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Reluctant General The Life and Times of Albert Pike
Reluctant General The Life and Times of Albert Pike Author:Robert Lipscomb Duncan Here is the fascinating life story of Albert Zebulon Pike, schoolteacher, travel writer, poet, lawyer, politician, gourmand, 32nd degree Mason, General in the Confederate Army, and great champion of the rights of the American Indians. — Boston-born Albert Pike started his career as a New England schoolteacher, but his restless nature, coupled wit... more »h difficulty with the local school board resulting from his romantic carryings on, led Pike to seek his fortune in the West. After a remarkable series of adventures with a wagon train, Pike tried his h and at farming. But an incurable aversion to hard manual labor put an end to his efforts as a tiller of the soil, and he turned to law practice, specializing in cases involving the settlement of Indian claims against the Federal Government. Pike was highly successful, even winning for one of his Indian clients an award of over a million dollars.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Pike offered his services to the Confederacy and was made a Major General with authority to negotiate treaties with the Indians. Pike commanded a division of Indians at the Battle of Pea Ridge where the Confederate forces suffered a major defeat. He was blamed for this by the South, and the North accused his Indian troops of committing atrocities against wounded and dead Union soldiers. Following the war, Pike, in an effort to clear his name, took his case all the way to President Johnson, who finally issued a full pardon. In his later years, Pike, long interested in the Masonic movement, devoted much of the remainder of his life to writing complicated and obscure interpretations of Masonic doctrine.
Pike's was an extraordinary life and a peculiarly American one. He was a man of excesses and extremes--he had great physical and intellectual courage; he was stubborn and strong-headed. He was quick to take personal offense, and was a bad judge of his opponents' motives. He was generous--with his energy, his time, his fortune. He was disputatious and vain, but also open and warm. He everges from this highly entertaining biography as a unique and colorful American frontiersman.« less