by Michael J. Gocz
Joseph Bailey made history in the spring of 1864, but his story is larger than that of a single historical event. He lived in a tumultuous time and in more than one dangerous place.
Frontier Wisconsin in the 1850s, where he built a dam that he hoped would launch a city and make his fortune. The front lines of the Civil War with the Union Army in Maryland and the Gulf States where, as a cavalry officer and "practical" engineer, he rose to the rank of Brigadier General. Frontier Missouri in the post-war years, where he died at the hands of assailants unknown as he attempted to enforce the law as a sheriff in bushwhacker country. Along the way he penned a series of letters on which this book is based. They reveal that when a hero was called for, Joseph Bailey stepped up.
They also tell us how he dealt with the failure of his city development plan, crooked business partners, inept Union Army officers, the hazards of military service, the corrosive issue of race in the United States, the consequences of fame, and the painful separation from the family he left behind. Joseph Bailey was an ordinary man called to extraordinary action.
Michael J. Goc is the author/editor of over seventy books on historical subjects, including aviation, business, education, industry, natural resources, community and economic development. Eight of those books have received Awards of Merit from the Wisconsin Historical Society. In addition to print, he has researched and written works of history for radio, television, compact disc, and the internet. In 1985, he founded the New Past Press, Inc. of Friendship, Wisconsin, which specializes in publishing historical books on Midwestern subjects.
45 color photos, 4 maps