Bruce Catton was born in 1899. As a child living in a small town in Michigan, Catton was stimulated by the reminiscences of the Civil War that he heard from local veterans. His education at Oberlin College, Ohio, was interrupted by two years of naval service in World War I and was subsequently abandoned for a career in journalism. While he was employed as a reporter for the Boston American, the Cleveland News, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer (1920-26), Catton continued his lifelong study of the Civil War period. He subsequently worked for the Newspaper Enterprise Service (1926-41) and for the U.S. War Production Board. In 1954 he became a member of the staff of American Heritage magazine, and from 1959 he served as its senior editor. A commission to write a Centennial History of the Civil War evolved into Catton's celebrated trilogy on the Army of the Potomac. Catton's brilliance as a historian lay in his ability to bring to historical narrative the immediacy of reportage. He died in 1978.