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The winner of the Most Handsome Civil War General sweepstakes: U.S. Grant, in this picture. The hat, the frock coat and vest, his expression, the pose–everything. But had he lived to be general, another man would have been Most Handsome, really.

Photograph by Mathew Brady, collection of the National Portrait Gallery

Runners-up for Most Handsome Civil War General

And the winner of Ugliest Civil War General contest is… (Really?)


“A true Whitmanian feast—for the intellect as well as for the eyes.” — Ed Folsom, editor Walt Whitman Quarterly

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“A beautiful book of windows onto the life of Walt Whitman…. From the clear ringing prose to the fascinating photographs and colored illustrations of the great poet’s life we find the man anew—standing in his time and looking straight at us. [Huets] has made a book of marvels and I can’t put it down.” — Steve Scafidi, Poet Laureate, Virginia

Explore the fascinating roots of Whitman’s great work, Leaves of Grass: a family harrowed by alcoholism and mental illness; the bloody Civil War; burgeoning, brawling Manhattan and Brooklyn; literary allies and rivals; and his beloved America, racked by disunion even while racing westward. Over 300 color period images immerse the reader in the life and times of Walt Whitman.


  1. Noma

    Also, you may enjoy some excerpts from Grant’s online astrology chart:

    Peace, joy of life and sensuality are essential to you: You have a simple and quiet nature. You easily find happiness because you are not competitive. In addition, your relaxed attitude and your common sense always take you to places where you are happy, even though you are not the number one, even though you do not move in haste. The important thing for you is to construct, with patience and persistence. These two qualities yield strong, steadfast, and sustainable efforts that can withstand any pitfalls.

    You are gentle, with a slow thinking process, but once you have opted for an orientation, nothing, no one, can make you change your mind. You loathe changes in general, and once you have taken the few major unavoidable decisions in the course of your life, you are on track!

    As you are born under this sign, you are loyal, steadfast, strong, patient, enduring, persistent, attached, sensual, realistic, constructive, tenacious, with a strong need for security. But you may also be stubborn, rigid, possessive, materialistic, static and slow.

    In love, Sir, more often than not, your passions are strong. It may take you some time to be moved, but once you choice is made, it is a lasting one and you are particularly endearing and loyal. You are not interested in infidelity or in having numerous partners.

    • Jean Huets

      Interesting–some fits, some doesn’t seem to. I’m not a thorough believer in astrology, though I do enjoy it as a system of understanding human nature. Thanks for contributing!

  2. Pingback:Deep thoughts on viewing 19th Century photos: Exposure time | Leaves of Grass

  3. Pingback:The ugliest Civil War general | Leaves of Grass

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