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The Shadow of Shiloh: Major General Lew Wallace in the Civil War

In the spring of 1862, Major General Lew Wallace was a Union military hero. At the age of 35, he was the youngest major general in the Union Army, rising to that rank from colonel in 11 short months. Devoted to the Union, he was also

a romantic about war, pursuing honour, fame and glory in combat.

Then in early April 1862, though only a short distance away, Wallace mysteriously failed to appear on the bloody battlefield of Shiloh with his division until the end of the first day of that battle. The common perception is that this was a death blow to his career, until Lincoln decided to give him another chance, assigning him to command in Maryland where in the summer of 1864, with his army vastly outnumbered, Wallace fought the battle of Monocacy, “the battle that saved Washington,” restoring his fighting reputation. The truth, however, is never that simple. Wallace was a genuine hero, but he made mistakes and he was a scapegoat for the mistakes of others. The story of Lew Wallace and the Civil War is fascinating and complex, highlighting some important truths about battles fought within the Union Army as well as those with the Confederates.

Gail Stephens has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Politics from George Washington University in Washington DC, and did graduate work at Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities. She worked for the Department of Defense for 26 years, retiring in 1994 as a member of the Department’s Senior Executive Service. Upon retirement, she began to study the American Civil War. She volunteers at Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick, Maryland, lectures regularly on various Civil War topics, including Monocacy, Major General Lew Wallace and the 1864 Maryland campaign, and gives battlefield tours. In 2002, she won the National Park Service’s E.W. Peterkin award for her contributions to public understanding of Civil War history. She has written articles on Lew Wallace and Early’s 1864 invasion of the North for several Civil War publications. Her book on Wallace’s Civil War career, Shadow of Shiloh, published by the Indiana Historical Society Press in October 2010, won the Civil War Forum of New York City’s William Henry Seward Award for best Civil War biography of 2011. She has just finished an essay on the establishment of national cemeteries for a collection of essays on Civil War battlefield preservation.

Time: 13:30 start - ends 16:30

The CSC has refurbished its Bar area and members can meet there from late morning, a variety of meals are served from 12 midday, whilst drinks and coffee are available before and after meetings.

Admission: £8 with reservations made by Monday, 27 August 2012 - contact The Treasurer for further details. Admittance cannot be guaranteed without an advance reservation.

Those of you coming to the meetings are urged to have a small clear out of all the small change dollars and cents that you may have left over from your last trip to the US. We will collect them and donate the proceeds to the Yellow Ribbon Fund. This charity is supported by Len Reidel's BGES and does excellent work in helping rehabilitate disabled servicemen and women and their families.

The Venue

The Civil Service Club is situated in Great Scotland Yard, near Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross railway station, Charing Cross Underground Station (Northern and Bakerloo lines), Embankment Underground Station (Circle and District, Northern and Bakerloo lines).

How to get to The Civil Service Club: click here for website.


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