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LAMB, Roger.

An Original and Authentic Journal of Occurrences during the Late American War,

from its Commencement to the Year 1783.

Published: Dublin: Wilkinson & Courtney, 1809

Stock code: 65838

Price: £795

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First edition. “Originally published in eleven parts” (Sabin). Lamb enlisted in the 9th regiment of foot in 1773; three years later he embarked for Canada and served initially in the operations at the siege of Quebec. Subsequently he “joined in General John Burgoyne’s successful operations against Fort Ticonderoga, and was with the British army as it pursued the fleeing rebels southward to Fort Anne” (ODNB). Captured at Saratoga, he was held as a prisoner near Boston for a year, then escaped and made it to the British lines at New York. Lamb there joined the 23rd, or Royal Welch Fusiliers, and served throughout the southern campaigns until Yorktown, where he again entered captivity, and yet again escaped and made his way to New York; “He returned to England with the 23rd regiment on 5 December 1783 and was mustered out of the army a year later when peace was declared in Europe.” On his return to Ireland he became a schoolmaster at the free school in White Friar’s Lane, Dublin, where he remained for the rest of his life. “He undertook this work because he had seen no ‘impartial detail of the more minute, but no less important occurrences of the war, which, as secret springs, actuated the public movements, and which were never any further disclosed to the world, but as comprised in the general result'” (Sabin). He was a keen observer and a careful writer, and his account is considered one of the best sources for the genuine experience of the soldiery in the war. Graves, who, like Lamb, served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, fictionalized Lamb’s services in two wartime novels, Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth (1940) and Proceed, Sergeant Lamb (1941).

Octavo (209 130 mm) Contemporary half calf, marbled boards, title gilt direct to spine, compartments formed of double rules. Letter-press order of battle. Bookplate of George Hastings Cox, a prominent collector of Canadiana, to the front pastedown. Somewhat rubbed, upper joint just starting toward the tail, spine creased, title page soiled, light browning, else a very good copy.

Bibliography: Howes L36; Sabin 38724

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