ISBN is

9780809073979 / 0809073978

Ungentlemanly Acts: The Army's Notorious Incest Trial

by

Publisher:Hill & Wang Pub

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

In April 1879, on a remote military base in west Texas, Captain Andrew Geddes, a decorated Army officer of dubious moral reputation, faced a court-martial. The trial unearthed shocking tales of seduction, incest, and abduction. The highest figures in the United States Army got involved, and General William Tecumseh Sherman made it his personal mission to see that Geddes was punished for his alleged crime.

But just what had he done? Geddes had spoken out about an "unspeakable" act - he had accused a fellow officer, Louis Orleman, of incest with his teenage daughter Lillie. The Army quickly charged not Orleman but Geddes with "conduct unbecoming a gentleman," for his accusation had come about because Orleman was preparing to charge Geddes with attempting to seduce and abduct the same young lady. Which man was the villain and which the savior?

Louise Barnett's compelling examination of the Geddes drama is at once a suspenseful narrative of a very important trial and a study of the then prevailing attitudes toward sexuality, parental discipline, the Army, and the appropriate division between public and private life. It will enrich any reader's understanding of the tumultuous post-Civil War period, when Americans were striving to define their moral codes anew.

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