By James Marten
James Tanner could be the most famed individual in nineteenth-century the United States that nobody has heard of. in the course of his carrier within the Union military, he misplaced the reduce 3rd of either his legs and in a while needed to reinvent himself. After a broom with status because the stenographer taking down testimony a number of toes clear of the demise President Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, Tanner ultimately turned one of many best-known males in Gilded Age the USA. He was once a hugely positioned Republican operative, a favored Grand military of the Republic speaker, an entrepreneur, and a celeb. He earned reputation and no less than transitority fortune as “Corporal Tanner,” yet so much american citizens could easily have recognized him as “The Corporal.” but nearly no one—not even historians of the Civil battle and Gilded Age— is aware him today.
America’s Corporal rectifies this startling hole in our knowing of the many years that the Civil warfare. Drawing on numerous basic assets together with memoirs, lectures, newspapers, pension documents, veterans’ association files, poetry, and political cartoons, James Marten brings Tanner’s existence and personality into concentration and indicates what it intended to be a veteran— in particular a disabled veteran—in an period that initially worshipped the saviors of the Union yet then came across ambiguity of their political energy and insistence on amassing ever-larger pensions. This biography serves as an exam of the dynamics of incapacity, the tradition and politics of the Gilded Age, and the aftereffects of the Civil conflict, together with the philosophical and mental alterations that it prompted.
The booklet explores the occasionally corrupt, frequently gridlocked, yet regularly pleasing politics of the period, from Tanner’s days as tax collector in Brooklyn via his short-lived appointment as commissioner of pensions (one of the most important jobs within the federal executive of the 1880s). Marten presents a shiny case examine of a vintage Gilded Age entrepreneur who may by no means make adequate cash. America’s Corporal is a mirrored image at the construction of celebrity—and of its final failure to maintain the reminiscence of a guy who represented such a lot of of the reports and assumptions of the Gilded Age.
Published with the beneficiant aid of the Amanda and Greg Gregory relatives Fund
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