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Badeau, Adam (29 December 1831–19 March 1895), soldier and author, was born in New York City, the son of Nicholas Badeau. He attended a boarding school in Tarrytown, New York, then he worked at an assortment of jobs, including a position with New York City’s street department. In 1859 he published a short book, ...

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Barnitz, Albert Trorillo Siders (10 March 1835–18 July 1912), poet and soldier, was born at Bloody Run, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The names of his parents are not known. His father, a physician, died when Albert was thirteen, and the boy devoted himself to caring for his mother and siblings. Reading widely and deeply in literature, he became a self-taught poet of modest local reputation. His formal education consisted of a year at Kenyon College in 1851 and two years, 1858 to 1859, of intermittent study at the Cleveland Law College. His first marriage, to Eva Prouty in 1859, ended with her death in childbirth a year later....

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Birney, William (28 May 1819–14 August 1907), soldier, journalist, and lawyer, was born in Madison County, Alabama, the son of James Gillespie Birney, a lawyer, state legislator, and abolitionist leader, and Agatha McDowell. In 1818 his family had moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and in late 1835 they relocated to New Richmond, Ohio. Birney was educated at four colleges, including Yale University, and graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1841. He began practicing law in that city and in 1845 married Catherine Hoffman. They would have nine children. For five years thereafter he resided on the Continent and in England. He contributed essays on the arts to English and American newspapers, and he upheld the activist reputation of his family by opposing French troops as a member of a Republican student battalion in Paris. In 1848 he accepted an appointment as professor of English literature at the lycée in Bourges....

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Cullum, George Washington (25 February 1809–28 February 1892), army officer and author, was born in New York City, the son of Arthur Cullum, a coach maker, and Harriet Sturges. In 1817 Cullum’s family moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania, where his father served as an agent of a land company and practiced law. Young Cullum entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1829 and graduated in 1833....

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Halpine, Charles Graham (20 November 1829–03 August 1868), journalist and soldier, was born near Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland, the son of Nicholas John Halpin, a clergyman ordained in the Church of Ireland (Episcopal), and Ann Grehan. The scholarly Halpin devoted considerable time to the education of his son, who early demonstrated gifts as a writer of both prose and poetry. By the age of ten, Charles was accomplished in French and Latin, and shortly before his fifteenth birthday he enrolled in his father’s alma mater, Trinity College, Dublin. He left Dublin before graduation and read law at Lincoln’s Inn, London; held a minor political office at Somerset House; and wrote articles and poems for a variety of English newspapers and magazines. In 1849 he married a childhood sweetheart, Margaret G. Milligan. They had seven children. In February 1850, soon after the birth of their first child, he left his wife with her parents and, in search of fame and fortune, joined the exodus of the Irish to the United States. The family was reunited in 1853....

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Joseph R. Hawley. From Harper's Weekly, 6 June 1868. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-111073).

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Hawley, Joseph Roswell (31 October 1826–18 March 1905), soldier, editor, and politician, was born in Stewartsville, North Carolina, the son of Francis Hawley, a Baptist minister, and Mary McLeod. Hawley’s father wrote and spoke widely against the sins of affluence and slavery, and when the boy was eleven, his family moved to his father’s native state, Connecticut. Young Hawley was educated there and in New York. In 1847 he graduated from Hamilton College, and during the early 1850s he taught school and embarked on a law career....

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Rufus King, Jr. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-10662).

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King, Rufus (26 January 1814–13 October 1876), soldier, editor, and diplomat, was born in New York City, the son of Charles King, a merchant and the ninth president of Columbia College, and Eliza Gracie. After attending the preparatory academy of Columbia, Rufus entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1829. After graduating fourth in the class of 1833, he was commissioned into the elite corps of engineers but resigned three years later to accept a position as a civil engineer with the New York & Erie Railroad. In 1839 he began a career as a newspaper editor. After two years with the ...

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Martin, John Alexander (10 March 1839–02 October 1889), journalist, army officer, and governor of Kansas, was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, the son of James Martin, a justice of the peace, boardinghouse keeper, and postmaster, and Jane Montgomery Crawford. He attended public school in Brownsville and at age fifteen was apprenticed as a printer on the town newspaper, the ...

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Sherwood, Isaac Ruth (13 August 1835–15 October 1925), editor, soldier, and politician, was born in Stanford, Dutchess County, New York, the son of Aaron Sherwood and Maria Yeomans. Orphaned at age nine, he lived thereafter with his uncle Daniel Sherwood, who served in the New York State legislature. After attending local schools Isaac was able to study at the Hudson River Institute in Claverack, New York, from 1852 to 1854 and at Antioch College from 1854 to 1856. He briefly read law with Judge Hoogeboom in Hudson, New York, and he then attended Ohio Law College in Poland, Ohio, graduating in 1857....

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Stahel, Julius (05 November 1825–04 December 1912), soldier, journalist, and diplomat, was born Julius Stahel-Szamvald in Szeged, Hungary, the son of Andreas Stahel-Szamvald and Barbara Nagy. After receiving a classical education in Szeged and Budapest, he operated a bookstore in the latter city. In his early twenties he entered the Austrian army and rose to lieutenant. When Hungary waged a war for independence, Stahel joined the revolutionary forces of Louis Kossuth. The independence movement was suppressed in 1849, and he fled his native land, living in London and Berlin before coming to the United States in 1856....

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Trobriand, Régis Dénis de (04 June 1816–15 July 1897), soldier and writer, was born Philippe-Régis-Dénis de Keredern near Tours, France, the son of Joseph-Vincent-Pierre-Marie-Dénis de Keredern, Baron de Trobriand, a general in the French army of Napoleon and the Restoration, and Rosine Hachin de Courbeville. As a boy, the younger Trobriand was a page in the restored Bourbon court and was trained to be a soldier until the revolution of 1830 displaced the Bourbon king with the Orléanist, Louis-Philippe. The elder Trobriand refused to serve the new regime and forbade his son to serve in the army. Baron de Trobriand’s disgust with the Orléanists was so great that he dropped Philippe from his son’s name, and the younger Trobriand was known as Régis for the rest of his life....

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Lew Wallace Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-32868).

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Wallace, Lew (10 April 1827–15 February 1905), soldier and author, was born Lewis Wallace at Brookville, Indiana, the son of David Wallace, a soldier and later governor of Indiana, and Esther French Test, who died when Lew was only seven years old. His earliest education was unproductive, the boy rebelling against the strictness of a rural schoolmaster for whom, as Wallace described it in his 1906 autobiography, “flogging was a fine art which he seemed fearful of losing.” But his mother encouraged his learning by making available to him Jane Porter’s romantic history ...

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James H. Wilson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2074).

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Wilson, James Harrison (02 September 1837–23 February 1925), army officer and author, was born near Shawneetown, Illinois, the son of Harrison Wilson, a county official and farmer-rancher, and Katharine Schneyder. He attended McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, for one year to prepare himself for an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. Entering West Point in 1855, Wilson graduated sixth in a class of forty-one cadets in 1860 and became a second lieutenant of engineers....