1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wallace, Lewis

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

WALLACE, LEWIS [Lew] (1827-1905), American soldier and author, was born at Brookville, Indiana, on the 10th of April 1827, and received an academic education. He abandoned temporarily the study of law in Indianapolis to recruit a company of volunteers (of which he was made second lieutenant) for the Mexican War, and served in 1846-1847 in the First Indiana Battery. He returned to the law, but at the beginning of the Civil War became colonel of the Eleventh Indiana Infantry, served in the West Virginia campaign, and on the 3rd of September 1861 was appointed brigadier-general. After the capture of Fort Donelson (February 16, 1862) he was promoted to major-general (March 21, 1862), was engaged at Shiloh (April 7, 1862), and afterwards commanded the Eighth Corps with headquarters at Baltimore. By delaying the Confederate general J. A. Early at Monocacy (July 9, 1864) he saved Washington from almost certain capture. General Wallace served as president of the court of inquiry (November 1862) which investigated the conduct of General D. C. Buell, and of the court which in 1865 tried and condemned Henry Wirz, commander of the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Ga. He was also a member of the court which tried the alleged conspirators against President Lincoln. He resigned from the army in 1865 to return to the bar. He served as governor of New Mexico Territory (1878-1881) and as minister to Turkey (1881-1885). Though exceedingly popular as a lecturer, his literary reputation rests upon three historical romances: The Fair God (1873), a story of the conquest of Mexico; Ben Hur (1880), a tale of the coming of Christ, which was translated into several languages and dramatized; and The Prince of India (1893), dealing with the Wandering Jew and the Byzantine empire.