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Cincinnati native William Haines Lytle volunteered for service in the Mexican War in late 1847. A pro-states' rights Democrat with strong family ties to Kentucky, he nevertheless chose to protect and defend the Union upon the outbreak of the Civil War.

Lytle's Mexican War service primarily consisted of garrison duty, but during the Civil War he became known for his courage under fire and his devotion to his troops. He saw combat at Carnifex Ferry and Perryville, and was killed at Chickamauga while leading a valiant charge to stop Confederate troops storming through an opening in Union lines. His letters detail the ferocity of action on the western front and offer a glimpse of the interaction between Union officers and Southern civilians in the border states.

Ruth C. Carter was head of the Archives Service Center and curator of Historical Collections for the University of Pittsburgh Library System.

"Shows a Union soldier working to reconcile his southern sympathies with his root allegiance to the Union."—McCormick (SC) Messenger

"Carter’s edition of the letters of General William Lytle helps us understand why many partisan Democrats who despised abolitionists and Republicans, supported states’ rights, and respected southerners and the South, decided to fight and, in Lytle’s case, die for what they believed to be their nation."—Van Hall

"This is one book that should be on the shelf of every Civil War buff or scholar as a prime example of the so many promising young lives lost in the war."—West Virginia History

"His observations and commentary are valuable additions to knowledge of the concluding campaigns of the war."—Choice

"A remarkable, engaging work of superb scholarship, and an invaluable contribution to the growing body of Civil War literature."—The Midwest Book Review

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, Kentucky






William Haines Lytle, United States Army, Mexican War, Civil War, United States Civil War


Military History

For Honor, Glory, and Union: The Mexican and Civil War Letters of Brig. Gen. William Haines Lytle
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