31 Facts About Ambrose Bierce


Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American short story writer, journalist, poet, and American Civil War veteran.

FactSnippet No. 982,041

Prolific and versatile writer, Ambrose Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States, and as a pioneering writer of realist fiction.

FactSnippet No. 982,042

In recent decades Ambrose Bierce has gained wider respect as a fabulist and for his poetry.

FactSnippet No. 982,043

In 1913, Ambrose Bierce told reporters that he was travelling to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution.

FactSnippet No. 982,044

Ambrose Bierce was of entirely English ancestry: all of his forebears came to North America between 1620 and 1640 as part of the Great Puritan Migration.

FactSnippet No. 982,045

Ambrose Bierce often wrote critically of both "Puritan values" and people who "made a fuss" about genealogy.

FactSnippet No. 982,046

Ambrose Bierce's parents were a poor but literary couple who instilled in him a deep love for books and writing.

FactSnippet No. 982,047

Ambrose Bierce grew up in Kosciusko County, Indiana, attending high school at the county seat, Warsaw.

FactSnippet No. 982,048

Ambrose Bierce left home at 15 to become a printer's devil at a small abolitionist newspaper, the Northern Indianan.

FactSnippet No. 982,049

Ambrose Bierce briefly attended the Kentucky Military Institute until it burned down.

FactSnippet No. 982,050

Ambrose Bierce participated in the operations in Western Virginia, was present at the Battle of Philippi and received newspaper attention for his daring rescue, under fire, of a gravely wounded comrade at the Battle of Rich Mountain.

FactSnippet No. 982,051

Ambrose Bierce fought at the Battle of Shiloh, a terrifying experience that became a source for several short stories and the memoir "What I Saw of Shiloh".

FactSnippet No. 982,052

In June 1864, Ambrose Bierce sustained a traumatic brain injury at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and spent the rest of the summer on furlough, returning to active duty in September.

FactSnippet No. 982,053

Ambrose Bierce separated from his wife in 1888, after discovering compromising letters to her from an admirer.

FactSnippet No. 982,054

Ambrose Bierce was an avowed agnostic and strongly rejected the divinity of Christ.

FactSnippet No. 982,055

Ambrose Bierce had lifelong asthma, as well as complications from his war wounds, most notably episodes of fainting and irritability assignable to the traumatic brain injury experienced at Kennesaw Mountain.

FactSnippet No. 982,056

In San Francisco, Ambrose Bierce was awarded the rank of brevet major before resigning from the Army.

FactSnippet No. 982,057

Ambrose Bierce remained in San Francisco for many years, eventually becoming famous as a contributor or editor of newspapers and periodicals, including The San Francisco News Letter, The Argonaut, the Overland Monthly, The Californian and The Wasp.

FactSnippet No. 982,058

Ambrose Bierce lived and wrote in England from 1872 to 1875, contributing to Fun magazine.

FactSnippet No. 982,059

One of the most notable of these incidents occurred following the assassination of President William McKinley, when Hearst's opponents turned a poem Ambrose Bierce had written about the assassination of Governor William Goebel of Kentucky in 1900 into a cause celebre.

FactSnippet No. 982,060

Ambrose Bierce meant his poem to express a national mood of dismay and fear, but after McKinley was shot in 1901, it seemed to foreshadow the crime:.

FactSnippet No. 982,061

Ambrose Bierce has been criticized by his contemporaries and later scholars for deliberately pursuing improbability and for his penchant toward "trick endings".

FactSnippet No. 982,062

Skeptic Joe Nickell noted that the letter had not been found, and concluded that Ambrose Bierce deliberately concealed his true whereabouts when he finally went to a selected location in the Grand Canyon and committed suicide.

FactSnippet No. 982,063

Oral tradition in Sierra Mojada, Coahuila, documented by a priest, James Lienert, states that Ambrose Bierce was executed by firing squad in the town cemetery there.

FactSnippet No. 982,064

Ambrose Bierce has been fictionalized in more than 50 novels, short stories, movies, television shows, stage plays, and comic books.

FactSnippet No. 982,065

Ambrose Bierce has been portrayed by such well-known authors as Ray Bradbury, Jack Finney, Carlos Fuentes, Winston Groom, Robert Heinlein, and Don Swaim.

FactSnippet No. 982,066

Some works featuring a fictional Ambrose Bierce have received favorable reviews, generated international sales, or earned major awards.

FactSnippet No. 982,067

Ambrose Bierce was a major character in a series of mystery books written by Oakley Hall and published between 1998 and 2006.

FactSnippet No. 982,068

Ambrose Bierce has painful faults of vulgarity and cheapness of imagination.

FactSnippet No. 982,069

Ambrose Bierce reappears in the future on Mount Shasta in Robert Heinlein's novella, "Lost Legacy".

FactSnippet No. 982,070

Ambrose Bierce wrote 249 short stories, 846 fables, and more than 300 humorous Little Johnny stories.

FactSnippet No. 982,071