On ‘Ben-Hur’ and Lew Wallace

…Wallace failed to bring his sorely needed troops to the field of battle, and he shouldered a heavy portion of the blame for the dire toll. He was rumored to have gotten lost on the short journey to Shiloh’s front lines—or worse, to have lost his nerve. Within a few months, he was relieved of his field command. He spent the rest of the war trying to win back the confidence of his superiors and the rest of his life trying to prove his innocence. In Ben-Hur, Wallace had written a novel that would help America forget the Civil War. But its author never could.

via Ben-Hur and Lew Wallace: How the scapegoat of Shiloh became one of the best-selling novelists in American history. – Slate Magazine.