Lewis Wallace Biography
Lewis (1827-1905). An American soldier and novelist, known as Lew Wallace.
He was born in Brookville, Ind. He studied law in Indiana, served in the Mexican
War, and then practiced law until the Civil War. He served as colonel of a
regiment of Indiana volunteers in West Virginia in 1861, and on Sept. 3, 1861,
was promoted to the rank of brigadier general of volunteers. He distinguished
himself at Shiloh and at Corinth, and in 1863 superintended the construction of
defenses at Cincinnati, saving the city from capture by Gen. E. K. Smith.
Subsequently he commanded the Middle Department and the Eighth Army Corps, and
in 1864, although defeated by a superior force, delayed the advance of Gen. -
Jubal A. Early (q.v.) at Monocacy. He was president of two courts of inquiry
(see BUELL, D. C.; ANDERSONVILLE, GA.) and was a member of the court which tried
the Lincoln conspirators. On retiring from the army in 1865 General Wallace
resumed the practice of law in Indiana, and was Governor of New Mexico (1878-81)
and United States Minister to Turkey (1881-85). Among his novels The Fair God
(1873) and The Prince of India (1893) were fairly successful, while Ben
Hur (1880), a story of Palestine and Rome in the time of Christ, achieved a
remarkable success and was dramatized (1899). His autobiography was published in
The New International Encyclopaedia, Vol. XXIII (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1920) 289.