Damned Yankee - Cover
Goodreads Icon

Damned Yankee

The Life of General Nathaniel Lyon

312 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / 20 halftones

Civil War

  Paperback / 9780807121030 / October 1996

“A sensitive and scholarly biography that combines untapped documents with fine writing and good judgment to make it one of the best recent studies of any Civil War figure.”—Choice

Nathaniel Lyon (1818–1861) was the first Union general to die in the Civil War. Killed at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, he became the North’s first war hero, famed as the man who saved Missouri for the Union. In Damned Yankee, Christopher Phillips portrays Lyon not as the savior of a border state threatened by secessionist extremists, but as an unbalanced, monomaniacal Unionist zealot.

Phillips meticulously examines Lyon’s role in the Camp Jackson affair, his quest to oust the pro-southern governor of Missouri, and his campaign to eliminate the secessionist element in the state. Damned Yankeeis a complex, often shocking, portrait of one of the most controversial figures of the Civil War and a sobering study of how the faults of men may greatly affect history. 

Christopher Phillips is assistant professor of history at Emporia State University.

Found an Error? Tell us about it.