The Rules for Croquet: 1865
However, we generally use the rules we know from our youth - and this is not necessarily as it was done in the mid 19th Century when it was at the height of its popularity.
Linked from this page is a facsimile scan of a pocket-sized book on how Croquet was played in the Victorian era around the time of the American Civil War.
How to Play Croquet: A New Pocket Manual of Complete Instructions for American Players
Illustrated with engravings and diagrams
Together with all the rules of the game, hints on parlor croquet and a glossary of Technical Terms.
Boston, Published by Adams and Company. 1865.
I would like to thank my talented friend Tim Steinmeier for this beautifully executed facsimile scan of a book that was provided by the International Printing Museum in Carson California, where Tim is a volunteer.