The American Civil War is notable for the number of colorful characters who emerge on both sides. One of these is William Starke Rosecrans (right)…an inventor, businessman, engineer…and memorable soldier.
Rosecrans soared into prominence early in the war but will drop from sight halfway through it.
Only a few months ago, Rosecrans was a
The Ohioan was an excellent student at
While in the army, he served as an engineer building fortifications in
He engaged in mining in western
Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, Gen. George B. McClellan called him into service in the western
Rosecrans is a curious man: extremely bright, fond of his troops (who affectionately call him “Old Rosy”), but highly excitable and short-tempered. Moreover, since he converted to Catholicism while teaching at
Rosecrans tends to favor his troops more than his officers. Ordinarily, he is a cautious and fussy commander, but he can be rattled. In battle, he tends to stutter with excitement. He does not lack courage, but his oscillation between caution and excitability will eventually cost him dearly.
This month, Union troops occupying western