According to Wikipedia: "Lewis "Lew" Wallace (April 10, 1827 – February 15, 1905) was a lawyer, governor, Union general in the American Civil War, American statesman, and author, best remembered for his historical novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ… Wallace's most notable service came in July 1864, at the Battle of Monocacy, part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864... Wallace participated in the military commission trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators as well as the court-martial of Henry Wirz, commandant of the Andersonville prison camp. He resigned from the army on November 30, 1865. Late in the war, he directed secret efforts by the government to help the Mexicans remove the French occupation forces who had seized control of Mexico in 1864. He continued in those efforts more publicly after the war and was offered a major general's commission in the Mexican army after his resignation from the U.S. Army. Multiple promises by the Mexican revolutionaries were never delivered, which forced Wallace into deep financial debt. Wallace held a number of important political posts during the 1870s and 1880s. He served as governor of New Mexico Territory from 1878 to 1881, and as U.S. Minister to the Ottoman Empire from 1881 to 1885... While serving as governor, Wallace completed the novel that made him famous: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880). It grew to be the best-selling American novel of the 19th century. The book has never been out of print and has been filmed four times."