American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles
Hero, adulterer, bon vivant, murderer and rogue, Dan Sickles led the kind of existence that was indeed stranger than fiction. Throughout his life he exhibited the kind of exuberant charm and lack of scruple that wins friends, seduces women, and gets people killed. In American Scoundrel Thomas Keneally, the acclaimed author of Schindler’s List, creates a biography that is as lively and engrossing as its subject.
Dan Sickles was a member of Congress, led a controversial charge at Gettysburg, and had an affair with the deposed Queen of Spain—among many other women. But the most startling of his many exploits was his murder of Philip Barton Key (son of Francis Scott Key), the lover of his long-suffering and neglected wife, Teresa. The affair, the crime, and the trial contained all the ingredients of melodrama needed to ensure that it was the scandal of the age. At the trial’s end, Sickles was acquitted and hardly chastened. His life, in which outrage and accomplishment had equal force, is a compelling American tale, told with the skill of a master narrative.
Supplied by the naval squadron to land on the opposing shore and observe the enemy. “Although myself rather near-sighted, I soon became sufficiently accustomed to the darkness to distinguish groups of men. . .. They did not seem to be fulfilling the ordinary duty of pickets.” Perhaps as a result of this initial probe, Dan was at last asked by Hooker’s command to lead a thousand-man reconnaissance in force across the river. Having made the crossing by dark in a flotilla of Union boats, Dan found.
Stretcher and began the journey to the nearest Union-controlled railroad depot at Littlestown, twelve miles away. He had been moved to the hospital, following his wound, fairly deftly and without pain, but this time he could be transported only at a creeping pace. As well as Dr. Sim, who had left his deputy in charge of the Third Corps hospital, Tremain and two other aides, handsome Alexander Moore and plump Tom Fry, accompanied Dan, and ten shifts of four men each were used to transport him,.
Emilie that this was the coming threat she most feared—the loss of Robert to the war. He was a twenty-year-old undergraduate at Harvard who until now had been able with some credibility to claim that an astigmatic eye prevented him from volunteering his services. A tremulous Mary replied to Harris, “Robert is making his preparations now to join the army, Senator Harris; he is not a shirker as you seem to imply, for he has been anxious to go for a long time. If fault there be, it is mine. I have.
Even from his sins. That sanctuary had now been multiply plundered. It was characteristic of Dan that he did not mind Butterworth’s and Wooldridge’s knowing; he would tell them anything, for they were his men. But the knowledge of men not bound to him in Democratic fraternity appalled him. To a greater or lesser extent, Washington knew about the Teresa–Key affair. Even the President must suspect. The Republicans knew! That public shame compounded Dan’s intimate sense of betrayal. In the Congress,.
Public Library, especially from Elizabeth Deifendorf, Director of the General Research Division, and Mary Bowling, Curator of the Manuscripts Division, and their respective staffs. I must make special mention of Ruth Carr and her genial personnel in the History and Genealogy Room at the library. Sickles documents held by the New-York Historical Society were made available through the kind offices of the society’s Library Director, Margaret Heilbrun. Bruce Kirby, Manuscript Reference Librarian at.