Curmudgeons, Drunkards, and Outright Fools: The Courts-Martial of Civil War Union Colonels by Thomas P. Lowry, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Curmudgeons, Drunkards, and Outright Fools: The Courts-Martial of Civil War Union Colonels

Curmudgeons, Drunkards, and Outright Fools: The Courts-Martial of Civil War Union Colonels

by Thomas P. Lowry
     
 
During the Civil War, a Union colonel was five times more likely to be court-martialed than a private. Worse, courts-martial of all ranks increased by 400 percent in the winter months. Among the court-martialed transgressors presented in this volume are an officer nicknamed “Stumpy” because he tended to hide behind tree stumps during combat and a man tried

Overview

During the Civil War, a Union colonel was five times more likely to be court-martialed than a private. Worse, courts-martial of all ranks increased by 400 percent in the winter months. Among the court-martialed transgressors presented in this volume are an officer nicknamed “Stumpy” because he tended to hide behind tree stumps during combat and a man tried for calling his superior a “miserable reptile.” The gallery of offenders also includes a Vermont colonel who became a chloroform addict and a New York colonel who rode his horse into a barroom, ordered a brandy for himself and one for his horse, then fired his pistol through the ceiling. The stories of fifty misdeeds, along with a statistical exploration of twenty-two thousand other courts-martial, provide a pioneering study of the little-known world of Civil War misbehavior and clarify the often-bewildering dynamics between volunteer soldiers and their professional superiors.

Editorial Reviews

North & South
“Well-conceived and well-written, this volume’s greatest value lies in its rich portrayal of how an army of civilian volunteers lived, fought, and died—real men with all the virtues and failings of real men. It is a great resource for understanding the realities of the Civil War.”—North & South
Civil War Times
“Lowry has taken the genre of the historical underside to its proper scholarly limits; he has coupled the lurid and the weird with excellent research and analysis.”—Civil War Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803280243
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Pages:
258
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 9.14(h) x 0.58(d)

Meet the Author

Thomas P. Lowry is a retired associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of several books, including The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War and The Civil War Bawdy Houses of Washington D.C.

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