2009-10-23 / News

A truly American scoundrel

By Warner M. Montgomery Warner@TheColumbiaStar.com

Maj. Gen. Dan Sickles Maj. Gen. Dan Sickles Thomas C. Salane, a reputable member of the SC Bar and one of the Best Lawyers in America, assumed the persona of Maj. Gen. Dan Sickles (1819–1914) at the September 22 Torch Club meeting and proceeded to explain his scoundrelous life.

Sickles (really Salane) explained how, during his 94 years of life, he played a major role in every great event of the 19th century; yet, history has made him nothing but a footnote. For example,

• I was responsible for the Union victory at Gettysburg and awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for my valor.

• I was an advisor to presidents (Buchanan, Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, McKinley, and Roosevelt).

• As a lawyer, I gave brilliant speeches for Tammany Hall.

• I served in the N.Y. House and Senate and in Congress.

• I courted a prostitute while married and killed my assistant for sleeping with my wife. A jury found me not guilty of murder after a 22–day, much publicized trial.

Tom Salane Tom Salane • I held séances with Mary Lincoln in order to get a military commission from Abe so I could join the Union forces after Fort Sumter.

• I was promoted by Gen. Joe Hooker, a fellow hard–drinking womanizer, to major general.

• At Gettysburg, I lost a leg so Lincoln sent me to Latin America to seek allies.

• After Lee surrendered, I was made military governor of South Carolina where I brutalized the old Confederates. President Johnson fired me.

• I was sent to Spain by President Grant to buy Cuba. I failed and lost my fortune in the process.

• I took control of the Erie Railroad from Jay Gould, got rich, and was elected to Congress again.

• In 1913, I was the only commander present at the 50th anniversary of Gettysburg, the battlefield I had gotten Congress to make a national park.

Salane did so well in his portrayal of Sickles that the audience booed him and shouted, “Scoundrel, traitor, womanizer, crook — go back to your grave and never rise again.”

The Torch Club of Columbia meets monthly for a nice meal and talk. For information, contact Ed Latimer at 803-776- 4765 or .

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