Carpetbagger from Vermont: The Autobiography of Marshall Harvey Twitchell

Marshall Harvey Twitchell, Author Louisiana State University Press $32.5 (216p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1415-5
Although the career of Twitchell, a Union officer and carpetbagger during Reconstruction, would seem at most to be a historical footnote, his autobiography, ably edited by Tunnell, assistant professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University, provides a significant revisionist view of the roles of Northerners in those tumultuous years. Twitchell developed thriving plantations and mills in Louisiana's Red River Valley, married into the local gentry and played an active political role in the South. He dramatically recounts his Civil War years, activities as a Freedmen's Bureau agent and success as a plantation owner. He defends his record as a leader of the Louisiana state senate and the accomplishments of other Northerners whom he considered unfairly maligned. The bloody, white-led Louisiana Democrats' revolt in the 1870s cost Twitchell his estates and the loss of most of his family. Both of his arms were amputated after an assassination attempt, yet he was appointed an American consul in Canada, where he remained until his death in 1905 at age 65. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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