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First published in 1907 by Edward W. Emerson (son of Ralph Waldo Emerson) The Letters of Charles Russell Lowell collect the correspondence of the nephew of poet and abolitionist leader James Russell Lowell. A native Bostonian, Charles Russell Lowell entered into military service a fervent abolitionist and met combat with near-reckless zeal until his death in battle at Cedar Creek, Virginia, in October of 1864. First in the Harvard class of 1854, Lowell served on General George B. McClellan's staff in 1862, fought John S. Mosby's Confederate guerrillas in 1863 and '64, and participated in the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign as cavalry brigade commander. Lowell was married to Josephine Shaw, sister of 54th Massachusetts Colored Troops commander Robert Gould Shaw, and a was frequent correspondent with Thomas W. Higginson. His letters begin in 1852 and reveal the values and convictions of these and others of Boston's elite. United by education, familial connections, and likeminded concepts of social justice, Lowell and his circle of friends enlisted to further an ideal.
His letters are distinctive, well-articulated, and eminently literate, effectively capturing military campaigns as well as the moral motivations that lead Northern idealists like Lowell into harm's way for an impassioned cause.
Waugh: (Los Angeles) associate professor of history, UCLA; Author of Unsentimental Reformer: The Life of Josephine Shaw Lowell
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- ID: 9781570035944
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