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For Honor, Glory, and Union

For Honor, Glory, and Union: The Mexican and Civil War Letters of Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle

Ruth C. Carter Editor
Copyright Date: 1999
Edition: 1
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    For Honor, Glory, and Union
    Book Description:

    Cincinnati native William Haines Lytle volunteered for service in the Mexican War in late 1847. A pro-states' rights Democrat with strong family ties to Kentucky, he nevertheless chose to protect and defend the Union upon the outbreak of the Civil War.

    Lytle's Mexican War service primarily consisted of garrison duty, but during the Civil War he became known for his courage under fire and his devotion to his troops. He saw combat at Carnifex Ferry and Perryville, and was killed at Chickamauga while leading a valiant charge to stop Confederate troops storming through an opening in Union lines.His letters detail the ferocity of action on the western front and offer a glimpse of the interaction between Union officers and Southern civilians in the border states.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4978-3
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. A Note on the Editing
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-38)

    Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle, the poet-general killed at the battle of Chickamauga on September 20, 1863, was a fearless commander and highly respected volunteer officer in the United States Army. Like so many other Federal officers, he entered his country’s Civil War from a desire to preserve the Union.¹ His Civil War letters resonate with his overwhelming commitment to the Union. Lytle’s fervent desire to join the fighting to save the Union overrode his upper class background, Democratic ideology, and close connections to Kentucky. He fought and was wounded—the last time fatally—in three battles during the Civil...

  6. The Mexican War Letters 1847-1848
    (pp. 39-62)

    The annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845 was the catalyst for the outbreak of war between Mexico and its northern neighbor. From the beginning of the fighting in 1846, General-in-chief of the Army Winfield Scott believed Vera Cruz should be the approach point. When the Mexicans showed no signs of giving up, Scott took over direct command of an invasion of Vera Cruz. After a siege of two weeks, the Mexicans surrendered Vera Cruz March 27, 1847. Fighting continued over the summer of 1847 as Scott’s army tried to advance toward Mexico City. The last resistance ended...

  7. The Civil War Letters
    (pp. 63-66)

    During the Civil War William Haines Lytle wrote family and friends ninety letters that have survived. Herein they are grouped by year: 1861, 1862, and 1863. Each fall Lytle participated in a battle that brought an end to his active duty for the remainder of that year, in the third case permanently.

    The seventeen notes and letters from 1861 vividly exemplify his personal traits and his activities as colonel of the Tenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Lytle’s earliest undated notes probably were written in May or early June from Camp Harrison and were followed by one from Camp Dennison. After his...

  8. 1861
    (pp. 67-86)
  9. 1862
    (pp. 87-146)
  10. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  11. 1863
    (pp. 147-202)
  12. Epilogue
    (pp. 203-208)

    After William Haines Lytle died on September 20, 1863, during the bloody battle of Chickamauga, the Confederates retrieved his body and buried it carefully in a marked grave. When Lieut. Col. William Ward, then commanding the Tenth Ohio, requested that General Rosecrans ask for Lytle’s remains from the Confederates, General Bragg rapidly acceded. Under a flag of truce Confederate soldiers transported Lytle’s body to Union hands. A guard of honor led by Ward met the fallen hero’s remains at the picket line and escorted them to the chapel tent. Maj. John Hudson, Tenth Ohio, arranged for the coffin to be...

  13. Appendix A: Buell Court of Inquiry
    (pp. 209-221)
  14. Appendix B: Last Speach by Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle
    (pp. 222-226)
  15. Appendix C: Mexican and Civil War Letters in the Lytle Papers
    (pp. 227-230)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 231-234)
  17. Index
    (pp. 235-244)