Few remember that two famous orators shared the stage with Lincoln atthe Gettysburg dedication. The day's concluding speech remained lostuntil recently, when an anthropologist stumbled upon it in a cardboardbox at a remote ranch in Wyoming. Forgotten too was the incredible truestory of its author, Charles Anderson, a slave owner who riskedeverything to save the Union. We accompany Anderson on his excitingjourney through some of the most dramatic events of the Civil War. Bornon a Kentucky slave plantation, he struggles to reconcile a morallybankrupt slavery system that yet holds the nation together. Imagineyourself standing in the crowd as Anderson delivers a bold Union speechin San Antonio just weeks after Lincoln's election. Imprisoned byConfederate officers, he makes a daring escape, and arrives in New York a national hero. Anderson nearly loses his life in the battle of StonesRiver. He is elected Lieutenant Governor of Ohio on a ticket thatdefeats exiled Copperhead Democrat Clement Vallandigham. Two yearslater, Anderson becomes Ohio's governor. The New York Times calledAnderson's story, "among the most moving and romantic episodes of thewar." This is the inspiring tale of a true patriot. Charles Anderson had the courage to hold steadfast to his convictions, remaining loyal tothe Union at a time when nearly all Southerners turned against theircountry.
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"Dixon introduces his readers to the stranger-than-fictional life ofAnderson, son of a Revolutionary, and brother to Robert Anderson of Fort Sumter fame...because of Anderson's storied past, there is somethingfor everyone in this book." - Emerging Civil War Book Reviews
"It's amazing that stimulating and informative Civil War books with whole new perspectives keep coming out of the woodwork. This one makes it a pleasure to be a book review editor. This book is so well written and edited. Don't miss it." - Edward Bonekemper - Civil War News
This title puzzled me as I wasn't aware of any other major speakers at the Gettysburg cemetery dedication beyond Lincoln and Everett. Dixon's book explores the life of this Charles Anderson, as well as his speech (which was apparently lost to history until rediscovered in an old box in Wyoming). Anderson was a Kentucky-born slaveholder who ran afoul of Confederate authorities in Texas after declaring publicly for the Union. Escaping to the North, he joined the army, was wounded at Stones River, and was later elected Lieutenant Governor of Ohio in 1863 (becoming governor in late 1865 upon the incumbent's death). -Civil War Books and Authors
The Lost Gettysburg Address by David Dixon representsa masterful reconstruction of the life and times of Charles Anderson, 27thGovernor of Ohio, and member of an accomplished American family descended fromRevolutionary War hero, Richard Clough Anderson. Meticulously researched andengagingly written, this book illustrates the importance of "B list" Americanluminaries who did not make it into the history books, but who playedindispensable roles in making the early American republic. A Civil War hero in his own right, GovernorAnderson also delivered an address at the Gettysburg dedication that"bookended" the famous orations of Edward Everett and Abraham Lincoln. Through clever detective work, Dixon locatedthis supposedly lost address and includes it in the appendix to this work. Throughout, Dixon provides an account ofAnderson's life and career, and the forces that shaped them, that isinformative, richly documented and consistently interesting.
Harry S. Stout
Jonathan Edwards Professor of America Religious History
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