I’ve been reading an excellent book about James Abram Garfield, the twentieth President of the United States (look for a book review soon). I didn’t really know that much about him, except that he was assassinated not long after he was inaugurated in 1881. Not a lot of books have been written about him, but he lived an amazing life, rising from poverty to the presidency.
One event that caught my attention, and made him famous, was the Civil War Battle of Middle Creek in eastern Kentucky. The description provided by author Candice Mallard reminded me of the Bible story of Gideon and his rout of the Midianites.
James Garfield had been pursuing an academic career as a professor, and later president of the Eclectic Institute, when an Ohio state senator died unexpectedly. Garfield was asked to take his seat and later won it outright. When the Civil War began, he was eager to enlist, although Ohio Governor William Dennison, Jr. convinced him his service in the legislature was needed more urgently at the time.
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