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Harold Sinclair

Born: 1907 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: 1966

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Sinclair was born in Chicago and lived the majority of his life in the Bloomington/Normal area.

Biography: Harold Sinclair dropped out of Bloomington High School. In his 20's, he moved around and lived in Ocala, Florida and Chicago but returned to Bloomington to settle down to a life divided between work and late-night writing sessions in which he produced some great works of fiction. Sinclair's lone best seller was 'Horse Soldiers'. It was a fictional account of Grierson's Raid, a Union cavalry advance deep into Confederate territory during General Ulysses S. Grant's 1863 Vicksburg campaign. The story was brought to the silver screen by John Ford and two of the era's biggest box office draws, John Wayne and William Holden. Although 'Horse Soldiers' was Sinclair's best-selling book, his most ambitious literary achievement was a semi-fictional trilogy -'American Years' (1938), 'Years of Growth' (1940), and 'Years of Illusion' (1941) - on early Bloomington history. He wrote of Abraham Lincoln, George Rogers Clark on the frontier, about the Civil War and the Port of New Orleans. He wrote a unique book on the Bloomington, Illinois PANTAGRAPH and a novel on jazz in the South that jazz musicians read and enjoy.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; History; Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Harold Sinclair on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

American years
ISBN: 0252060377 OCLC: 18106597

University of Illinois Press, Urbana : [1988], ©1938.

  The cavalryman /
ISBN: 9997408837 OCLC: 1452228

Harper, New York : 1958.

This novel is based on the Northwest Expedition against the Sioux in the western Dakota Territory during the Civil War summer of 1864. Jack Marlowe, now a brigadier-general, has been relieved of his Southern command and sent into an area about which he knows nothing. His mission: to attack with a cavalry force of 2000 the Sioux federation of tribes assembled at Killdeer Mountain and at the same time to escort a wagon train through and beyond the Indian territory. He faces the challenges of undisciplined troops, insufficient food and water, the slow-moving wagon train and the hindrance of a personal involvement with settlers Ruth Hayes and her young brother, Jody. The accomplishment of Marlowe's task --the routing of the Sioux, the deliverance of the settlers, the meeting of supply boats at the Yellowstone River -- is also the termination of an unreal romance.

The horse soldiers /
ISBN: 184158066X OCLC: 59555932

Birlinn, Edinburgh : 2000, ©1956.

A fictionalized account of "one of the most daring cavalry raids of all time. Set during the American Civil War, it brings to life 'the Grierson Raid' -- the 17-day raid by a Union brigade through the heart of Confederate Mississippi. Conscious of the huge odds against them; exhausted, hungry and with a deepening sense of impending doom hanging over them as the enemy gathered forces on all sides, the Union soldiers rode south to rip up railroad track crucial to the supply lines of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg. Inspired by brilliant leadership, the raid was a triumph at a time when the Union cause was reeling from defeat after defeat, and was a staggering blow to the Confederacy."--Publisher's description.