Date of Award

Summer 8-2013

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)





Committee Chair

Susannah Ural

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Kyle Zelner

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Andrew Wiest

Committee Member 3 Department



Charles Anderson Dana's contributions to Union victory during the American Civil War extend far beyond his well-known relationship with General Ulysses S. Grant. Using both his journalistic talents and patriotism, he gained Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton's trust, which was essential for Dana to perform his duties effectively at the War Department in Washington City from 1864 to 1865. His obligations encompassed a broad spectrum of responsibilities from investigating dishonest contractors and federal officials attempting to defraud the government to authorizing the arbitrary arrests of civilians. He simultaneously performed lesser-known activities such as arranging soldiers' furloughs for the 1864 presidential election, functioning as a point of contact for prison facilities, overseeing massive troop movements, procuring supplies, military recruitment, and additional miscellaneous issues that constantly flooded the department during his tenure. Examining Dana's involvement with these obscure, yet vital matters not only reveals the extent of the War Department's authority but also accentuates Dana's key contributions to the Union war effort.