Image 32

Image 33

The first owner of my copy of Memoirs was Bryan Cauley.   As illustrated in Image 33, the flyleaves in both of my volumes bear his holographic signature.  Cauley was born in Ontario, Canada in July 1846 (1911 Census of Canada).  On August 25, 1862, at the age of 15 or 16, Cauley enlisted in the Union army.  He was a member of                

Image 34: 1888 Monument to 149th at Gettysburg

Image 35

Company A of the 149th Regiment, New  York Infantry (New York State Military Museum).   His regiment fought at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, and toward the end of the war joined the Atlanta Campaign (id).  Cauley was promoted to corporal on May 1, 1865.  He was present at final muster, which included The Grand Review of the Republic Army in Washington D.C. before President Andrew Johnson in May 1865, a month after the assassination of President Lincoln.              

After the Civil War, Cauley married Mary Shaw and lived in Buffalo, New York. In 1882, Bryan, Mary, and the children, John Thomas, born in 1873 and Gertrude, born in 1877, immigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It was possible for Bryan to buy a subscription of Memoirs in Canada (Demand for General Grant’s Book, New York Times, December 3, 1885).  Memoirs passed from Bryan to his son John Thomas, who married Dorothy Forster in 1902. John and Dorothy had five children.  In 1981, one of their daughters, Winifred Antionette (my grandmother’s cousin), gave Memoirs to me.  She also gave me the crossed rifles medal insignia on Corporal Cauley’s military cap and a letter describing the life of her grandfather, Bryan Cauley.       





I enjoyed the study of Memoirs. It is a dramatic story. The lives of Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War General and President of the United States, and Mark Twain, the most popular 19th century American author, intersected to produce the best selling book of the era. It is claimed that the Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant outsold every book in the history of books, with the Bible and Shakespeare being the only exceptions. This was drama played out in public because of the players involved.   

What made it more exciting to me was the opportunity to hold the first edition volumes in my hands and gently turn the pages. My set has some binding issues, but the contents are complete. All of the maps, foldout letters, etchings and daguerreotypes are in excellent condition.   Additionally, that my volumes belonged to a family member, Bryan Cauley, a Canadian who fought for the Union in the American Civil War enhances my interest.   

An interesting and unusual aspect about the history of this book is that I was able to compile all of the above information about Memoirs without reading Memoirs. The history of books is not bound by what is on the pages of the book studied. The study allowed me to conduct my initial research into the history of Memoirs.   At the top of my summer reading list is Memoirs! I am anxious to continue my investigation of the history of my books.