This book is the story of the fascinating and accomplished life of a 19th-century Delaware favorite son, Brig. Gen. Henry Lockwood, who sailed aboard the U.S. Navy man-of-war United States with novelist Herman Melville and figures importantly in Melville's novel White-Jacket; who participated in Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones's seizure of Monterey from Mexico; who was a progenitor and co-builder of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis; who pacified the slavery-bound Delmarva peninsula during the Civil War; who distinguished himself as a brigade commander at Gettysburg; and who later commanded Maryland Heights at Harper's Ferry, the Middle Department/8th Corps, and a division at Cold Harbor. All these accomplishments occurred in the face of a stuttering tendency that afflicted him throughout his life. The book also notices important family members such as son Lieut. James Lockwood, who died of starvation during the Greely polar expedition after having reached the furthest point north of any human; brother Navy Surgeon John Lockwood, whose polemical essays in conjunction with Melville's didactic message in White-Jacket were major factors in the outlawing of punitive flogging in the Navy; and son-in-law Adm. Charles Sigsbee, who was in command of the Maine when it blew up in Havana Harbor, thus adding to the cries for war against Spain. Three pivotal events in Lockwood's military career have unjustly detracted from his historical reputation: the failure of the Naval Academy to memorialize him for his seminal role its building; the lack of historical notice of his pacification and reconciliation of Delmarva without a shot being fired; and his relief from division command at Cold Harbor by an unhinged corps commander. For the historical record, Lockwood finally receives vindication in this book.
Lloyd J. Matthews' meticulously researched and magisterially told nineteenth-century history will be welcomed by military historians as well as by the hundreds of Delaware and Chesapeake Bay families who will find here a prodigious record of long-lived members of a notable regional clan. By focusing on Henry Lockwood (with due attention to his brother, John Alexander), Matthews rewrites standard histories of the founding of the Naval Academy, tells for the first time how the slave-holding Delmarva Peninsula was pacified during the Civil War, and amends the prevailing orthodoxy concerning the battles of Gettysburg and Cold Harbor. In this far-ranging study the young ordinary seaman Herman Melville scrutinizes Henry Lockwood in the Pacific and Atlantic then much later seeks out John Alexander Lockwood as a boon companion in the Mediterranean. Melville said of a marvelous invention, the 'revolving Drummond light,' that 'everything is lit by it.' Like that Drummond light, Matthews' monumental study illuminates both broad tracts and odd corners of nineteenth-century American life. This is a momentous achievement. -- Hershel Parker, author of Herman Melville: A Biography Much more than a typical biography of an engaging figure, this book is an absorbing reconnaissance of an entire era, told in prose often verging on poetic. Henry Lockwood was witness to and participant in a multitude of the most defining moments of nineteenth-century America, and the author adroitly places him squarely into that churning context. The result is a literary trifecta-a deeply insightful look into a fascinating personality, an artistic portrait of an extraordinary life, both framed brilliantly inside a seminal period in our national history, and in short, a classic. -- Dave R. Palmer, Lieutenant General (Ret), US Army
Number Of Pages: 568
Published: 4th April 2014
Publisher: University of Delaware Press
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 16.3 x 4.0
Weight (kg): 0.87