Theodore O'Hara: Poet-soldier of the Old South

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Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1998 - 208 Seiten
One of the most quoted poets in American history is also one of the least known. Key lines from Theodore O'Hara's The Bivouac of the Dead can be found in cemeteries and on monuments throughout the country, especially the South, and as far away as Europe. During the 1880s, the elegy became the official verse chosen by the U.S. government to commemorate the Civil War dead. Yet O'Hara's name has never appeared with those inscriptions and until now little has been known about his life. With this book, Nathaniel Hughes and Thomas Ware offer the first complete biography of O'Hara and also analyze how The Bivouac of the Dead -- originally written in honor of Kentuckians who had died in the War with Mexico -- became so famous even as its author fell into obscurity.Hughes and Ware have meticulously researched O'Hara's life to present as complete a picture as possible of this forgotten figure. Born in Kentucky of a first-generation Irish educator, he was trained as a classicist and a lawyer and became a newspaper editor, adventurer, and soldier. Though most of his undertakings ended in failure, his life touched many of the major historical events of his day. He skirmished with Indians on the western frontier, fought in the Mexican War, participated in the ill-fated efforts to free Cuba from Spain, and, finally, served in the Army of the Confederacy.O'Hara led a footloose existence, leaving his whereabouts unknown for long periods and never settling in one place long enough to become identified with it. Thus, reconstructing his career was a particular challenge for his biographers. Hughes and Ware combed every possible source of information to trace the often disastrous twists and turnsin the life of this talented, well-educated southern gentleman who yearned to become a hero. Ultimately, they reveal O'Hara as both a gifted intellectual passionate about the issues he embraced and a tragic figure cursed with alcoholism, bad luck, and the inability to bring into steady focus his impressive energies, versatility, and aspirations.

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Theodore O'Hara: Poet-Soldier of the Old South

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This brief life-and-times biography of Theodore O'Hara, famous for his two elegiac poems, "The Old Pioneer" and "The Bivouac of the Dead," provides more times than life in setting the man and his ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

An Irish Odyssey
1
The Formative Years
11
The Muffled Drum Resound
21
Cuba Libre
37
While Fame Her Record Keeps
55
The Fine Gentleman and Gallant
72
Hard Fortune
85
Mobile
96
Search for a Command
107
Murfreesboro
120
Languishing in Inactivity
133
The Public Poet the Private Man
142
Bibliography
185
Index
199
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