Charles Dahlgren of Natchez by Herschel Gower
The Civil War and Dynastic Decline

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



Charles G. Dahlgren came from a family that played a prominent role in the effort to preserve the Union. His older brother, John, was a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy and enjoyed a measure of fame for inventing naval guns. In 1864, John's son, Col. Ulric Dahlgren, died in a Union cavalry raid against Richmond. Charles's other brother, William, spent part of the war in England spying on Confederate purchasing agents. In ironic contrast, Charles's compelling story evolves within the hierarchy of Southern aristocracy. Herschel Gower eloquently traces the rise of Charles to social prominence in the South. As a young man, Charles became a protege of Nicholas Biddle, the prominent Philadelphia financier, who dispatched him to the cotton states to look after his interests. Ambitious and in search of wealth and position, Charles established himself in Natchez, Mississippi, married an heiress, started a family, and prospered. When Mississippi seceded from the Union, he stood in defense of his cotton plantations, his ownership of slaves, and his hard-won security. In July 1861, the governor of Mississippi appointed him brigadier general of volunteers. Under criticism, he resigned the post and took an advisory position overseeing gunboat construction. Charles's fortune evaporated with the fall of the Confederacy, and his family suffered severely. After the war, he was reconciled with his brother John and returned to the North. He died a Confederate carpetbagger practicing law and accounting in New York. Readers interested in the antebellum South, an ambitious family's struggle to attain social status, and the consequences of allegiance during the Civil War will be enthralled by Gower's provocative biography.

About Herschel Gower

See more books from this Author
Gower is professor emeritus of English and American literature at Vanderbilt University.
Published January 1, 2002 by Brassey's Inc. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Charles Dahlgren of Natchez

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

When the Civil War erupted, Dahlgren was made a brigadier general and commander of the 3rd Mississippi Brigade, while his brother served as an admiral with the Union navy.

| Read Full Review of Charles Dahlgren of Natchez: ...

Reader Rating for Charles Dahlgren of Natchez

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review