CDV OF U.S. GENERAL NATHANIEL P. BANKS

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Item Code: 1139-189

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Seated studio view of Banks. He wears a double-breasted coat with general’s dress shoulder epaulettes. He is holding a sword in his arm. Image is clear if not slightly dark. Some minor soiling on the edges of the mount. A printed identification is on the bottom of mount under photo. Photographer’s backmark, E. Anthony, New York from a Brady negative.

Nathaniel Prentice Banks (January 30, 1816 – September 1, 1894) was an American politician from Massachusetts and a Union general during the Civil War.

President Lincoln appointed Banks as one of the first “political” major generals, over the heads of West Point regulars, who initially resented him, but came to acknowledge his influence on the administration of the war. After suffering a series of inglorious setbacks in the Shenandoah River Valley at the hands of Stonewall Jackson, Banks replaced Benjamin Butler at New Orleans as commander of the Department of the Gulf, charged with the administration of Louisiana and gaining control of the Mississippi River. He failed to reinforce Grant at Vicksburg, and badly handled the Siege of Port Hudson, taking its surrender only after Vicksburg had fallen. He then launched the Red River Campaign, a failed attempt to occupy northern Louisiana and eastern Texas that prompted his recall. Banks was regularly criticized for the failures of his campaigns, notably in tactically important tasks, including reconnaissance. Banks was also instrumental in early reconstruction efforts in Louisiana, intended by Lincoln as a model for later such activities.

After the war, Banks returned to the Massachusetts political scene, serving in Congress, where he supported Manifest Destiny, influenced the Alaska Purchase legislation, and supported women's suffrage. In his later years, he adopted more liberal progressive causes, and served as a United States marshal for Massachusetts. His health continued to deteriorate, and he was briefly sent to McLean Hospital shortly before his death in Waltham on September 1, 1894. he is buried in Waltham's Grove Hill Cemetery.

This image was part of the Ray Ritchie collection. [jet] [ph:L]

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