Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    General William Mahone's Signed Virginia Military Institute Manuals: Scott's Infantry Tactics, signed by Mahone Confederate Major General William Mahone, celebrated for his heroic defense of Petersburg during the Civil War, enrolled at Virginia Military Institute on July 20, 1844 at the young age of 17. During the course of his military instruction he was tutored in infantry tactics which he would undoubtedly use in the war that would soon follow. These two volumes completed by the most famous US Army commander in history, Major General Winfield Scott's Infantry Tactics were the standard text for military students at the time. Still used at the time of the Civil War some twenty years after they were written, they were used as the basis for William Hardee's updated tactical manuals in 1855.

    Signed "Wm. Mahone, VMI" on the frontispiece of each of the two volumes, these are the "New Edition" printings done in 1843, just a year before Mahone's enrollment at VMI. Both volumes contain pull-out tactical drawings and are in overall good condition with some foxing while the gold eagles and lettering on the binding are still vibrant. Measuring 3½" x 5½" these two manuals would follow General Mahone throughout the war and become a keepsake of his time at VMI and his command during the Civil War.

    Born on a farm in Southampton, Virginia on December 1, 1826, Mahone was the son of a tavern owner whose father had come to America from Ireland. The archives at VMI indicate that Mahone was able to attend the elite academy through gambling winnings at his father's tavern. After his father had lost his money to a wealthy traveler Mahone stayed in the game, unbeknownst to this father, and not only won his father's money back but enough to "keep my winnings and educate myself", as he later told fellow Cadet William Pryor. These manuals are rare historical mementos of an important Confederate general, one of only three Confederate Corps commanders still alive at the time of the surrender at Appomattox.

    Provenance: The Don Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Exhibited: The Liberty Heritage Society Museum *****

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 680

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 February 27 - 28 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search