In a life crammed with adventure and drama, Issac Jones Wistar was a miner, Civil War general, philanthropist, lawyer, railroad executive, penologist, and a prolific writer. His combative style and witty writing make this autobiography that much more entertaining. He was an early pioneer in California and mined for gold there. His diary of the trip across the prairie is included in this volume.
Wistar was twice wounded during the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln’s dear friend, Edward Baker, was shot down by Wistar’s side at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff on October 21, 1861. Wistar was later criticized for his actions during the Bermuda Hundred campaign in May 1864. He writes extensively of his Civil War experiences here.