce a number of improvements in the US army, the introduction of a new cavalry saddle in 1859, being perhaps his best known accomplishment. His manual of bayonet drill sought to improve the performance of US soldiers in close combat and the book has illustrated plates showing positions and movements of defense and offense. Some think of the bayonet as more of a psychological weapon in the Civil War, but soldiers did cross bayonets in fighting from the beginning to the end of the war. Bayonet wounds were reported as rare, but once two soldiers got that close, one was not going to make it to the hospital.

Lyman Ormsby was born May 21, 1821. He was a spry 40 years old when he was appointed Captain of Company I, 22nd New York Infantry at Fort Edward, New York on May 9, 1861.

The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and later to Pope’s Army of Virginia and was heavily engaged at 2nd Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam.

Ormsby was mustered out at Albany, New York on June 19, 1863 having been promoted to major the previous April. The 22nd being a National Guard regiment Ormsby continued to serve with them into the 1880’s. He died on 29 December 1909 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Moriah, New York. It appears that William was Lyman’s son.  [SR/AD]

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