The Civil War truly is the American Iliad. Where else can we find the likes of Benjamin Butler, Daniel Sickles, or Braxton Bragg? I know that some other time periods may come close, but in my humble opinion, none can rival the Civil War era for the sheer number of charlatans!
Maybe I am wrong, but we just don't have the same kind of folks now that we did back then. Take Sickles for instance. He murdered his wife's lover in broad daylight, introduced a prostitute to Queen Victoria, and lost a leg at Gettysburg. (He did save the leg and donated it to a museum. He would visit it on occasion.) Despite this, he went on to a successful postwar career! Sickles was even awarded the Medal of Honor 34 years after he earned it.
Daniel Sickles would get my vote for Civil War era charlatans. But there are others. "Spoons" Butler, for example. My point is that our history is rich with heroes and villains alike. Sometimes the line between the two may get a little blurry.
Who is your favorite Civil War Charlatan?
My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War Addict!