Gordon Weil ’58 Book Explores Life of Alum, Civil War Hero Gen. Oliver Otis Howard (Portland Press Herald)

Gen. Oliver Otis Howard (Class of 1850) on horseback.

Gen. Oliver Otis Howard (Class of 1850) on horseback.

Gordon Weil ’58 is the author of a new book The Good Man: The Civil War’s ‘Christian General’ and His Fight for Racial Equality. The book’s title refers to Oliver Otis Howard, of the Bowdoin Class of 1850, who was a Civil War general, head of the Freedman’s Bureau (which directed Reconstuction), and an early believer in full racial equality. Howard worked to create a “network” of colleges dedicated to educating African Americans and is the namesake of Howard University in Washington, D.C. He was also a born-again Christian who gave up smoking, drinking and profanity, which was uncommon for Civil War generals. Weil’s book incorporates Reconstruction history and post-Civil War race relations into his depiction of Howard’s life and forward-thinking achievements in education. Learn more from a Q&A with Weil from the Portland Press Herald.


  1. Judith L. Howard says:

    My older brother and I will be attending the lecture at Maine State Museum tonite.

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