Carol Bundy, “The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64″ (FSG, 2005)

Marshall Poe, University of Iowa
Carol Bundy


[This interview is re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh's ThoughtCast] At a time when the country’s attention is focused on the ever-expanding list of American war dead, Carol Bundy’s biography of a Union officer who sacrifices his life in the Civil War is eerily apt. The Nature of Sacrifice. A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64 (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005) tells the story of the short, heroic life of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., an elite young cavalryman who embodied the promise of his generation. An ardent abolitionist and reformer, Lowell was also a brilliant battlefield strategist, and he turned the tide at the Battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley, a crucial victory for the North just two weeks shy of Lincoln’s re-election. Shot twice during the fighting, Lowell died at dawn the following day.