(New York): [no publisher, 1863].
Hardcover. Bound ruled blank book. Measuring 6.25" x 8". Full contemporary calf wallet binding, consisting of 161 leaves or 322 (unnumbered) manuscript pages, with tables and diagrams in the author’s hand. Very good, the leather is rubbed and scuffed, soft and pliable. Autograph notebook, written in German, of Civil War Union Sergeant John Michel, Signed and dated 27 September, 1863, started soon after his release from the Army. With two distinct letterpress stationer’s labels for "R.C. Barclay, Binder, Stationer, and Blank Book Manufacturer" on the front pastedown (which opens out into an accordion style pocket) and the back pastedown. Appears to lack four leaves (possibly removed by Michel) with one detached leaf laid in.
John Michel served in the celebrated United Turner Rifles (the 20th New York Volunteer Infantry) from 1861 to 1863, a unit composed largely of German immigrants. He was mustered in as corporal and promoted sergeant in July, 1861, and mustered out on June 1, 1863. The journal consists of his study of the horoscope and related astrological observations, and of electricity and magnetism. Interspersed throughout the text are alphabets and number sequences with corresponding ciphers. Of particular interest are his diagrams of batteries and the electric telegraph, and other devices relating to electricity and magnetism. A fascinating, carefully written, and detailed manuscript.