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Thomas Setties

John Bankhead Magruder: A Military Reappraisal

  • Of all the major figures of the Civil War era, Confederate General John Bankhead Magruder is perhaps the least understood. The third-ranking officer in Virginia's forces, behind Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston, Magruder left no diary, no completed memoirs, no will, not even a family Bible. There are no genealogical records and very few surviving personal papers. It is not surprising, then, that much-existing literature about Magruder is incorrect. In John Bankhead Magruder, an exhaustive biography that reflects more than thirty years of painstaking archival research, Thomas M. Settles remedies the many factual inaccuracies surrounding this enigmatic man and his military career. John Bankhead Magruder offers fresh insight into many aspects of the general's life and legacy, including his alleged excesses, his relationships within his family, and the period between Magruder's death and his memorialization into the canon of Lost Cause mythology. With engaging prose and impressive research, Settles brings this vibrant Civil War figure to life.

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