Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Civil War Oddities #69

Scores of Federal officers were awarded post-war brevets as brigadier generals. Some of the men who received the strictly honorary title had long and distinguished records; others knew how to pull political strings.

Because he was not among those to whom: “honorary and temporary promotions” were given, the name of Col. Eli Lilly does not appear in standard Civil War dictionaries and encyclopedias. In postwar years, however, the man who was bypassed when congressmen and senators handed out large numbers of brevets headed an Indianapolis pharmaceutical firm. Because his corporation was a pioneer in making and distributing insulin and other life-saving medications, the name of Eli Lilly is now familiar around the world.