Hunting Lieutenant Chadbourne

Jim W. Corder


“It is a profoundly moving meditation on the historian’s task, limpidly written and rife with insights about everything from the confusion of battle to the viewpoints of the other side.”
Boston Globe

“A brilliant piece of writing . . . Exhibiting the best of Corder’s style and grace in language, the book flows like honey from sentence to paragraph to chapter, drawing the reader in.”
Dallas Morning News

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On May 9, 1846, Second Lieutenant Theodore Lincoln Chadbourne, United States Army, fell in the battle of Resaca de la Palma during the war with Mexico. Dead at twenty-three in a remote desert, his promise outweighing his accomplishments, Chadbourne slid into obscurity. But his lapse was not immediate, nor was it complete; clues to Chadbourne lay scattered about the historical landscape.

Hunting Lieutenant Chadbourne is Jim W. Corder’s account of his obsessive search for information about this soldier, whose name he first read on a historical marker beside a highway in Texas. A thoughtful meditation on the connectedness of history and the possibilities of recovering and understanding the past, the book reveals as much about Corder’s literary and historiographical preoccupations as it does about the life of his subject. Rather than order his material into a linear, chronological narrative, Corder presents it in much the same sequence and form as it came to him. The effect is to dramatize the historical process and allow the very details that Corder collects to reveal Chadbourne to the reader. Who was Chadbourne, and can we ever really know? If Corder has any answers, they lie in his subtext of uncertainty.
Page count: 184 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $22.95

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Jim W. Corder (1929–1998) was an English professor at Texas Christian University. He is also the author of numerous books including Yonder: Life on the Far Side of Change (Georgia), Chronicle of a Small Town, and Lost in West Texas. Texas Christian University created the Corder Fellowship in his honor.