At 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 21, I will be at the Lebanon Public Library, 104 East Washington Street, Lebanon, Indiana, to talk about the life and times of Hoosier author and Civil War general Lew Wallace. My talk before the local Civil War Roundtable will concentrate on Wallace's service in the war, including his early successes with the Eleventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, saving the day at the Battle of Fort Donelson, the controversey about his actions at the Battle of Shiloh, and the resurrection of his career thanks to helping save such Union cities as Cincinnati and Washington, D.C. (Battle of Monocacy)
In preparing my talk, I realized that while Wallace is best known today for writing the best-selling novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, his Civil War soldiering does not get the attention it deserves. On January 11, 1910, a large crowd gathered at the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington for the unveiling of a Wallace statue to join the one of Oliver P. Morton representing Indiana. Although Wallace was the first author to be represented with a statue, you will notice that in the photograph he is not in author garb, but wearing his Civil War uniform.