From fighting for the cause of freedom during the Civil War to writing of one of the best-selling books of all time, Lew Wallace of Indiana enjoyed a remarkable career that touched the lives of such famous figures in American history as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain, James Garfield, James Whitcomb Riley, and Billy the Kid.
The ups and downs of Wallace’s amazing days are told in this new biography for young readers. Written by award-winning Hoosier historian and author Ray E. Boomhower, The Sword and the Pen: A Life of Lew Wallace, includes numerous photographs and illustrations of Wallace and the people he met and events he participated in during his lifetime. The book also features information on historic places related to Wallace’s life and times.
Growing up when much of Indiana was still a wilderness, Wallace frequently fled from his classroom studies to wander the woods and fields he loved. The son of an Indiana governor, Wallace became passionate about books and combat. He tried to win lasting fame through service for the Union cause on the battlefield during the Civil War, but instead won honor and glory through a quieter pastime: writing. His novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, became one of the country’s best-loved books and was made into two successful Hollywood films.
At various times in his life, Wallace also was a lawyer, an Indiana state senator, vice president of the court-martial that tried the conspirators behind the assassination of President Lincoln, governor of the New Mexico Territory during the days of outlaw Billy the Kid, and a diplomat who represented the United States in Turkey.
Wallace dreamed always of glory and lived a life full of adventures, triumphs, and tragedies. Through it all, he believed in himself and was never afraid to accept new challenges. He remains one of the most colorful and important figures in the Hoosier State’s history.