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A Biography Of Ambrose Bierce Essay, Research Paper

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was born in 1842 into a fairly poor family as the youngest of nine children. He lived in a log cabin in Horse Cave Creek, Ohio as a child. The only formal education he ever received was a single year at the Kentucky Military Institute when he was seventeen years of age. He enlisted with the Ninth Indian Infantry as a drummer boy in the Civil War. Then, in 1864, he was wounded and left the war to live with one of his brothers in San Francisco. There he began his career as a newspaper writer and published his first short story, The Haunted Valley, in the Overland Magazine in 1871. After marriage, Ambrose lived in London for five years. There he was accepted into the Fleet Street Gang, a social Parthenon of prominent authors, critics, editors, and pub-crawlers. After returning to the United States, he spent the year of 1880 gold mining and shotgun riding in the Black Hills of South Dakota for Wells Fargo & Company, but returned to his family in San Francisco. He became editor-in-chief of the weekly Wasp with the New Year s Day edition, 1881. His editorship ended on September 11, 1895. He went on to write many more short stories, and his first collection, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, was published in 1891. In 1893, Can Such Things Be? appeared, Bierce s second and most famous collection of fiction. One of his most recognized short stories, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, was one of the many stories included in his earliest compilations, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, and later in the 1906 release of The Devil s Dictionary. At age 70, Bierce began to revisit his past. He went to the battlefields of his soldiering days, San Francisco, Washington and other cities where he had lived at one point. Then he went south to Texas where , in San Antonio, he was given a dinner by his old army comerades. Afterwards he wandered the border for several days before he finally crossed, bravely, but gloomily into a revolution torn Mexico. His last letter home was sent from Chihuahua on December 26, 1913. He was never heard from again. It is believed that he joined the revolutionary forces of Pancho Villa and fell in the Battle of Ojinaga on January 11, 1914. But no one knows for sure.

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