General Lew Wallace

Major-General Lew Wallace
President of the Court

     Lewis Wallace, commonly known as Lew Wallace, was an American novelist and soldier, and the author of one of the most popular books of his time - Ben Hur. Wallace was born and educated at Brookville, Indiana. He was studying law in Indianapolis at the outbreak of the Mexican War, during which he served as lieutenant.

     At the beginning of the struggle, he practiced law, first at Covington, Indiana, and then at Crawfordsville, but again abandoned his profession to take an active part in the Civil War. He served first as colonel of the Eleventh Indiana Infantry, but was soon promoted to major general. He was in the engagement at Shiloh, and held the Confederate General Early at Monocacy, thus saving the city of Washington form probable capture. He served on various courts, notably that which tried the commandant of the prison at Andersonville, Henry Wirz, and that which tried the conspirators against Lincoln. In 1865 General Wallace resumed law practice at Crawfordsville, from 1878-1881 was governor of New Mexico, and during Garfields's administration was minister to Turkey.

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Text written by Bill Carnes, photo obtained by Troy Drew in The Andersonville Prison Trial: The Trial of Captain Henry Wirz, by General N.P. Chipman, 1911.

These materials were prepared as part of a class assignment for The Seminar in Famous Trials course at the University of Missouri-K.C. School of Law. The use of any sound or images in the trials sites is in furtherance of the educational mission of the Seminar.