carol bundy author nature of sacrifice civil war boston heroes  

lectures by carol bundy author of nature of sacrifice

carol bundy author of nature of sacrifice


A Talk with slides given March 22, 2005
and recorded for WGBH Webcast

boston athenaeum"The world advances by impossibilities achieved," Charles Lowell insisted in 1854 when, as Valedictorian, he spoke at his Harvard graduation just two weeks after Boston had enforced the Fugitive Slave Law, returning Anthony Burns into slavery. Lowell argued that in the great march of mankind toward a greater humanity it was precisely those idealistic dreams of young men that marked human progress. His photographic memory and brilliant mind made him the brightest man of his generation. Spurning the advice of Ralph Waldo Emerson to become a "mystic," Lowell began a career at the cutting edge of industrial innovation under the mentorship of the New York iron magnate Abram Hewitt. But the impossibility Lowell had in mind was not the miracle of industrial advancement that was sweeping the nation, but the abolition of slavery. Lowell volunteered in the Union Cavalry and in 1862 served on General McClellan's staff. In 1864 he joined the Cavalry Corps under Sheridan, commanding the Reserve Brigade.

Carol Bundy's account of Lowell's war years, shadowed by the deaths of his brother, cousins, and friends, is unsparing in its depiction of his work in helping to form the fabled 54th Regiment of black volunteers, fighting Colonel Mosby's guerillas, implementing Grant's orders to destroy the Shenandoah Valley, and participating in the notorious Front Royal Affair, when Confederate prisoners were tortured and executed. Bundy's vivid biography, based on rich public archives and a wealth of family papers, shows in persuasive detail the antebellum Boston of Lowell's privileged childhood transformed by his father's unexpected bankruptcy and by the national controversy over slavery.

An Athenaeum Proprietor, Carol Bundy has written for film and art publications in both the UK and the U.S. She has two sons and lives in Cambridge. Bundy became interested in her great-great-great uncle, Charles Russell Lowell, when his worn saddle bags, rusted sword, and spurs turned up after her grandmother's death in 1983.

Lectures on The Nature of Sacrifice:

WGBH Webcast
oregon public broadcasting
OPB Forum Network
concord community television
Concord TV






page design by rubicat design and photography