Strange and Obscure Stories of the Civil War is an entertaining look at the Civil War stories that don’t get told, and the misadventures you haven’t read about in history books. Share in all the humorous and strange events that took place behind the scenes of some of the most famous Civil War moments. Picture a pedestal in a public park with no statue on top; Rowland’s book explains that when the members of the New York Monument Commission went to hire a sculptor to finish the statue, they were shocked to discover that there was no money left in the agency’s accounts to pay for the project. The money for the statue of Dan Sickles had been stolen—stolen by former monument committee chairman Dan Sickles!
Brig. Gen. Philip Kearny was the son of a New York tycoon who had helped found the New York Stock Exchange, and who groomed his boy to be a force on Wall Street. The younger Kearny decided his call was to be a force on the field of battle, so despite a law degree and an inheritance of better than $1 million, he joined the U.S. Army and studied cavalry tactics in France. His dashing figure in the saddle earned him the name of Kearny the Magnificent, probably because Kearny rode with a pistol in one hand and a sword in the other while holding the horse’s reins in his teeth. This habit proved useful after he lost his left arm in the Mexican War, because he was able to continue to wave his sword with all the menace to which he was accustomed while still guiding his horse.
Tim Rowland has authored a number of books, including histories of the Adirondacks and Western Maryland mountains, and the Strange and Obscure series, collections of historical essays focusing on lesser-known aspects of American history. An avid outdoorsman, Rowland has climbed in the Himalayas, hiked the Inca Trail, trekked throughout Europe, and ridden a bicycle across the United States. He has climbed all 46 Adirondack High Peaks over 4,000 feet. He and his wife Beth live in Jay, New York.