Question of the Week: 10/12-10/18/20

In your opinion, which Civil War person had the most interesting post-war life?

14 Responses to Question of the Week: 10/12-10/18/20

  1. Dan Sickles!! Who else? He was responsible for the legislation that preserved Gettysburg as a National Military Park.

    And he had that affair with the deposed Queen of Spain.

  2. For me, the names that spring to mind: George Armstrong Custer; Jesse and Frank James; Virgil Earp; David W. Reed; Lew Wallace; Henry Morton Stanley; Ambrose Bierce.
    But my selection: John Stith Pemberton, who lives on in Coca-Cola.

  3. Many good suggestions above. I’d also add Grant, McKinley, George Dewey, Joe Wheeler, and John Hay. Collis P. Huntington, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Jay Gould also come to mind. Perhaps the biggest standout may be Mark Twain.

  4. Add in: Eli Lilly, John Wilder, Arthur MacArthur, George Sharpe, Charles Parsons, Edward Neill and George Mindil to the list. The post-war lives of each is worth a look.

  5. Jesse James, Custer, Hickock, Crook. Many interesting postwar lives tied to the West. I would add James Longstreet, for his politics & public service. WW Loring & others who offered their military services to foreign powers.

  6. Softball question… My pick two – Henry Morton Stanley or Samuel Clemens.

    Also, any of the Confederates who came back into the fold to serve their country in the Spanish-American War.

  7. We have an interview coming up later this week with Sam Hood about his new book “Patriots Twice,” which examines the postwar lives of a lot of Confederates.

  8. “Interesting” sure is a broad avenue here. I’m sure some of them became well traveled. Some would become wealthy and influential. But for me, you can’t get much more ‘interesting’ than to become a US President. Five Civil War vets became Presidents. And of them, Grant is the one who is the ‘most interesting’, to me anyway. He presided over some truly monumental events. Both coasts became linked with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The Custer massacre was huge, and ultimately sealed the fate of the Plains Indian tribes. He was instrumental in helping get the 15th Amendment passed. So, I’ll go with US Grant..

  9. For only lasting about twenty years, I find US Grant’s postwar life amongst the most interesting with an honorable mention to Longstreet(he deserves).

  10. John Hay, assistant private secretary to President Lincoln. Following the war, Hay went on to become the U. S. Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, he negotiated the terms for sovereignty of a zone of land 10 miles on each side of the newly built (work in progress at the time) Panama Canal to include Panama City, on the Pacific side, and Colon on the Atlantic side to be designated as the Canal Zone, a United States Territory; my birth place! Thank you John!

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