By James Marten
James Tanner could be the most renowned individual in nineteenth-century the USA 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 later on needed to reinvent himself. After a broom with repute because the stenographer taking down testimony a couple of toes clear of the death President Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, Tanner ultimately turned one of many best-known males in Gilded Age the US. He was once a hugely positioned Republican operative, a well-liked Grand military of the Republic speaker, an entrepreneur, and a star. He earned popularity and a minimum of transitority fortune as “Corporal Tanner,” yet such a lot americans could easily have recognized him as “The Corporal.” but nearly no one—not even historians of the Civil struggle and Gilded Age— is familiar with him today.
America’s Corporal rectifies this startling hole in our realizing of the many years that the Civil warfare. Drawing on various fundamental assets together with memoirs, lectures, newspapers, pension documents, veterans’ association documents, poetry, and political cartoons, James Marten brings Tanner’s existence and personality into concentration and exhibits what it intended to be a veteran— particularly a disabled veteran—in an period that in the first place worshipped the saviors of the Union yet then chanced on 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 adjustments that it prompted.
The booklet explores the occasionally corrupt, usually gridlocked, yet constantly 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 govt of the 1880s). Marten presents a shiny case learn of a vintage Gilded Age entrepreneur who may perhaps 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 reviews and assumptions of the Gilded Age.
Published with the beneficiant help of the Amanda and Greg Gregory family members Fund
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