I have recently been reading James M Perry's "Touched with Fire,- Five Presidents and the Civil War Battles that made them", brief wartime histories of Grant, Hayes, McKinley, Harrison and Garfield. The one that stands out to me is Garfield who comes across, in this book anyway, as a fascinating, devious,self promoting, successful egotist and I have to admit that until reading this book I had never heard of his campaign in the Big Sandy Valley, Kentucky, something not mentioned by Foote, Catton, the Times Life series or any of the other popular general histories of the war. I would like to learn more about this man especially his time as Chief of Staff to Rosecrans as this book all but credits him with the success of the Tullahoma Campaign. A book search throws up literally hundreds of books on the life of James A Garfield, and the bibliography of "Touched with Fire" has many listings. I am after a good single volume work , has anyone out there read one? Any suggestions?
The Edge of Glory: A Biography of General William S. Rosecrans, U.S.A. by William M. Lamers. Thought the book is about Rosecrans (and very biased in his favor I might add) it has a significant amount of imformation on Garfield.
My hometown Louisa, rests right along the banks of the big sandy river. Garfield passed through it during "the big sandy valley campaign". No real action took place in Louisa, and the most dramatic action that took place, allegedly (I say allegedly because I have always heard stories but have not researched it myself) was when a Negro company was sent to relive the white union troops at fort bishop,and were fired on by the forts occupants who were outraged that colored troops were being sent to defend the fort. According to stories, about 20 of those soldiers are buried under mainstreet in Louisa.