Sidney Lanier
Sidney Lanier

Sidney Clopton Lanier was born February 3, 1842, in Macon, Georgia. Educated at Atlanta's Olglethorpe College, he was fascinated by the writings of Byron, Tennyson, Scott, and other Romantic writers. This fascination, combined with a love of nature acquired while growing up in rural Georgia, eventually led him to a career as a poet and novelist.

Before he could make a name for himself as a writer, however, the War Between the States erupted. Lanier immediately enlisted in the Second Georgia Battalion of the Macon Volunteers. He saw action during the Seven Days' Battle and was later captured running blockades between Wilmington, North Carolina, and Bermuda. Released after a year in a prisoner of war camp, Lanier was both impoverished and in poor health.

A gifted musician, Lanier left his beloved Georgia and moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1873 to become first flutist with the Peabody Orchestra. Occasional appearances on the lecture circuit to supplement his meagre income led to a professorship at John Hopkins University. He died at the age of 39, a victim of tuberculosis contracted during the War.

Lanier's first novel, Tiger-Lilies, was based on his wartime experiences. All of his writings reflected his love of music, poetry, nature, and the "Old South" of his boyhood.

"The Dying Words of Stonewall Jackson"

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Last modified 16-April-2001