For Honor, Glory, and Union: The Mexican and Civil War Letters of Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle

For Honor, Glory, and Union: The Mexican and Civil War Letters of Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle

by Ruth C. Carter, William H. Lyttle, William H. Lytle
     
 
Cincinnati native William Haines Lytle volunteered for service in the Mexican War in late 1847. A pro-states' rights Democrat with strong family ties to Kentucky, he nevertheless chose to protect and defend the Union upon the outbreak of the Civil War.

Lytle's Mexican War service primarily consisted of garrison duty, but during the Civil War he became known for his

Overview

Cincinnati native William Haines Lytle volunteered for service in the Mexican War in late 1847. A pro-states' rights Democrat with strong family ties to Kentucky, he nevertheless chose to protect and defend the Union upon the outbreak of the Civil War.

Lytle's Mexican War service primarily consisted of garrison duty, but during the Civil War he became known for his courage under fire and his devotion to his troops. He saw combat at Carnifex Ferry and Perryville, and was killed at Chickamauga while leading a valiant charge to stop Confederate troops storming through an opening in Union lines.

His letters detail the ferocity of action on the western front and offer a glimpse of the interaction between Union officers and Southern civilians in the border states.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The letters of Lytle, a Union brigadier general with strong Southern ties who was killed at Chickamauga, edited by the curator of Historical Collections for the University of Pittsburgh Library System. Lytle, a general whom few but Civil War scholars and the most dedicated buffs buffs will have heard of, was an Ohio-born son of a US congressman who was raised as a Southern gentleman with strong ties to Kentucky. A volunteer in the Mexican War, he served with distinction and returned to run successfully for a position in the Ohio legislature, as well as to build his legal practice. He later ran for further office-with no success-notably, on a position of support for the Dred Scott decision, which denied blacks citizenship. When the Civil War broke out, Lytle was torn in his loyalties, but ultimately chose to support the Union. The letters compiled here offer a witty, bright look at the workings of the Union army, as well as Lytle's relations with his family and friends. Although the descriptions of actions and life in the army are crisp and informative, one has to wonder whether readers really need to pick through the trivia of Lytle's personal life to find the nuggets of history to which he offers testimony. Lytle's account of his actions at Carnifex Ferry and Perryville are engaging, and his descriptionss of relations with Southern civilians are a unique facet, adding to what is known about the everyday life of Union officers and their interactions with Southerners. Well researched and clearly organized, but this one's for the scholars, not the general reader, even among Civil War buffs. .

From the Publisher
"Shows a Union soldier working to reconcile his southern sympathies with his root allegiance to the Union." — McCormick (SC) Messenger

"Carter's edition of the letters of General William Lytle helps us understand why many partisan Democrats who despised abolitionists and Republicans, supported states' rights, and respected southerners and the South, decided to fight and, in Lytle's case, die for what they believed to be their nation." — Van Hall

"This is one book that should be on the shelf of every Civil War buff or scholar as a prime example of the so many promising young lives lost in the war." — West Virginia History

"His observations and commentary are valuable additions to knowledge of the concluding campaigns of the war." — Choice

"A remarkable, engaging work of superb scholarship, and an invaluable contribution to the growing body of Civil War literature." — The Midwest Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813121086
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.15(d)

Meet the Author

Ruth C. Carter was head of the Archives Service Center and curator of Historical Collections for the University of Pittsbugh Library System.

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