Alexander William Doniphan (1808-1887)--Missouri attorney, military figure, politician, and businessman--is one of the most significant figures in antebellum Missouri. From the 1830s to the 1880s, Doniphan was active in a variety of affairs in Missouri and held firm to several underlying principles, including loyalty, hard work, the sanctity of the republic, and commitment to Christian charity. However, the key to Doniphan's importance was his persistent moderation on the critical issues of his day.
Doniphan became a household name when he served as the commanding officer of the famed First Missouri Mounted Volunteers during the Mexican-American War. It was during this time that he won two battles, established an Anglo-American-based democracy in New Mexico, and paved the way for the annexation of the territory that became New Mexico and Arizona. He is also recognized by the Mormons for his assistance to their beleaguered church during Missouri's "Mormon War" and for his refusal to execute Joseph Smith when ordered to do so by his commanding officer.
Although Doniphan was a slaveholding unionist, he sought a middle ground to stave off war in the 1850s and early 1860s and served as a delegate to the Washington Peace Conference in 1861. When conflict escalated along the western border of Missouri in 1862, Doniphan moved to St. Louis, where he worked as a lawyer with the Missouri Claims Commission, seeking pensions for refugees.
Doniphan early adopted the Whig ideal of the "positive liberal state" and sought to use the power of government to remake society into something better. Once he saw the heavy-handed use of state power during Reconstruction, however, Doniphan reversed his views on the role of the government in society. For the rest of his life, he resisted government incursions into the lives of the people and sought to restore a healthy Union.
Alexander William Doniphan will be of interest to academic specialists and general readers alike, especially those interested in Mormon studies, Missouri history, military history, and Western history.
"Cooke's examination of the Special Services and PX System during World War II, a subject previously overlooked by scholars, shows that these goods and services kept the armed forces' spirits up under the alienating conditions of global war."—Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century
As World War II dawned in Europe, General George C. Marshall, the new Army Chief of Staff, had to acknowledge that American society—and the citizens who would soon become soldiers—had drastically changed in the previous few decades. Almost every home had a radio, movies could talk, and driving in an automobile to the neighborhood soda fountain was part of everyday life. A product of newly created mass consumerism, the soldier of 1940 had expectations of material comfort, even while at war. Historian James J. Cooke presents the first comprehensive look at how Marshall’s efforts to cheer soldiers far from home resulted in the enduring morale services that the Army provides still today.
Marshall understood that civilian soldiers provided particular challenges and wanted to improve the subpar morale services that had been provided to Great War doughboys. Frederick Osborn, a civilian intellectual, was called to head the newly formed morale branch, which quickly became the Special Services Division. Hundreds of on-post movie theaters showing first-run movies at reduced prices, service clubs where GIs could relax, and inexpensive cafeterias were constructed. The Army Exchange System took direction under Brigadier General Joseph Byron, offering comfort items at low prices; the PX sold everything from cigarettes and razor blades to low-alcohol beer in very popular beer halls.
The great civic organizations—the YMCA, the Salvation Army, the Jewish Welfare Board, and others—were brought together to form the United Service Organizations (USO). At USO Camp Shows, admired entertainers like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Frances Langford brought home-style entertainment to soldiers within the war zones. As the war heightened in intensity, the Special Service Companies grew to over forty in number, each containing more than one hundred enlisted men. Trained in infantry skills, soldiers in the companies at times would have to stop showing movies, pick up their rifles, and fight.
The Special Services Division, PX, and USO were crucial elements in maintaining GI morale, and Cooke’s work makes clear the lasting legacy of these efforts to boost the average soldier’s spirits almost a century ago. The idea that as American soldiers serve abroad, they should have access to at least some of the comforts of home has become a cultural standard.
Beth L Bailey Harvard University Press, 2009 Library of Congress UB323.B35 2009 | Dewey Decimal 355.2230973
America's Army is the story of the all-volunteer force, from the draft protests and policy proposals of the 1960s through the Iraq War. Based on exhaustive archival research, as well as interviews with Army officers and recruiters, advertising executives, and policy makers, America's Army confronts the political, moral, and social issues a volunteer force raises for a democratic society as well as for the defense of our nation.
John A. Logan, called "Black Jack" by the men he led in Civil War battles from the Henry-Donelson campaign to Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and on to Atlanta, was one of the Union Army’s most colorful generals.
James Pickett Jones places Logan in his southern Illinois surroundings as he examines the role of the political soldier in the Civil War. When Logan altered his stance on national issues, so did the southern part of the state. Although secession, civil strife, Copperheadism, and the new attitudes created by the war contributed to this change of position in southern Illinois, Logan’s role as political and military leader was important in the region’s swing to strong support of the war against the Confederacy, to the policies of Lincoln, and eventually, to the Republican party.
In a Segregated Military, the African American Armored Unit That Helped Patton Check the German Advance, Close the Rhine Ring, and Spearhead a New Postwar Army
Known primarily for being the first African American armored unit to see combat in World War II and as future baseball star Jackie Robinson’s onetime outfit, the 761st Tank Battalion was forged in a devil’s cauldron of heat and prejudice at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. Here, most viewed the tankers as tokens in a racial experiment, rather than as fellow American soldiers who would actually be deployed to fight a common enemy. Led by a small cadre of white and black officers, the 761st trained to the pinnacle of its craft. The Black Panthers, as they soon were called, proved their battle prowess against other units bound for combat on the parched Texas training fields. For this, they earned a coveted assignment to fight under General George S. Patton and go head-to-head with the best of Hitler’s arsenal. Moving to the front in November 1944, trial by fire soon shook the unit to its core. Ambushed by a veteran German force, the 761st suffered heavy casualties in the confusion as they cut their way out of the trap. But the men rallied to overcome self-doubt and vindicate their losses. Quickly battle hardened, the tankers saw intense combat through November and when Germany launched its last-ditch offensive through the Ardennes in December, the 761st fought side-by-side with Patton’s Third Army. Moving swiftly, the unit helped check the German advance, cut resupply routes to the forces surrounding beleaguered Bastogne, and drove the enemy back, recapturing towns crucial to the final defeat of Germany.
In The Black Panthers: A Story of Race, War, and Courage—the 761st Tank Battalion in World War II, historian Gina M. DiNicolo tells the full and unvarnished history of this important American fighting force. Relying on extensive archival research, including documents that had not been consulted in previous accounts, and interviews with surviving soldiers and family members, the author describes the unit’s training, deployment, combat, and individuals, such as Sgt. Ruben Rivers, one of only seven African American men awarded the Medal of Honor for World War II heroism. The professionalism, dedication, and courage of the 761st and other non-white units made clear that the strength of the American army in the future lay with integration—one of the enduring accomplishments of these servicemen.
A classic story of a young man’s journey to adulthood, The Boy of Battle Ford covers Blackman’s years growing up in early post-settlement Illinois, where he gave in to temptations such as drinking, gambling, and the lure of prostitutes before joining the army, finding God and becoming a preacher. Blackman, who notes that he is determined to “write facts” in this book, peppers his story with the sordid details of the sinful times of his life as well as with discussions of faith and of struggling to understand his God and his beliefs.
"An immensely valuable and substantial addition to 10th Mountain literature and to the history of skiing in the United States."
- International Ski History Association
The Boys of Winter tells the true story of three young American ski champions and their brutal, heroic, and fateful transformation from athletes to infantrymen with the 10th Mountain Division. Charles J. Sanders's fast-paced narrative draws on dozens of interviews and extensive research to trace these boys' lives from childhood to championships and from training at Mount Rainier and in the Colorado Rockies to battles against the Nazis.
Perhaps no topic is more heated, and the sources more tendentious, than that of Civil War prisons and the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs). Partisans of each side, then and now, have vilified the other for maltreatment of their POWs, while seeking to excuse their own distressing record of prisoner of war camp mismanagement, brutality, and incompetence. It is only recently that historians have turned their attention to this contentious topic in an attempt to sort the wheat of truth from the chaff of partisan rancor.
Roger Pickenpaugh has previously studied a Union prison camp in careful detail (Camp Chase) and now turns his attention to the Union record in its entirety, to investigate variations between camps and overall prison policy and to determine as nearly as possible what actually happened in the admittedly over-crowded, under-supplied, and poorly-administered camps. He also attempts to determine what conditions resulted from conscious government policy or were the product of local officials and situations.
Army chaplains have long played an integral part in America’s armed forces. In addition
to conducting chapel activities on military installations and providing moral and spiritual
support on the battlefield, they conduct memorial services for fallen soldiers, minister
to survivors, offer counsel on everything from troubled marriages to military bureaucracy,
and serve as families’ points of contact for wounded or deceased soldiers—all while
risking the dangers of combat alongside their troops. In this thoughtful study, Anne C.
Loveland examines the role of the army chaplain since World War II, revealing how the
corps has evolved in the wake of cultural and religious upheaval in American society and
momentous changes in U.S. strategic relations, warfare, and weaponry.
From 1945 to the present, Loveland shows, army chaplains faced several crises that
reshaped their roles over time. She chronicles the chaplains’ initiation of the Character
Guidance program as a remedy for the soaring rate of venereal disease among soldiers in
occupied Europe and Japan after World War II, as well as chaplains’ response to the challenge
of increasing secularism and religious pluralism during the “culture wars” of the
Vietnam Era.“Religious accommodation,” evangelism and proselytizing, public prayer,
and “spiritual fitness”provoked heated controversy among chaplains as well as civilians in
the ensuing decades. Then, early in the twenty-first century, chaplains themselves experienced
two crisis situations: one the result of the Vietnam-era antichaplain critique, the
other a consequence of increasing religious pluralism, secularization, and sectarianism
within the Chaplain Corps, as well as in the army and the civilian religious community.
By focusing on army chaplains’ evolving, sometimes conflict-ridden relations with
military leaders and soldiers on the one hand and the civilian religious community on the
other, Loveland reveals how religious trends over the past six decades have impacted the
corps and, in turn, helped shape American military culture.
Anne C. Loveland is T. Harry Williams Professor Emerita at Louisiana State University.
She is the author of Southern Evangelicals and the Social Order, 1800–1860 and American
Evangelicals and the U. S. Military, 1942–1993.
Veterans of World War II have long sung the praises of the PX—a little piece of home in far-flung corners of the world. Though many books on that war tell of combat operations and logistics in detail, this is the first to tell the full story of the Army Exchange System.
The AES was dedicated to providing soldiers with some of the comforts they had enjoyed in civilian life—candy, beer, cigarettes, razor blades, soap—whether by operating an exchange close to where they were fighting or by sending goods forward to the lines, free of charge. The beer may have been only “3.2,” but it was cheap and, unlike British beer, was served cold, thanks to PX coolers. And a constant supply of cigarettes and chewing gum gave GIs an advantage when flirting with the local girls.
In chronicling the history of the AES, James J. Cooke harks back to the Civil War, in which sutlers sold basic items to the Yankee troops for exorbitant prices, and to the First World War, when morale-building provisions were brought in by agencies such as the Red Cross. He then traces the evolution of the PX through World War II from the point of view of those who ran the service and that of the soldiers who used it, blending administrative history with colorful anecdotes and interspersing letters from GIs.
Cooke views the PX as a manifestation of American mobility, materialism, and the cultural revolution of mass consumerism that flourished in the 1920s, serving soldiers who were themselves products of this new American way of retail and expected a high level of material support in time of war. He emphasizes the accomplishments of Major General Joseph W. Byron, chief PX officer from 1941 to 1943, and his deputy, Colonel Frank Kerr. He also tells how the PX dealt with the presence of large numbers of women in uniform and the need to meet their demands in exchange offerings.
By 1945, General Byron could boast that the Army Exchange Service operated the world’s largest department store chain, serving the grandest army the United States had ever put in the field, and today the PX is still a central factor of military life. Yet as Cooke shows, the key to the AES’s importance was ultimately the way it bolstered morale—and helped give our fighting men the will to keep fighting.
In the midst of the Philippine-American War, twenty-two-year-old Robert Dexter Carter served in Manila as a civilian quartermaster clerk. Through his letters to his family, he provided a vivid picture of army life in Manila—the sights, the smells, and his responses to the native culture. In addition to his letters, his diary and several related articles present a firsthand account of the historic voyage of the United States Army Transport Grant through the Suez Canal to Manila in early 1899. Carter’s writings not only tell of his sometimes harrowing experiences, but also reveal the aspirations and fears of a young man not quite sure of his next steps on life’s journey.
Carter’s father, Robert Goldthwaite Carter, was a war hero and a longtime friend of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Lawton. Carter obtained his position through Lawton’s influence, and his respect for Lawton is clear throughout his writings. A frequent guest in the Lawton home, the young clerk was introduced to many notable figures both military and civilian. Carter’s letters, particularly to his father, are full of news and gossip related to his commander. In other letters, he reveals the kindness and generosity of Mrs. Lawton, who took time to look out for Carter while he was in the hospital and often loaned him books.
This well-researched and expertly edited work casts light on the role of support troops in war, a subject too often minimized or ignored. Shay begins each chapter with an introduction that establishes the setting, the context of events, and the disposition of Carter and his compatriots and provides notes and commentary to place the letters in context. By choosing not to edit the offensive expletives of a sometimes arrogant and racist young man, Shay presents a fully nuanced portrait of a young American exploring the larger world in a time of turmoil.
Enhanced by photographs from collections at the Library of Congress and the Military History Institute, as well as many of Carter’s own whimsical drawings, the book will appeal to armchair historians and scholars alike.
Ralph Kirshner has provided a richly illustrated forum to enable the West Point class of 1861 to write its own autobiography. Through letters, journals, and published accounts, George Armstrong Custer, Adelbert Ames, and their classmates tell in their own words of their Civil War battles and of their varied careers after the war.
Two classes graduated from West Point in 1861 because of Lincoln's need of lieutenants: forty-five cadets in Ames's class in May and thirty-four in Custer's class in June. The cadets range from Henry Algernon du Pont, first in the class of May, whose ancestral home is now Winterthur Garden, to Custer, last in the class of June. “Only thirty-four graduated,” remarked Custer, “and of these thirty-three graduated above me.” West Point's mathematics professor and librarian Oliver Otis Howard, after whom Howard University is named, is also portrayed.
Other famous names from the class of 1861 are John Pelham, Emory Upton, Thomas L. Rosser, John Herbert Kelly (the youngest general in the Confederacy when appointed), Patrick O'Rorke (head of the class of June), Alonzo Cushing, Peter Hains, Edmund Kirby, John Adair (the only deserter in the class), and Judson Kilpatrick (great-grandfather of Gloria Vanderbilt). They describe West Point before the Civil War, the war years, including the Vicksburg campaign and the battle of Gettysburg, the courage and character of classmates, and the ending of the war.
Kirshner also highlights postwar lives, including Custer at Little Bighorn; Custer's rebel friend Rosser; John Whitney Barlow, who explored Yellowstone; du Pont, senator and author; Kilpatrick, playwright and diplomat; Orville E. Babcock, Grant's secretary until his indictment in the "Whiskey Ring"; Pierce M. B. Young, a Confederate general who became a diplomat; Hains, the only member of the class to serve on active duty in World War I; and Upton, "the class genius."
The Class of 1861, which features eighty-three photographs, includes a foreword by George Plimpton, editor of theParis Review and great-grandson of General Adelbert Ames.
The Colonel and The Pacifist
Klancy Clark De Nevers University of Utah Press, 2004 Library of Congress D769.8.A6D44 2004 | Dewey Decimal 940.53089956073
Executive Order 9066. In February 1942, ten weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put his signature to a piece of paper that allowed the forced removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry from their West Coast homes, and their incarceration in makeshift camps. Those are the facts. But two faces emerge from behind these facts: Karl R. Bendetsen, the Army major who was promoted to full colonel and placed in charge of the evacuation after formulating the concept of 'military necessity,' and who penned the order Roosevelt signed, and Perry H. Saito, a young college student, future Methodist minister, and former neighbor from Bendetsen’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington who was incarcerated in Tule Lake Relocation Camp.
The Colonel and the Pacifist tells the story of two men caught up in one of the most infamous episodes in American history. While they never met, Bendetsen and Saito’s lives touched tangentially—from their common hometown to their eventual testimony during the 1981 hearings of the Commission on the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. In weaving together these contrasting stories, Klancy Clark de Nevers not only exposes unknown or little known aspects of World War II history, she also explores larger issues of racism and war that resonate through the years and ring eerily familiar to our post-9/11 ears.
In this fascinating memoir William S. Triplet continues the saga begun in his earlier book, A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne: A Memoir, 1917-1918. After serving in World War I, Triplet chose to become a career military man and entered West Point. Upon graduation in 1924, his assignments were routine—to regiments in the Southwest and in Panama or as an officer in charge of Reserve Officers' Training Corps units or of men sent to a tank school. All this changed, however, when a new war opened in Europe.
From 1940 to1942, Triplet was assigned to the Infantry Board at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he engaged in testing new weapons and machines for the expanding army. He became a full colonel in December 1942. After leaving Benning he received posts with four armored forces: the Thirteenth Armored Division forming in the United States, an amphibious tank and troop carrier group training at Fort Ord, California, and the Second and Seventh Armored Divisions in Europe. His extraordinary abilities as a tank commander became evident in the Seventh Armored, where he took over a four-thousand-man unit known as Combat Command A. He was soon moving from triumph to triumph as he led his unit into Germany. Here was much room for professional judgment and decision, and the colonel was in his element. In the war's last days Triplet and his men fought their way to the Baltic, preventing many German troops from joining in the defense of Berlin against the advancing Soviet army.
Although Triplet was recommended for brigadier general, Dwight D. Eisenhower believed the U.S. Army had enough generals to finish the war; thus, the indomitable Triplet served out the few remaining years of his career as a colonel. After retiring in 1954, Triplet moved to Leesburg, Virginia, where he soon began to mull over his military experiences. Fascinated by the history he had witnessed, engaged by the attraction of writing about it, he recorded his memories with a combination of verve, thoughtfulness, and harsh judgments concerning ranking officers he considered incompetent— generals not excluded.
Through his annotations, Robert H. Ferrell provides the historical context for Triplet's experiences. Well written and completely absorbing, A Colonel in the Armored Divisions provides readers the rare opportunity to see firsthand what a real professional in the U.S. Army thought about America's preparation for and participation in the war against Germany and Japan.
Conjuring Freedom: Music and Masculinity in the Civil War’s “Gospel Army” analyzes the songs of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, a regiment of Black soldiers who met nightly in the performance of the ring shout. In this study, acknowledging the importance of conjure as a religious, political, and epistemological practice, Johari Jabir demonstrates how the musical performance allowed troop members to embody new identities in relation to national citizenship, militarism, and masculinity in more inclusive ways. Jabir also establishes how these musical practices of the regiment persisted long after the Civil War in Black culture, resisting, for instance, the paternalism and co-optive state antiracism of the film Glory, and the assumption that Blacks need to be deracinated to be full citizens.
Reflecting the structure of the ring shout—the counterclockwise song, dance, drum, and story in African American history and culture—Conjuring Freedom offers three new concepts to cultural studies in order to describe the practices, techniques, and implications of the troop’s performance: (1) Black Communal Conservatories, borrowing from Robert Farris Thompson’s “invisible academies” to describe the structural but spontaneous quality of black music-making, (2) Listening Hermeneutics, which accounts for the generative and material affects of sound on meaning-making, and (3) Sonic Politics, which points to the political implications of music’s use in contemporary representations of race and history.
Through an analysis of transnational criminal networks originating in South America, this report presents operational characteristics of these networks, strategic alliances they have established, and the multiple threats that they pose to U.S. interests and to the stability of the countries where they operate. It also identifies U.S. government policies and programs to counter these networks and examines the military’s role in that context.
"Deployed is an important and deeply moving book. Here, in this story, the heroic tradition of the American citizen-soldier lives on."
---Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor, Boston University, and author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War
"Whatever your feelings about Iraq, Deployed is an important and compelling work that illuminates the real human cost of the war, and gives voice to those compelled to fight it."
---Ken Wells, Senior Editor, Condé Nast Portfolio
"Currently, there are few to no books dealing with the sociology of Iraq, and even fewer have empirical data on the experiences of American soldiers. More important, this work provides a strong and needed voice for soldiers---their words are compelling, rich, and moving."
---Morten Ender, Professor of Sociology, United States Military Academy at West Point
"This is a unique book that weaves historical, ethnographic, and organizational approaches for a study of Iraq-War military reservists. . . . the authors' findings challenge the pervading wisdom on reservists' motivations for service; the chemistry between family, reserve duty, and relations with regular military; and the effect that service in Iraq had on them."
---Jerry Lembcke, Associate Professor of Sociology, Holy Cross College
What is it like to be one of the citizen-soldiers summoned to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan? The events of 9/11 were a call to arms for many reservists, as shock, anger, and fear propelled large numbers to volunteer for the opportunity to serve their country in the Middle East. Even the most patriotic, however, had not expected that the wars would last so long or that the Army Reserve would supply so much of the manpower.
Using the soldiers' own voices, Deployed draws upon the life stories of members of an Army Reserve MP Company, who were called to extraordinary service after September 11. The book explores how and why they joined the Army Reserve, how they dealt with the seismic changes in their lives during and after deployment, the evolution of their relationships inside and outside their military unit, and their perspectives on the U.S. Army.
Musheno and Ross uncover five pathways that led these citizens to join the reserves, showing how basic needs and cultural idioms combined to stimulate enlistments. Whatever path led to enlistment, the authors find that citizen-soldiers fall into three distinct categories: adaptive reservists who adjust quickly to the huge changes in their lives abroad and at home, struggling reservists whose troubles are more a product of homegrown circumstances than experiences specific to serving in a war zone, and reservists who are dismissive of military life while they live it and oppose the war even as they fight it. Perhaps most important, Deployed challenges the prevailing stereotype of returning soldiers as war-damaged citizens.
Jacket photograph: AP Photo/Hutchinson News, Travis Morisse.
Desert Mementos is a collection of loosely connected short stories set during the early stages of the Iraq War (2004 and 2005). The stories rotate from battles with insurgents and the drudgery of the war machine in Iraq to Nevada, where characters are either preparing for war, escaping it during their leave, or returning home having seen what they’ve seen.
Cage captures similarities in the respective desert landscapes of both Iraq and Nevada, but it is not just a study in contrasting landscapes. The inter-connected stories explore similarities and differences in human needs from the perspectives of vastly different cultures. Specifically, the stories deftly capture the overlap in the respective desert landscapes of each region, the contrasting cultures and worldviews, and the common need for hope. Taken together, the stories represent the arc of a year-long deployment by young soldiers. Cage’s stories are bound together by the soldier’s searing experiences in the desert, bookended by leaving and returning home to Nevada, which in many ways can be just as disorienting as patrolling the Iraq desert.
On July 11, 1943, General Lucian Truscott received the Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, for valor in action in Sicily. During his career he also received the Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Purple Heart. Truscott was one of the most significant of all U.S. Army generals in World War II, pioneering new combat training methods—including the famous “Truscott Trot”— and excelling as a combat commander, turning the Third Infantry Division into one of the finest divisions in the U.S. Army. He was instrumental in winning many of the most important battles of the war, participating in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Anzio, and southern France. Truscott was not only respected by his peers and “dogfaces”—common soldiers—alike but also ranked by President Eisenhower as second only to Patton, whose command he took over on October 8, 1945, and led until April 1946.
Yet no definitive history of his life has been compiled. Wilson Heefner corrects that with the first authoritative biography of this distinguished American military leader. Heefner has undertaken impressive research in primary sources—as well as interviews with family members and former associates—to shed new light on this overlooked hero. He presents Truscott as a soldier who was shaped by his upbringing, civilian and military education, family life, friendships, and evolving experiences as a commander both in and out of combat.
Heefner’s brisk narrative explores Truscott’s career through his three decades in the Army and defines his roles in key operations. It also examines Truscott’s postwar role as military governor of Bavaria, particularly in improving living conditions for Jewish displaced persons, removing Nazis from civil government, and assisting in the trials of German war criminals. And it offers the first comprehensive examination of his subsequent career in the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served as senior CIA representative in West Germany during the early days of the Cold War, and later as CIA Director Allen Dulles’s deputy director for coordination in Washington.
Dogface Soldier is a portrait of a man who earned a reputation for being honest, forthright, fearless, and aggressive, both as a military officer and in his personal life—a man who, at the dedication ceremony for the Anzio-Nettuno American cemetery in 1945, turned away from the crowd and to the thousands of crosses stretching before him to address those buried there. Heefner has written a definitive biography of a great soldier and patriot.
The Echo of Battle
Brian McAllister Linn Harvard University Press, 2007 Library of Congress UA25.L63 2007 | Dewey Decimal 355.033573
From Lexington and Gettysburg to Normandy and Iraq, wars have defined the United States. But after the guns fall silent, the army searches the lessons of past conflicts, developing the strategies, weapons, doctrines, and commanders that it hopes will guarantee future victory. Linn surveys the past assumptions--and errors--that underlie the army's many visions of warfare up to the present day.
Brian McAllister Linn Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress UA25.L64 2016 | Dewey Decimal 355.0097309045
When the Army drafted Elvis in 1958, it set about transforming the King of Rock and Roll from a rebellious teen idol into a clean-cut GI trained for nuclear warfare. Brian Linn traces the origins, evolution, and ultimate failure of the army’s attempt to reinvent itself for the Atomic Age, and reveals the experiences of its forgotten soldiers.
A Personal Reflection of a Frontline Soldier in Vietnam and Cambodia During the Cultural Maelstrom of the 1960s
In late 1969, twenty-year-old Robert Sweatmon received a letter informing him that he had ten days to report to the United States Army. Like thousands of others, he had been drafted. Assigned as a rifleman with a mechanized unit, the author began a year-long odyssey in the Southeast Asian wilderness that would change his and his fellow soldiers’ lives forever.
Taking its title from the nighttime radio code call and response between base camp and those on ambush patrol, Five Four Whiskey: A Memory of War is a moving account of life as a combat soldier in the Vietnam War. Set mostly in the sprawling woods and rubber plantations northwest of Saigon, the author explains what his unit was asked to do and what obstacles they faced, including an elusive but deadly enemy, multiple kinds of booby traps, and antitank mines. The author, a notable television personality following the war, does not sensationalize his account; rather, his book allows a new generation to understand the emotional and physical pressures of the times. Coming of age in the maelstrom of civil rights and the free love culture, the author and his fellow soldiers saw their idealism quickly vaporize in the face of the grim realities of war. Here they learned to compartmentalize their lives as a way to survive, but it was their strong bonds that ultimately kept them from succumbing to the madness that surrounded them. Kept in the field for almost the entire time of his tour, the author was in a unit selected to conduct a clandestine reconnaissance in Cambodia and then lead the 1970 invasion, where he was wounded. Following his convalescence, he was sent to Nui Ba Den, the fabled ghost mountain haunted by the spirit of a Vietnamese princess, until he received his papers that he had completed his combat service. At that moment, his year-long mental wall between soldier and civilian fell away as he counted the last terrifying hours before he was safely out of Vietnam. A tour-de-force of military memoir, written in an objective and often literary prose, Five Four Whiskey perfectly captures how ordinary civilian-soldiers survived an ordeal set in one of the most turbulent times in American history.
Missouri’s history is replete with strong and adventurous leaders, from Lewis and Clark to Harry S. Truman. It is no surprise, then, that the Show-Me State has produced a great number of military men and women, including thirty who attained the rank of general. In this clearly written and richly illustrated book, James F. Muench has profiled five of the best-known figures: Alexander William Doniphan, Sterling Price, Ulysses S. Grant, John J. Pershing, and Omar Bradley. These men represent a number of historical eras–from the Mexican-American War through World War II–and a variety of social and cultural backgrounds.
Doniphan, who served in the Mexican-American War, and Price, who served in the Civil War on the Confederate side, were citizen soldiers who rose through the ranks of their local militias. Grant, who served in the Civil War on the Union side; Pershing, who served in World War I; and Bradley, who served in World War II, were professional soldiers who represented the trend in the modern army as general as manager and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. While noting the diversity among the generals, Muench also is careful to emphasize the connections and commonalities among them.
Five Stars: Missouri’s Most Famous Generals dedicates one chapter to each general. With lively, clear language, Muench gives readers an effective and entertaining primer on the lives and times of Missouri’s celebrated generals and their roles in American history, focusing in particular on their battlefield exploits. This book is sure to appeal to anyone interested in Missouri history, as well as those interested in military leadership.
Adriane Danette Lentz-Smith Harvard University Press, 2009 Library of Congress D639.N4L46 2009 | Dewey Decimal 940.403
For many of the 200,000 black soldiers sent to Europe with the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, encounters with French civilians and colonial African troops led them to imagine a world beyond Jim Crow. They returned home to join activists working to make that world real. In narrating the efforts of African American soldiers and activists to gain full citizenship rights as recompense for military service, Adriane Lentz-Smith illuminates how World War I mobilized a generation.
In a series of columns published in the African American newspaper The Christian Recorder, the young, charismatic preacher Henry McNeal Turner described his experience of the Civil War, first from the perspective of a civilian observer in Washington, D.C., and later, as one of the Union army’s first black chaplains.
In the halls of Congress, Turner witnessed the debates surrounding emancipation and black enlistment. As army chaplain, Turner dodged “grape” and cannon, comforted the sick and wounded, and settled disputes between white southerners and their former slaves. He was dismayed by the destruction left by Sherman’s army in the Carolinas, but buoyed by the bravery displayed by black soldiers in battle. After the war ended, he helped establish churches and schools for the freedmen, who previously had been prohibited from attending either.
Throughout his columns, Turner evinces his firm belief in the absolute equality of blacks with whites, and insists on civil rights for all black citizens. In vivid, detailed prose, laced with a combination of trenchant commentary and self-deprecating humor, Turner established himself as more than an observer: he became a distinctive and authoritative voice for the black community, and a leader in the African Methodist Episcopal church. After Reconstruction failed, Turner became disillusioned with the American dream and became a vocal advocate of black emigration to Africa, prefiguring black nationalists such as Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. Here, however, we see Turner’s youthful exuberance and optimism, and his open-eyed wonder at the momentous changes taking place in American society.
Well-known in his day, Turner has been relegated to the fringes of African American history, in large part because neither his views nor the forms in which he expressed them were recognized by either the black or white elite. With an introduction by Jean Lee Cole and a foreword by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Freedom’s Witness: The Civil War Correspondence of Henry McNeal Turner restores this important figure to the historical and literary record.
In the summer of 1862, the U.S. Army court martialed Colonel John B. Turchin, a Russian-born Union officer, for offenses committed by his troops in Athens, Alabama, including looting, safe cracking, the vandalization of homes, and the rape of young black woman. The pillage of Athens violated a government policy of conciliation; it was hoped that if Southern civilians were treated gently as citizens of the United States, they would soon return their allegiance to the federal government.
By examining the volunteers who made up Turchin’ s force, the colonel's trial, his subsequent promotion, the policy debate surrounding the incident and the public reaction to the outcome, the authors further illuminate one of the most provocative questions in Civil War studies: how did the policy set forth by President Lincoln evolve from one of conciliation to one far more modern in nature, placing the burden of war on the civilian population of the South?
The soldiers of the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry fought in the Overland campaign under Grant and in the Shenandoah valley under Sheridan, notably at the Battle of Monocacy. But as Dennis Brandt reveals in From Home Guards to Heroes, their real story takes place beyond the battlefield. The 87th drew its men from the Scotch-Irish and German populations of York and Adams counties in south-central Pennsylvania—a region with closer ties to Baltimore than to Philadelphia—where some citizens shared Marylanders’ southern views on race while others aided the Underground Railroad.
Brandt’s unique regimental history investigates why these “boys from York” enlisted and why some deserted, the ways in which soldiers reflected their home communities, and the area’s attitudes toward the war both before and after hostilities broke out. Brandt takes a humanistic approach to the Civil War, revealing the more personal aspects of the struggle in a book that focuses on the soldiers themselves.
Using their own words to describe action both on and off the battlefield, he sheds light on the lives of ordinary men: the comparative values of farm and city boys, their motives and concerns, the effect of battle on soldiers and their families, and the suffering that veterans took to the grave. Brandt also looks at soldiers’ racial views, illuminating their deepest worries about the war, and at community politics and problems of discipline surrounding this ideologically divided unit.
Grounded in more than a decade of research into nearly two thousand military records, this is one of the few regimental histories based on more than one thousand pension records for the entire regiment, plus nearly eight hundred additional record sets for other area soldiers. Brandt tapped regional newspapers and a cache of unpublished letters and diaries—some from private collections not previously known—to provide an invaluable account of Civil War sensibilities in a northern area bordering a slave state.
From Home Guards to Heroes is a book about war in which humanity rather than troop movement takes center stage. Engagingly written for a wide audience and meticulously researched, it offers a distinctive image of a community and the intimate lives of the men it sent off to fight—and a story that will intrigue any Civil War aficionado.
The life of Patrick Edward Connor serves as a half-century slice of western American history. After leaving New York City, where he had arrived at the age of twelve as a poor Irish immigrant, the nineteen-year-old youth joined the U.S. Army in 1839. He fought in the war with Mexico and then joined the gold rush in California until marrying and settling down in Stockton in 1854.
The Civil War found him volunteering again, this time as colonel of California troops sent to the Utah Territory to protect the mail lines from Indian attacks. Bitterly anti-Mormon, Connor spent the war years alternately engaging in a war of words with Brigham Young or in fighting Indians in northern Utah and present-day Wyoming. After the Civil War, ex-Major General Connor began mining operations in Utah and Nevada, ventures that went from boom to bust. He spent his final years in straitened financial circumstances.
Patrick Edward Connor was a “Man of the West,” possessing both its prejudices and its democratic, independent spirit. His greatest success lay as a military leader, and he would have agreed that he was made for war, not peace. He left an imprint on the history of the American West, remembered as the founder of Fort Douglas, as the “first gentile in Utah,” the “father of Utah mining,” and the “father of the Liberal Party in Utah.”
In 1918 the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France to help win World War I. Elizabeth Cobbs reveals the challenges these patriotic young women faced in a war zone where male soldiers resented, wooed, mocked, saluted, and ultimately celebrated them. Back on the home front, they fought the army for veterans’ benefits and medals, and won.
This report discusses the results of occupation surveys administered to soldiers in selected Army military occupational specialties (MOSs) to assess the level and importance of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in these MOSs and to develop better crosswalks between military and civilian occupations. The report identifies both a broader range of military-civilian occupation matches and higher-quality matches than existing crosswalks.
Carl Lavin was a high school senior when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The Canton, Ohio, native enlisted when he turned eighteen, a decision that would take him with the US Army from training across the United States and Britain to combat with the 84th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge. Home Front to Battlefront is the tale of a foot soldier who finds himself thrust into a world where he and his unit grapple with the horrors of combat, the idiocies of bureaucracy, and the oddities of life back home—all in the same day. The book is based on Carl’s personal letters, his recollections, and those of the people he served beside, official military history, private papers, and more.
Home Front to Battlefront contributes the rich details of one soldier’s experience to the broader literature on World War II. Lavin’s adventures, in turn disarming and sobering, will appeal to general readers, veterans, educators, and students of the war. As a history, the book offers insight into the wartime career of a Jewish Ohioan in the military, from enlistment to training through overseas deployment. As a biography, it reflects the emotions and the role of the individual in a total war effort that is all too often thought of as a machine war in which human soldiers were merely interchangeable cogs.
Pierpont Stackpole was a Boston lawyer who in January 1918 became aide to Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, soon to be commander of the first American corps in France. Stackpole’s diary, published here for the first time, is a major eyewitness account of the American Expeditionary Forces’ experience on the Western Front, offering an insider’s view into the workings of Liggett’s commands, his day-to-day business, and how he orchestrated his commands in trying and confusing situations.
Hunter Liggett did not fit John J. Pershing’s concept of the trim and energetic officer, but Pershing entrusted to him a corps and then an army command. Liggett assumed leadership of the U.S. First Army in mid-October of 1918, and after reorganizing, reinforcing, and resting, the battle-weary troops broke through the German lines in a fourth attack at the Meuse-Argonne—accomplishing what Pershing had failed to do in three previous attempts. The victory paved the way to armistice on November 11.
Liggett has long been a shadowy figure in the development of the American high command. He was “Old Army,” a veteran of Indian wars who nevertheless kept abreast of changes in warfare and more than other American officers was ready for the novelties of 1914–1918. Because few of his papers have survived, the diary of his aide—who rode in the general’s staff car as Liggett unburdened himself about fellow generals and their sometimes abysmal tactical notions—provides especially valuable insights into command within the AEF.
Stackpole’s diary also sheds light on other figures of the war, presenting a different view of the controversial Major General Clarence Edwards than has recently been recorded and relating the general staff’s attitudes about the flamboyant aviation figure Billy Mitchell. General Liggett built the American army in France, and the best measure of his achievement is this diary of his aide. That record stands here as a fascinating and authentic look at the Great War.
In the Philippines and Okinawa, the third volume of Colonel William S. Triplet's memoirs, tells of Triplet's experiences during the American occupations in the early years after World War II. Continuing the story from the preceding books of his memoirs, A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne and A Colonel in the Armored Divisions, Triplet takes us to the Philippines, where his duties included rounding up isolated groups of Japanese holdouts, men who refused to believe or admit that their nation had lost the war, and holding them until the time came to transport them back to Japan.
Triplet also had to reorganize his battalions and companies to raise morale, which had plummeted with the end of the war and the seemingly dull tasks of occupation. When he took over his assignment of commanding a regiment in a division, he was dismayed to discover the unmilitary habits of almost everyone, regardless of rank. A strict disciplinarian himself, Colonel Triplet, who had served in both world wars, at one time commanding a four-thousand-man combat group, brought his regiment of garrison troops back into shape in a short time.
Okinawa presented the new challenge of bringing order to an island that had seen the deaths of one hundred thousand civilians. Virtually every building on the island had been leveled, and tens of thousands of Japanese defenders had been killed. Triplet was also obliged to oversee the temporary burial of thirteen thousand U.S. servicemen, both soldiers and sailors.
In the Philippines and Okinawa portrays the ever-changing, very human, and frequently dangerous occupation of two East Asian regions that are still important to American foreign policy. Any reader interested in military history or American history will find this memoir engaging.
"Splendid. . . .a book that has the rare quality of being both an excellent reference work and a pleasure to read."—Wall Street Journal
"As complete and balanced an overview of nearly a century of fighting between the U.S. Army and dozens of Indian nations as there is." —Martin Naparsteck, Salt Lake Tribune
"Excellent. . . . Indian Wars is an outstanding introduction to the 'longest campaign ever waged by any of the United States armed forces.' It also has the virtue of speaking eloquently to the past while offering valuable guidance for the future."—Military.com
The Indian wars remain the most misunderstood campaign ever waged by the U. S. Army. From the first sustained skirmishes west of the Mississippi River in the 1850s to the sweeping clashes of hundreds of soldiers and warriors along the upper plains decades later, these wars consumed most of the active duty resources of the army for the greater part of the nineteenth century and resulted in the disruption of nearly all of the native cultures in the West. Yet the popular understanding of the Indian wars is marred by stereotypes and misinformation as well as a tendency to view these individual wars—the battles against the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Nez Perce, the Apache, and other groups—as distinct incidents rather than parts of a single overarching campaign. Dispelling notions that American Indians were simply attempting to stop encroachment on their homelands or that they shared common views on how to approach the Europeans, Bill Yenne explains in Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West, that these wars, fought for more than five decades across a landscape the size of continental Europe, were part of a general long-term strategy by the U. S. Army to control the West as well as extensions of conflicts among native peoples that predated European contact.
Complete with a general history of Indian and European relations from the earliest encounters to the opening of the west, and featuring legendary figures from both sides, including Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, George Custer, Kit Carson, and George Crook, Indian Wars allows the reader to better understand the sequence of events that transformed the West and helped define the American temperament.
Alice Kaplan University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress D810.N4K37 2007 | Dewey Decimal 940.5403092
No story of World War II is more triumphant than the liberation of France, made famous in countless photos of Parisians waving American flags and kissing GIs as columns of troops paraded down the Champs Élysées. But one of the least-known stories from that era is also one of the ugliest chapters in the history of Jim Crow. In The Interpreter, celebrated author Alice Kaplan recovers this story both as eyewitnesses first saw it, and as it still haunts us today.
The American Army executed 70 of its own soldiers between 1943 and 1946—almost all of them black, in an army that was overwhelmingly white. Through the French interpreter Louis Guilloux’s eyes, Kaplan narrates two different trials: one of a white officer, one of a black soldier, both accused of murder. Both were court-martialed in the same room, yet the outcomes could not have been more different.
Kaplan’s insight into character and setting creates an indelible portrait of war, race relations, and the dangers of capital punishment.
“A nuanced historical account that resonates with today’s controversies over race and capital punishment.” Publishers Weekly
“American racism could become deadly for black soldiers on the front. The Interpreter reminds us of this sad component of a heroic chapter in American military history.” Los AngelesTimes
“With elegance and lucidity, Kaplan revisits these two trials and reveals an appallingly separate and unequal wartime U.S. military justice system.” MinneapolisStar Tribune
“Kaplan has produced a compelling look at the racial disparities as they were played out…She explores both cases in considerable and vivid detail.” SacramentoBee
Matthew Mark Trumbull was a Londoner who immigrated at the age of twenty. Within ten years of his arrival in America, he had become a lawyer in Butler County, Iowa; two years later a member of the state legislature; and two years after that a captain in the Union Army. By the end of the Civil War, he was a brevet brigadier general, and in his later years he was an author and lecturer. Kenneth Lyftogt’s biography details the amazing life of this remarkable man, also shedding light on the histories of the Third Iowa Volunteer Infantry and the Ninth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry.
General Benjamin H. Grierson is most widely known as the brilliant cavalryman whose actions in the Civil War's Mississippi Valley campaign facilitated Ulysses S. Grant's capture of Vicksburg. There is, however, much more to this key Union officer than a successful raid into Confederate-held Mississippi. In A Just and Righteous Cause: Benjamin H. Grierson's Civil War Memoir, edited by Bruce J. Dinges and Shirley A. Leckie, Grierson tells his story in forceful, direct, and highly engaging prose.
A Just and Righteous Cause paints a vivid picture of Grierson's prewar and Civil War career, touching on his antislavery views, Republican Party principles, and military strategy and tactics. His story begins with his parents' immigration to the United States and follows his childhood, youth, and career as a musician; the early years of his marriage; his business failures prior to becoming a cavalry officer in an Illinois regiment; his experiences in battle; and his Reconstruction appointment. Grierson also provides intimate accounts of his relationships with such prominent politicians and Union leaders as Abraham Lincoln, Richard Yates, Andrew Johnson, William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, John C. Frémont, and Benjamin Prentiss.
Because Grierson wrote the memoir mainly with his family as the intended audience, he manages to avoid the self-promotion that plagues many of his contemporaries' chronicles. His reliance on military records and correspondence, along with family letters, lends an immediacy rarely found in military memoirs. His reminiscences also add fuel to a reemerging debate on soldiers' motivations for enlisting—in Grierson's case, patriotism and ideology—and shed new light on the Western theater of the Civil War, which has seen a recent surge in interest among Civil War enthusiasts.
A non–West Point officer, Grierson owed his developing career to his independent studies of the military and his connections to political figures in his home state of Illinois and later to important Union leaders. Dinges and Leckie provide a helpful introduction, which gives background on the memoir and places Grierson's career into historical context. Aided by fourteen photos and two maps, as well as the editors' superb annotations, A Just and Righteous Cause is a valuable addition to Civil War history.
During the American Civil the Wabash Intelligencer and the Wabash Plain Dealer frequently printed letters from Wabash County men serving in the Union army. The letter writers are a remarkable cast of characters: young and old, soldiers, doctors, ministers, officers, enlisted men, newspaper men, and a fifteen-year-old printers’ devil who enlisted as a drummer boy.
These are not stories of generals or battle strategies; they are the stories of the ordinary soldiers and their everyday lives. They describe long tiring marches across state after state, crossing almost impossible terrain, facing shortages of rations and supplies, enduring extremes of weather where they froze one day and sweltered the next, and encountering guerrillas that harried the wagon trains. The correspondents wrote of walking over the bodies of fallen comrades and foes alike, of mules and their wagons sinking into muddy roads that became like quicksand, of shipwrecks, and of former slaves.
Invariably, armies are accused of preparing to fight the previous war. In Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl—a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and the current conflict in Iraq—considers the now-crucial question of how armies adapt to changing circumstances during the course of conflicts for which they are initially unprepared. Through the use of archival sources and interviews with participants in both engagements, Nagl compares the development of counterinsurgency doctrine and practice in the Malayan Emergency from 1948 to 1960 with what developed in the Vietnam War from 1950 to 1975.
In examining these two events, Nagl—the subject of a recent New York Times Magazine cover story by Peter Maass—argues that organizational culture is key to the ability to learn from unanticipated conditions, a variable which explains why the British army successfully conducted counterinsurgency in Malaya but why the American army failed to do so in Vietnam, treating the war instead as a conventional conflict. Nagl concludes that the British army, because of its role as a colonial police force and the organizational characteristics created by its history and national culture, was better able to quickly learn and apply the lessons of counterinsurgency during the course of the Malayan Emergency.
With a new preface reflecting on the author's combat experience in Iraq, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife is a timely examination of the lessons of previous counterinsurgency campaigns that will be hailed by both military leaders and interested civilians.
Originally published in 1909, this biography by Isabel Wallace recounts the life of her adoptive father, the little-recognized William Hervy Lamme Wallace, the highest-ranking Union officer to fall at the battle of Shiloh.
Born in 1821 in Ohio, Wallace and his family moved to Illinois in 1834, where he was educated at Rock Springs Seminary in Mount Morris. On his way to study law with Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in 1844, Wallace was persuaded by local attorney T. Lyle Dickey, a close friend of Lincoln, to join his practice in Ottawa instead. Wallace eventually married Dickey’ s daughter, Martha Ann, in 1851.
When the Civil War broke out, both Wallace and Dickey immediately volunteered for service with the Eleventh Illinois, which assembled in Springfield. Wallace was elected as the unit’ s colonel; a successful lawyer, a friend of President Lincoln, a generation older than most privates, and an officer with Mexican War experience, he was entirely suited for such command. Wallace was appointed brigadier general for his performance at Fort Donelson, the first notable Union victory in the Civil War. Wallace’ s troops had saved the day, although the Eleventh Illinois had lost nearly two-thirds of its men. He then moved with his troops to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, where Confederates launched a surprise attack on the forces of Major General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh Church on Sunday, April 6, 1862. Wallace, who held only temporary command of one of Grant’ s six divisions, fought bravely but was mortally wounded as he began to withdraw his men on the afternoon of the battle. His wife, who had arrived at Pittsburg Landing by steamer on the day of the battle, was at his side when he died three days later. Grant praised Wallace in 1868 as “ the equal of the best, if not the very best, of the Volunteer Generals with me at the date of his death.”
Isabel Wallace traces her father’ s life from his upbringing in Ottawa through his education, his service in the Mexican War, his law practice, his courtship of and marriage to her mother, and his service in the Eleventh Illinois until his mortal injury at Shiloh. She also details his funeral and her and her mother’ s life in the postwar years. Based on the copious letters and family papers of the general and his wife, the biography also provides historical information on federal politics of the period, including commentary on Lincoln’ s campaign and election and on state politics, especially regarding T. Lyle Dickey, Wallace’ s father-in-law and law partner, prominent Illinois politician, and associate of Lincoln. It is illustrated with fifteen black-and-white halftones.
When Abraham Lincoln issued his final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, he not only freed the slaves in the Confederate states but also invited freed slaves and free persons of color to join the U.S. Army as part of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), the first systematic, large-scale effort by the U.S. government to arm African Americans to aid in the nation’s defense. By the end of the war in 1865, nearly 180,000 black soldiers had fought for the Union. Lincoln’s role in the arming of African Americans remains a central but unfortunately obscure part of one of the most compelling periods in American history. In Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops John David Smith offers a concise, enlightening exploration of the development of Lincoln’s military emancipation project, its implementation, and the recruitment and deployment of black troops. Though scholars have written much on emancipation and the USCT, Smith’s work frames the evolution of Lincoln’s ideas on emancipation and arming blacks within congressional actions, explaining how, when, and why the president seemed to be so halting in his progression to military emancipation. After tracing Lincoln’s evolution from opposing to supporting emancipation as a necessary war measure and to championing the recruitment of black troops for the Union Army, Smith details the creation, mobilization, and diverse military service of the USCT. He assesses the hardships under which the men of the USCT served, including the multiple forms of discrimination from so-called friends and foes alike, and examines the broad meaning of Lincoln’s military emancipation project and its place in African American historical memory.
The remarkable military career of General Winfield Scott spanned fifty-three years, fourteen presidents, and six wars, both foreign and domestic. However, his lengthy service did not secure his rightful place among the nation’s pantheon of great military leaders. Instead, he is most often remembered as the aged, overweight, and sickly commanding general who was replaced by George McClellan at the beginning of the Civil War. Originally published in 1864, only two years before his death, Scott’s memoirs touch on many of the significant events of the early and mid-nineteenth century. This new edition of those remembrances, expertly edited by Timothy D. Johnson, showcases Scott’s rare strategic insights, battlefield prowess, and diplomatic shrewdness, restoring him to his proper place as arguably the most important American general to ever serve his country.
Scott joined the army in 1808, earned the rank of brigadier general in 1814, and was promoted to commanding general in 1841. During the Mexican-American War, he commanded one of the most brilliant military campaigns in American history and mentored the generation of officers who fought the Civil War, including Generals Grant, Lee, Longstreet, Beauregard, Jackson, and Meade. As a young general, he wrote the first comprehensive set of regulations to govern the army and pushed for the professionalization of the U.S. officer corps. Yet, he was ridiculed at the beginning of the war for his prescient prediction that the Civil War would be a prolonged conflict requiring extensive planning and superior strategic thinking.
With this edition, Johnson has merged Scott’s large two-volume memoir into a single, manageable volume without losing any of the original 1864 text. Extensive new annotations update Scott’s outdated notes and provide valuable illumination and context. Covering a wide range of events—from the famous 1804 duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton through the end of the Civil War—Scott’s extraordinary account reveals the general as a sometimes
egocentric but always astute witness to the early American republic.
Timothy D. Johnson, professor of history at Lipscomb University in Nashville, is the author of Winfield Scott: The Quest for Military Glory and A Gallant Little Army: The Mexico City Campaign. He is coeditor, with Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr., of A Fighter from Way Back: The Mexican War Diary of Lt. Daniel Harvey Hill and Notes of the Mexican War by J. Jacob Oswandel.
At the age of thirty-six, in 1852, Lt. Montgomery Cunningham Meigs of the Army Corps of Engineers reported to Washington, D.C., for duty as a special assistant to the chief army engineer, Gen. Joseph G. Totten. It was a fateful assignment, both for the nation’s capital and for the bright, ambitious, and politically connected West Point graduate.
Meigs's forty-year tenure in the nation's capital was by any account spectacularly successful. He surveyed, designed, and built the Washington water supply system, oversaw the extension of the U.S. Capitol and the erection of its massive iron dome, and designed and supervised construction of the Pension Building, now the home of the National Building Museum. The skills he exhibited in supervising engineering projects were carefully noted by political leaders, including president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who named Meigs quartermaster general of the Union Army, the most important position he held during his long and active military career.
Meigs believed Washington, D.C., should be the reincarnation of Rome, the ancient capital of the Roman Empire. He endeavored to memorialize the story of the American nation in all the structures he built, expressing these ideas in murals, sculpture, and monumental design.
Historians have long known Meigs for the organizational genius with which he fulfilled his duty as quartermaster general during the Civil War and for his unwavering loyalty to Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. This volume establishes his claim as one of the major nineteenth-century contributors to the built environment of the nation's capital.
My Father’s War tells the compelling story of a unit of black Buffalo Soldiers and their white commander fighting on the Italian front during World War II.
The 92nd Division of the Fifth Army was the only African American infantry division to see combat in Europe during 1944 and 1945, suffering more than 3,200 casualties. Members of this unit, known as Buffalo Soldiers, endured racial violence on the home front and experienced racism abroad. Engaged in combat for nine months, they were under the command of southern white infantry officers like their captain, Eugene E. Johnston.
Carolyn Ross Johnston draws on her father’s account of the war and her extensive interviews with other veterans of the 92nd Division to describe the experiences of a naïve southern white officer and his segregated unit on an intimate level. During the war, the protocol that required the assignment of southern white officers to command black units, both in Europe and in the Pacific theater, was often problematic, but Johnston seemed more successful than most, earning the trust and respect of his men at the same time that he learned to trust and respect them. Gene Johnston and the African American soldiers were transformed by the war and upon their return helped transform the nation.
World War II shaped the United States in profound ways, and this new book--the first in the Legacies of War series--explores one of the most significant changes it fostered: a dramatic increase in ethnic and religious tolerance. A Nation Forged in War is the first full-length study of how large-scale mobilization during the Second World War helped to dissolve long-standing differences among white soldiers of widely divergent backgrounds.
Never before or since have so many Americans served in the armed forces at one time: more than 15 million donned uniforms in the period from 1941 to 1945. Thomas Bruscino explores how these soldiers' shared experiences--enduring basic training, living far from home, engaging in combat--transformed their views of other ethnic groups and religious traditions. He further examines how specific military policies and practices worked to counteract old prejudices, and he makes a persuasive case that throwing together men of different regions, ethnicities, religions, and classes not only fostered a greater sense of tolerance but also forged a new American identity. When soldiers returned home after the war with these new attitudes, they helped reorder what it meant to be white in America.
Using the presidential campaigns of Al Smith in 1928 and John F. Kennedy in 1960 as bookend events, Bruscino notes a key change in religious bias. Smith's defeat came at the end of a campaign rife with anti-Catholic sentiment; Kennedy's victory some three decades later proved that such religious bigotry was no longer an insurmountable obstacle. Despite such advances, Bruscino notes that the growing broad-mindedness produced by the war had limits: it did not extend to African Americans, whose own struggle for equality would dramatically mark the postwar decades.
Extensively documented, A Nation Forged in War is one of the few books on the social and cultural impact of the World War II years. Scholars and students of military, ethnic, social, and religious history will be fascinated by this groundbreaking new volume.
A dynamic figure in the pages of history, Major General William “Bull” Nelson played a formative role in the Union’s success in Kentucky and the Western theater of the Civil War. Now, Donald A. Clark presents a long-overdue examination of this irascible officer, his numerous accomplishments, and his grim fate. More popularly known for his temper than his intrepid endeavors on behalf of the North, Nelson nevertheless dedicated much of his life to his nation and the preservation of the Union.
The child of a privileged family, Nelson was one of the first officers to graduate from the newly formed U.S. Naval Academy. His years in the Navy imbued in him the qualities of bravery, loyalty, and fortitude; however, his term of service also seemed to breed an intolerance of others for which he became infamous, and that ultimately led to his violent downfall. Clark sheds new light upon Nelson’s pre–Civil War years as a naval officer, when he became a hardened veteran of battle, fighting at the siege of Veracruz and the capture of Tabasco during the Mexican War in the 1840s. On the basis of Nelson’s military experience, in 1861 President Lincoln sent him to Kentucky—which was considering secession—and Nelson rallied loyalists and helped the Union prepare to maintain control of the state during the next several years of war.
Nelson went on to prove instrumental in blocking Confederate attempts to subdue Kentucky and the West, serving important roles in the battle of Shiloh, General Henry W. Halleck’s advance against Corinth, and Brigadier General Don Carlos Buell’s movement toward Chattanooga. But while some viewed his bold maneuvers as the saving of the state, many others, including such notables as Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, argued that Nelson’s actions merited no praise. Unfortunately for the general, the question of his value to the Union abruptly became moot, as his achievements were shortly overshadowed by ignominious rumors of scandal and abuse.
His involvement in the defense of Louisville gave Nelson a chance to redeem himself and restore his military reputation, but the general’s famous temper soon robbed him of any potential glory. During September of 1862, in a crime that was never prosecuted, fellow Union general Jefferson C. Davis shot and killed Nelson after an argument. Clark explores this remarkable exception in military law, arguing that while the fact of the murder was indisputable, many considered Davis a hero for having dispatched the so-called tyrant. Although Nelson eventually received many posthumous honors for his indispensable role in the war, justice was never sought for his murder.
A comprehensive study of this well-known, yet misunderstood American figure, The Notorious “Bull” Nelson: Murdered Civil War General is an illuminating addition to the history of the Civil War. Through Clark’s impeccable research and richly layered narrative, William “Bull” Nelson springs from the pages as large and volatile as he was in life.
In Nursing Civil Rights, Charissa J. Threat investigates the parallel battles against occupational segregation by African American women and white men in the U.S. Army.
As Threat reveals, both groups viewed their circumstances with the Army Nurse Corps as a civil rights matter. Each conducted separate integration campaigns to end the discrimination they suffered. Yet their stories defy the narrative that civil rights struggles inevitably arced toward social justice. Threat tells how progressive elements in the campaigns did indeed break down barriers in both military and civilian nursing. At the same time, she follows conservative threads to portray how some of the women who succeeded as agents of change became defenders of exclusionary practices when men sought military nursing careers. The ironic result was a struggle that simultaneously confronted and reaffirmed the social hierarchies that nurtured discrimination.
Historians have written on “Bleeding Kansas” and on the frontier army as a constabulary force, but little scholarship exists on how the army performed its peacekeeping operations in the 1850s. In Peacekeeping on the Plains, Tony R. Mullis is one of the first scholars to detail the military concerns associated with peace enforcement in Kansas and the trans-Missouri West.
Between 1854 and 1856, the Franklin Pierce administration called upon the U.S. Army to conduct a series of peace operations in the newly formed Kansas and Nebraska territories. The army responded to the president’s call by successfully completing a mission against the Lakota Sioux in 1855 and by aiding civil authorities in the imposition of peace among competing factions in Kansas during 1856.
Although these police duties were not always popular with the soldiers that conducted them, the purpose behind them remained constant—the maintenance of peace, order, and security. Given Americans’ misgivings about a standing army and their limited expectations for it as a domestic peacekeeper, its use in this fashion during the 1850s was a delicate proposition.
By drawing on diverse sources, including official army correspondence, personal papers of key military and political leaders, and local accounts of army activities, Mullis shows how peace operations were conducted by the U.S. Army long before the second half of the twentieth century. He alsopresents a thorough analysis of the professional dilemmas confronted by army officers, as well as the delicate command and control issues associated with the different types of peace operations.
Mullis’s assessment of the army’s peacekeeping efforts in the mid-1850s offers a full understanding of the constraints and frustrations involved. Many of the dilemmas faced by the army in Kansas parallel those encountered in various spots around the globe today. Peacekeeping on the Plains will provide any reader with a better insight into the nuances of peace operations in the 1850s and assist military historians in their understanding of these activities as they relate to the twenty-first century.
This is the first complete annotated edition of Grant’s memoirs, fully representing the great military leader’s thoughts on his life and times through the end of the Civil War—including the antebellum era and the Mexican War—and his invaluable perspective on battlefield decision making. An introduction contextualizes Grant’s life and significance.
After a long journey from Sugar City, Idaho, to France’s Argonne Forest France during World War I,
young Thomas Neibaur found himself in the core of the American Expeditionary Force’s most important offensive.
After becoming separated in advance of his unit, he, despite serious wounds, single-handedly stopped a German
counterattack at a critical hill known as Côte de Châtillon. For this remarkable feat of valor, he received the Medal of
Honor and other awards, becoming the first Idaho and first Mormon recipient of the nation’s highest combat award.
But after a heroic return and brief celebrity, his life followed a tragic downward arc, culminating in his attempt to return
his medal because, as he put it, it could not feed his family.
Preparing for War
J. P. Clark Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress U43.U4C55 2016 | Dewey Decimal 355.0097309034
The U.S. Army has always regarded preparing for war as its peacetime role, but how it fulfilled that duty has changed dramatically between the War of 1812 and World War I. J. P. Clark shows how differing personal experiences of war and peace among successive generations of professional soldiers left their mark upon the Army and its ways.
Prussia, like much of nineteenth-century Germany, was governed by the belief that knowledge, and thus understanding, was best derived from direct observation and communicated through documentation. Justus Scheibert, an officer in the Royal Prussian Engineers, was therefore sent to the United States for seven months to observe the Civil War and report the effects of artillery on fortifications. His interests, however, surpassed that limited assignment, and his observations, as well as the writings translated in this work, went on to include tactics, strategy, logistics, intelligence, combined operations, and the medical service.
Scheibert, an expert on warfare, had access to the Confederate high command, including such luminaries as Robert E. Lee, J. E. B. Stuart, and Stonewall Jackson. He brought to the war not only the fresh perspective of a foreigner, but also the insightful eye of a career military officer and a skillful author and correspondent. Although he was personally sympathetic to the South, Scheibert researched both sides of the conflict in order to write unbiased, informed commentary for his fellow Prussian officers. His firsthand account of many aspects of the Civil War included a theoretical discussion of every branch of service and the Confederate high command, illustrated with his personal observations.
Sheibert's narrative portrays soldiers, weaponry, and battles, including the first, and one of the few, studies of combined operations in the Civil War. Trautmann combines two of Scheibert's publications, The Civil War in the North American States: A Military Study for the German Officer (1874) and Combined Operations by Army and Navy: A Study Illustrated by the War on the Mississippi, 1861-1863 (ca. 1887), which for decades influenced German military writing. Trautmann's translations evince the grace and achieve the readability of Scheibert's intricate and complex works.
A Prussian Observes the American Civil War makes an important addition to Civil War studies and will appeal greatly to professional historians and those interested in, and dedicated to, Civil War and military studies.
The son of an army officer, Conrad S. Babcock graduated from West Point in 1898, just in time for the opening of the Spanish-American War. Because of his father’s position, he managed to secure a place in the force that Major General Wesley Merritt led to Manila to secure the city. The Philippine Insurrection, as Americans described it, began shortly after he arrived. What Babcock observed in subsequent months and years, and details in his memoir, was the remarkable transition the U.S. Army was undergoing. From after the Civil War until just before the Spanish War, the army amounted to 28,000 men. It increased to 125,000, tiny compared with those of the great European nations of France and Germany, but the great change in the army came after its arrival in France in the summer of 1918, when the German army compelled the U.S. to change its nineteenth-century tactics.
Babcock’s original manuscript has been shortened by Robert H. Ferrell into eight chapters which illustrate the tremendous shift in warfare in the years surrounding the turn of the century. The first part of the book describes small actions against Filipinos and such assignments as taking a cavalry troop into the fire-destroyed city of San Francisco in 1906 or duty in the vicinity of Yuma in Arizona when border troubles were heating up with brigands and regular troops. The remaining chapters, beginning in 1918, set out the battles of Soissons (July 18–22) and Saint-Mihiel (September 12–16) and especially the immense battle of the Meuse-Argonne (September 26–November 11), the largest (1.2 million troops involved) and deadliest (26,000 men killed) battle in all of American history.
By the end of his career, Babcock was an adroit battle commander and an astute observer of military operations. Unlike most other officers around him, he showed an ability and willingness to adapt infantry tactics in the face of recently developed technology and weaponry such as the machine gun. When he retired in 1937 and began to write his memoirs, another world war had begun, giving additional context to his observations about the army and combat over the preceding forty years.
Until now, Babcock’s account has only been available in the archives of the Hoover Institution, but with the help of Ferrell's crisp, expert editing, this record of army culture in the first decades of the twentieth century can now reach a new generation of scholars.
Major General Clarence Ransom Edwards is a vital figure in American military history, yet his contribution to the U.S. efforts in World War I has often been ignored or presented in unflattering terms. Most accounts focus on the disagreements he had with General John J. Pershing, who dismissed Edwards from the command of the 26th (“Yankee”) Division just weeks before the war's end. The notoriety of the Pershing incident has caused some to view Edwards as simply a “political general” with a controversial career. But Clarence Edwards, though often a divisive figure, was a greater man than that. A revered and admired officer whose men called him “Daddy,” Edwards attained an impressive forty-year career, one matched by few wartime leaders.
Michael E. Shay presents a complete portrait of this notable American and his many merits in Revered Commander, Maligned General. This long-overdue first full-length biography of General Clarence Edwards opens with his early years in Cleveland, Ohio and his turbulent times at West Point. The book details the crucial roles Edwards filled in staff and field commands for the Army before the outbreak of World War I in 1917: Adjutant-General with General Henry Ware Lawton in the Philippine-American War, first chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, and commander of U.S. forces in the Panama Canal Zone. Revered Commander, Maligned General follows Edwards as he forms the famous Yankee Division and leads his men into France. The conflict between Edwards and Pershing is placed in context, illuminating the disputes that led to Edwards being relieved of command.
This well-researched biography quotes a wealth of primary sources in recounting the life of an important American, a man of loyalty and service who is largely misunderstood. Photographs of Edwards, his troops, and his kin—many from Edwards’ own collection—complement the narrative. In addition, several maps aid readers in following General Edwards as his career moves from the U.S. to Central America to Europe and back stateside. Shay’s portrayalof General Edwards finally provides a balanced account of this unique U.S. military leader.
During the early years of the Iraq War, the US Army was unable to translate initial combat success into strategic and political victory. Iraq plunged into a complex insurgency, and defeating this insurgency required beating highly adaptive foes. A competition between the hierarchical and vertically integrated army and networked and horizontally integrated insurgents ensued. The latter could quickly adapt and conduct networked operations in a decentralized fashion; the former was predisposed to fighting via prescriptive plans under a centralized command and control.
To achieve success, the US Army went through a monumental process of organizational adaptation—a process driven by soldiers and leaders that spread throughout the institution and led to revolutionary changes in how the army supported and conducted its operations in Iraq. How the army adapted and the implications of this adaptation are the subject of this indispensable study. Intended for policymakers, defense and military professionals, military historians, and academics, this book offers a solid critique of the army’s current capacity to adapt to likely future adversary strategies and provides policy recommendations for retaining lessons learned in Iraq.
After Vietnam the army promised its all-volunteer force a safety net long reserved for career soldiers: medical and dental care, education, child care, financial counseling, housing assistance, legal services. Jennifer Mittelstadt shows how this unprecedented military welfare system expanded at a time when civilian programs were being dismantled.
One of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, the two-day engagement near Shiloh, Tennessee, in April 1862 left more than 23,000 casualties. Fighting alongside seasoned veterans were more than 160 newly recruited regiments and other soldiers who had yet to encounter serious action. In the phrase of the time, these men came to Shiloh to “see the elephant.”
Drawing on the letters, diaries, and other reminiscences of these raw recruits on both sides of the conflict, “Seeing the Elephant” gives a vivid and valuable primary account of the terrible struggle.
From the wide range of voices included in this volume emerges a nuanced picture of the psychology and motivations of the novice soldiers and the ways in which their attitudes toward the war were affected by their experiences at Shiloh.
Thirty-two years after the battle of Shiloh, Lew Wallace returned to the battlefield, mapping the route of his April 1862 march. Ulysses S. Grant, Wallace's commander at Shiloh, expected Wallace and his Third Division to arrive early in the afternoon of April 6. Wallace and his men, however, did not arrive until nightfall, and in the aftermath of the bloodbath of Shiloh Grant attributed Wallace's late arrival to a failure to obey orders. By mapping the route of his march and proving how and where he had actually been that day, the sixty-seven-year-old Wallace hoped to remove the stigma of "Shiloh and its slanders." That did not happen. Shiloh still defines Wallace's military reputation, overshadowing the rest of his stellar military career and making it easy to forget that in April 1862 he was a rising military star, the youngest major general in the Union army.
Wallace was devoted to the Union, but he was also pursuing glory, fame, and honor when he volunteered to serve in April 1861. In Shadow of Shiloh: Major General Lew Wallace in the Civil War, author Gail Stephens specifically addresses Wallace's military career and its place in the larger context of Civil War military history.
Sherman: A Soldier’ s Passion for Order is the premier biography of William Tecumseh Sherman, the Civil War commander known for his “ destructive war” policy against Confederates and as a consummate soldier. This updated edition of John F. Marszalek’ s award-winning book presents the general as a complicated man who, fearing anarchy, searched for the order that he hoped would make his life a success.
Sherman was profoundly influenced by the death of his father and his subsequent relationship with the powerful Whig politician Thomas Ewing and his family. Although the Ewings treated Sherman as one of their own, the young Sherman was determined to make it on his own. He graduated from West Point and moved on to service at military posts throughout the South. This volume traces Sherman’ s involvement in the Mexican War in the late 1840s, his years battling prospectors and deserting soldiers in gold-rush California, and his 1850 marriage to his foster sister, Ellen. Later he moved to Louisiana, and, after the state seceded, Sherman returned to the North to fight for the Union.
Sherman covers the general’ s early Civil War assignments in Kentucky and Missouri and his battles against former Southern friends there, the battle at Shiloh, and his rise to become second only to Grant among the Union leadership. Sherman’ s famed use of destructive war, controversial then and now, is examined in detail. The destruction of property, he believed, would convince the Confederates that surrender was their best option, and Sherman’ s successful strategy became the stuff of legend.
This definitive biography, which includes forty-six illustrations, effectively refutes misconceptions surrounding the controversial Union general and presents Sherman the man, not the myth.
Henry Warner Slocum, a Union major general who was a corps and army commander in the Civil War, served from the first call for troops until he stood with William Tecumseh Sherman to receive Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender after Appomattox. He saw action at Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, and by the end of the war he had taken command of the Army of Georgia, yet historians have largely overlooked this key commander.
Brian Melton has written the first scholarly account of this important general—the first full-length biography in nearly a century—who as one of Sherman’s most trusted commanders exercised significant influence during the Civil War. Although Slocum is remembered primarily for his lackluster performance at Gettysburg, Melton discloses that there is more to him than current history credits, offering a holistic account of his life to show that his career was much more significant than has been supposed.
Slocum took on the characteristics of the leaders he served, and Melton reveals how Slocum’s attitudes and tactics changed dramatically between commanders to explain why he proved to be of little help to George McClellan and almost a liability while serving under “Fighting Joe” Hooker and yet was an effective commander under Sherman. Slocum became Sherman’s “left arm” and adapted so thoroughly to his style of generalship that he anticipated the general’s intentions on two important occasions, and Melton contends that Slocum was a much more important contributor to the success of Sherman’s later campaigns than has been acknowledged, becoming at times more aggressive and driving than Sherman himself.
Melton ultimately considers Slocum’s fate as one of the forgotten generals of the Civil War—brought on largely by his joining the Democratic Party in 1865—and demonstrates why previous simplistic depictions of Slocum miss the mark. By providing the first detailed look at this important second-tier commander, Sherman’s Forgotten General illuminates the influences, events, and individuals of Slocum’s career to show that, while he may not have changed the course of the war, he played a conspicuous and important role in its successful execution that has long deserved to be recognized.
Rare, First-Hand Accounts from Newspaper Correspondents Describing the Course of America’s Largest Indian War, Compiled and Edited for the First Time in One Volume
“No one commands better the story of the Great Sioux War of 1876–1877 as presented in the nation’s newspapers than does Marc Abrams. Here is Abrams’s story of America’s greatest Indian war woven from those timely reports, augmented with insightful introductions and annotations. Abrams has produced a significant addition to the historiography of this endlessly fascinating struggle and its colorful personalities.” —Paul L. Hedren, author of After Custer: Loss and Transformation in Sioux Country
“Marc Abrams has provided an invaluable service to both scholars and lay readers in compiling this treasure trove of primary information. Like the correspondents he has come to know through his research, Marc has done the hard work; we need only read in comfort and benefit from his efforts.” —Douglas W. Ellison, author of Sole Survivor: An Examination of the Frank Finkel Narrative
“Marc Abrams’s book is an exciting and innovative approach that brings immediacy to the campaigns of Custer, Crook, and Miles, and teems with fascinating new detail. Sioux War Dispatches not only offers a gripping contemporary window into those times, it fills an important reference need as well.” —Jerome A. Greene, author of Stricken Field: The Little Bighorn Since 1876
Sioux War Dispatches: Reports from the Field, 1876-1877, tells the story of the Great Sioux War, including the battle of the Little Big Horn, primarily through the eyes of contemporary newspaper correspondents, both civilian and military. The volume begins with the Black Hills dilemma and the issue of the unceded territory (the disputed lands that were adjacent to the Great Sioux Reservation) and continues through to the spring of 1877 with the surrender of the legendary Sioux leader Crazy Horse. Along the way readers will learn about the Reynolds battle, the skirmish at Tongue River Heights, the battle of the Rosebud, the battle of the Little Big Horn, the skirmish at Warbonnet Creek, the fight at Slim Buttes, and more. In addition to numerous annotated excerpts from those who were there, are rare original dispatches, reprinted in full, that will take readers on a wild ride through several battles.
Gail Hosking Gilberg's father was a hero, a valiant soldier decorated posthumously with the Medal of Honor, a man who served his country throughout his entire adult life. But Charles Hosking was a mystery to his daughter. He was killed in Vietnam a week after her seventeenth birthday. She buried the war, the protests, the medal, and her military upbringing along with her father, so much so that she felt cut off from herself. It took more than twenty years for her to recognize the stirrings of a father and a daughter not yet at peace.
Gilberg began a journey—two journeys really—to find out who her father was and in the process to find herself. She explored her buried rage, shame, and silence, and examined how war had shaped her life. In studying the photo albums that her father had left behind, Gilberg found that the photographs demanded that she give voice to her feelings, then release her silent words, words that had no meaning in war for her father yet had all the meaning in the world for her. The result was an epiphany. The photographs became the roads she took in and out of war, and her words brought her father home. Snake's Daughter reveals the crossroads where a soldier father's life and a daughter's life connect.
Snake's Daughter is an arresting and anguished narrative that gives voice to an experience Gail Hosking Gilberg shares with thousands of Americans, including military “brats” whose parents served their country and often gave their lives in the process.
In April 1917 a sophomore at Indiana University, inspired by his grandfather's service in the Union army during the Civil War, left school and enlisted with a National Guard unit in Indianapolis that became the 150th Field Artillery Regiment. Before long the young man, Elmer W. Sherwood, found himself fighting in France. Sherwood kept a diary of his time overseas, including his experiences in the army of occupation following the war's end. A Soldier in World War I: The Diary of Elmer W. Sherwood captures the words of the Hoosier as he wrote them on the front lines. The book also includes a shipboard diary Sherwood sent home from France shortly after his arrival, which appeared in his hometown newspaper.
When crisis requires U.S troops to deploy on American soil, the nation depends on a rich body of law to establish lines of authority, guard civil liberties, and protect democratic institutions. William Banks and Stephen Dycus analyze the military’s domestic role as it is shaped by law, and ask what we must learn and do before the next crisis.
During the Civil War, many southerners expressed serious opposition to secession and openly entreated their fellow southerners to maintain support for the Union. A number of these unionists actively opposed the Confederacy while remaining within its borders; others fled their homes and the South, becoming exiles in northern cities and the border slave states. The southern unionist leaders used their oral and written communication skills to proclaim their opposition to the Confederacy, often producing pamphlets that circulated in the North, in the border states, and in the heart of the Confederacy itself. Jon L. Wakelyn unites the voices of these southern unionists in the first comprehensive collection of their written arguments—Southern Unionist Pamphlets and the Civil War.
Including eighteen pamphlets and a discussion of twenty-two others, this book provides a magnificent representation of the southern unionists and their concerns. Written between 1861 and 1865, the pamphlets were compiled by local and national political leaders, including three federal congressmen and future vice president and president Andrew Johnson, as well as concerned private citizens and members of the military and clergy. Except for Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia, all Confederate and border slave states are represented in this collection.
The topics discussed and the events described in the pamphlets cover a wide range of subjects. The authors discuss their motivation to remain loyal to the union, the actions of their friends and enemies, the perilous life of unionists behind military lines, their continued support for the federal government, and their hopes for a restored Union. Aware that their northern allies would read these pamphlets, the unionists also wrote to solicit northern aid, to renew efforts to defeat the Confederacy, and to gain sympathy for the plight of their people behind enemy lines.
A remarkable collection of primary source material, Southern Unionist Pamphlets and the Civil War provides the most detailed study of the internal resistance to the Confederacy available to date. Students, scholars, and general readers alike will find this volume an invaluable resource for Civil War studies.
As a young officer candidate in the Austrian army in 1938, Francis Heller put himself at risk by refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler. Had he stayed in Vienna, he would have been arrested by the Gestapo as a supporter of Austrian independence and an enemy of the Nazis. But he managed to escape into Czechoslovakia under cover of darkness. He subsequently made his way to America, where he finally pursued the academic career that military service had interrupted.
Steel Helmet and Mortarboard is the story of this Austrian refugee who earned an American law degree in 1941 and set his sights on studying political science but a year later was drafted into the U.S. Army. In his second military career, Heller opted for service as an enlisted man in a combat unit. After basic training, he was assigned as a private in a regular army division. Then in a field artillery unit, he so distinguished himself in combat in the Pacific theater that he received a battlefield commission and went on to serve in the early months of the occupation of Japan—and on one assignment, escorting German nationals home from the Far East, found himself back in Europe and witnessing evidence of the horrors at Dachau that he himself had barely managed to escape.
Heller’s account of those years recalls how an upper-middle-class émigré adjusted to military life while serving in such combat zones as New Guinea and the Philippines, then how he later resumed his academic career, earned his Ph.D., and went on to teach at the University of Kansas. But Heller’s return to academic life was anything but final: recalled to active duty for the Korean War, he also served in later years with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
After a lifetime of changing hats—mortarboard for helmet and back again—Heller, now in his nineties, has recorded his unique perceptions as an educated observer of the world. Steel Helmet and Mortarboard is an absorbing narrative of one individual’s experiences across a spectrum of personal and professional challenges, written with wry humor and insight that reflect a keen ability to master whatever circumstances life brings.
In 1861, Francis Moore appeared to be a perfectly ordinary, twenty-three year old man: a carriage
maker in the bustling Mississippi River town of Quincy, Illinois. And there he might well have lived out his life in unadventurous comfort. But then the Civil War burst out, and Moore, along with most of his friends, like young men North and South, rushed to enlist in the army. His cavalry regiment soon set off for what proved to be four years of warfare, plunging him into harrowing experiences of battle that would have been unimaginable back in his small hometown and that uprooted him, body and soul, for the remainder of his life.
Enter The Story of My Campaign, the remarkable Civil War memoir of Captain Francis T. Moore, which historian Thomas Bahde here offers in an original edition to contemporary readers for the first time. Moore began the war as a private in Company L of the Second Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, and was soon promoted to lieutenant and then captain of his company. He spent most of the war fighting guerillas in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. He fought at the battle of Belmont, Kentucky, in 1861 and raided Mississippi with General Benjamin Grierson in 1864. He also battled Confederate leaders, such as Nathan Bedford Forrest and Leonidas Polk. His unflinching chronicle of small-scale and irregular warfare, combined with his intimate account of military life, make his memoir as absorbing as it is historically valuable.
Moore was also an unusually articulate young man with strong opinions about the war, the preservation of the Union, the institution of slavery, African Americans, the people of the South, and the Confederacy: his wartime observations and his postwar reflections on these themes provide not only a captivating narrative, they also provide readers with an opportunity to examine how the conflict endured in the memory of its veterans and the nation they served.
The enormous social upheaval and staggering loss of human life during the Civil War cannot be overstated: the estimated 2 percent of Americans— or 620,000 people
—who died in the conflict would be the equivalent of 6,000,000 people today. The Story of My Campaign offers an indelible account of this conflagration from the perspective of one of its survivors. It is evidence of a hard war fought—and the long hard life that followed.
The Battle of the Little Bighorn is one of the best-known events in the history of the American West. Questions surrounding Custer’s fate have been discussed and researched at length, but details about the transportation and logistics of military supplies have not been thoroughly investigated. Archaeologist Gerald Clark stumbled upon the remnants of a supply depot while surveying the area near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Powder Rivers. It turned out to have been established by General Terry during the Sioux War and utilized by Custer and part of the 7th Calvary.
The book details the items recovered archaeologically, including ale and soda bottles, cartridges, packing crates, and a horseshoe and ceramic doll. It also addresses the army’s knowledge of this area and how the supply depot fit into the broader military campaign. This book connects archaeology and history to explore how the American military planned, maneuvered, and operated on the northern plains from the end of the Civil War through 1876.
Emerson Opdycke, a lieutenant with the 41st Ohio Infantry and later a commander of the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, won fame at the Battle of Franklin when his brigade saved the Union Army from defeat. He also played pivotal roles in some of the major battles of the western theater, including Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Missionary Ridge.
Opdycke's wartime letters to his wife, Lucy, offer the immediacy of the action as it unfolded and provide a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a soldier. Viewing the conflict with the South as a battle between the rights of states and loyalty to the Union, his letters reveal his dislike of slavery, devotion to the Union, disdain for military ineptitude, and opinions of combat strategies and high-ranking officers. A thorough introduction by editors Glenn V. Longacre and John E. Haas and a foreword by Peter Cozzens provide additional historical context and biographical information.
This work is a narrative of Zachary Taylor’s Mexican War campaign, from the formation of his army in 1844 to his last battle at Buena Vista in 1847, with emphasis on the 163 men in his “Army of Occupation” who became Confederate or Union generals in the Civil War. It clarifies what being a Mexican War veteran meant in their cases, how they interacted with one another, how they performed their various duties, and how they reacted under fire. Referring to developments in Washington, D.C., and other theaters of the war, this book provides a comprehensive picture of the early years of the conflict based on army records and the letters and diaries of the participants.
Trailing Clouds of Glory is the first examination of the roles played in the Mexican War by the large number of men who served with Taylor and who would be prominent in the next war, both as volunteer and regular army officers, and it provides fresh information, even on such subjects as Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Particularly interesting for the student of the Civil War are largely unknown aspects of the Mexican War service of Daniel Harvey Hill, Braxton Bragg, and Thomas W. Sherman.
True Faith and Allegiance: An American Paratrooper and the 1972 Battle for An Loc is an intimate and compelling account of the most brutal infantry warfare and is also a critique of the mishandling of America’s departure from Indochina. An unintended consequence of Washington’s stampede to get out of Indochina was an upsurge in combat on a scale not seen before in Vietnam, peaking with the Easter Offensive of 1972.
The battle for An Loc, a key component in the North Vietnamese attempt to overwhelm the South, swept Mike McDermott, then the senior advisor to an elite South Vietnamese paratrooper battalion, into some of the most horrific close-quarters fighting of the war. His in-the-trenches account is augmented by detailed descriptions of a user’s perspective on the parachute resupply, tactical airpower, and B-52 strikes that allowed the An Loc garrison to survive.
True Faith and Allegiance is a riveting recounting of the prism through which a Vietnam veteran views the war as he continues to live with the aftereffects of life-altering experiences in the service of his country.
This two-volume work by historian Robert Quimby presents a comprehensive and detailed analysis of military strategy, operations, and management during one of America’s most neglected and least understood military campaigns, the War of 1812. With causes that can be traced to the epic contest against Napoleon in Europe beginning in 1803, the war itself was the first conducted by the young Constitutional government of the United States. Quimby demonstrates that failed American initiatives at the beginning of hostilities shattered the unrealistic optimism of the war’s staunchest advocates; and while initial failures were followed by military success in 1813, whatever advantage might have been gained was soon lost to incompetent leadership. Major exceptions occurred in the Old Northwest, and in what was then the Southwest, where U.S. forces finally broke the strength of the long-successful Indian-British alliance.
In retrospect, what occurred during the War of 1812 demonstrated the necessity for gaining citizen support before committing the nation to armed conflict; it also provided a series of object lessons on how not to conduct a military campaign. Finally Quimby argues that, notwithstanding several victories at war’s end, including the fabled Battle of New Orleans, American perceptions that the United States "won" the war are erroneous; at best the struggle ended in a draw. The United States Army in the War of 1812 is an up-to-date and long overdue reassessment of military actions conducted during a pivotal conflict in American history, one that shaped U.S. military doctrine for a half century.
While researching this book, Jack C. Mason made the kind of discovery that historians dream of. He found more than one hundred unpublished and unknown letters from Union general Israel B. Richardson to his family, written from his time as a West Point cadet until the day before his fatal wounding at the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history. Using these freshly uncovered primary sources as well as extensive research in secondary materials, Mason has written the first-ever biography of Israel Bush Richardson.
Mason traces Richardson’s growth as a soldier through his experiences and the guidance of his superiors, and then as a leader whose style reflected the actions of the former commanders he respected. Though he was a disciplinarian, Richardson took a relaxed attitude toward military rules, earning him the affection of his men. Unfortunately, his military career was cut short just as high-ranking officials began to recognize his aggressive leadership. He was mortally wounded while leading his men at Antietam and died on November 3, 1862.
Until Antietam brings to life a talented and fearless Civil War infantry leader. Richardson’s story, placed within the context of nineteenth-century warfare, exemplifies how one soldier’s life influenced his commanders, his men, and the army as a whole.
Winner of the Army Historical Foundation 2009 Distinguished Book Award
Told in unflinching detail, this is the story of the Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, also known as the Giddings Regiment or the Abolition Regiment, after its founder, radical abolitionist Congressman J. R. Giddings. The men who enlisted in the Twenty-Ninth OVI were, according to its lore, handpicked to ensure each was as pure in his antislavery beliefs as its founder. Whether these soldiers would fight harder than other soldiers, and whether the people of their hometowns would remain devoted to the ideals of the regiment, were questions that could only be tested by the experiment of war.
The Untried Life is the story of these men from their very first regimental formation in a county fairground to the devastation of Gettysburg and the march to Atlanta and back again, enduring disease and Confederate prisons. It brings to vivid life the comradeship and loneliness that pervaded their days on the march. Dozens of unforgettable characters emerge, animated by their own letters and diaries: Corporal Nathan Parmenter, whose modest upbringing belies the eloquence of his writings; Colonel Lewis Buckley, one of the Twenty-Ninth’s most charismatic officers; and Chaplain Lyman Ames, whose care of the sick and wounded challenged his spiritual beliefs.
The Untried Life shows how the common soldier lived—his entertainments, methods of cooking, medical treatment, and struggle to maintain family connections—and separates the facts from the mythology created in the decades after the war.
Looking to the 2030–2040 time frame, U.S. policy and military strategy will need to strike a balance among maintaining a cooperative relationship with China, deterring Chinese aggression in regional disputes, and preparing for the possibility that China could become more assertive. The U.S. Army will have an important role to play in preparing for these developments and for protecting and furthering U.S. interests in the region.
Field Manual 3-07, Stability Operations, represents a milestone in Army doctrine.
With a focus on transforming conflict, managing violence when it does occur and maintaining stable peace, The U.S. Army Stability Operations Field Manual (otherwise known as FM 3-07) signals a stark departure from traditional military doctrine. The Army officially acknowledges the complex continuum from conflict to peace, outlines the military's responsibility to provide stability and security, and recognizes the necessity of collaboration, coordination, and cooperation among military, state, commercial, and non-government organizations in nation-building efforts.
The manual reflects a truly unique collaboration between the Army and a wide array of experts from hundreds of groups across the United States Government, the intergovernmental and non-governmental communities, America's allies around the world, and the private sector. All branches of the armed forces, U.S. agencies ranging from the State Department to Homeland Security to Health and Human Services, international agencies from the United Nations to the Red Cross to the World Bank, countries from the United Kingdom to India to South Africa, private think tanks from RAND to the United States Institute of Peace to the Center for New American Security, all took part in the shaping of this document.
The U.S. Army Stability Operations FieldManual, marks just the second time in modern history that the U.S. Army has worked with a private publisher to produce a military doctrinal document.
Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV is Commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Michè le Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Shawn Brimley, Fellow, Center for a New American Security
Janine Davidson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans
"It is a roadmap from conflict to peace, a practical guidebook for adaptive, creative leadership at a critical time in our history. It institutionalizes the hard-won lessons of the past while charting a path for tomorrow. This manual postures our military forces for the challenges of an uncertain future, an era of persistent conflict where the unflagging bravery of our Soldiers will continue to carry the banner of freedom, hope, and opportunity to the people of the world."
— From the foreword by Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, Commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Capturing military men in contemplation rather than combat, Sherry L. Smith reveals American army officers' views about the Indians against whom they fought in the last half of the nineteenth century. She demonstrates that these officers—and their wives—did not share a monolithic, negative view of their enemies, but instead often developed a great respect for Indians and their cultures. Some officers even came to question Indian policy, expressed misgivings about their personal involvement in the Indian Wars, and openly sympathized with their foe.
The book reviews the period 1848–1890—from the acquisition of the Mexican Cession to the Battle of Wounded Knee—and encompasses the entire trans-Mississippi West. Resting primarily on personal documents drawn from a representative sample of the officer corps at all levels, the study seeks to juxtapose the opinions of high-ranking officers with those of officers of lesser prominence, who were perhaps less inclined to express personal opinions in official reports.
No educated segment of American society had more prolonged contact with Indians than did army officers and their wives, yet not until now has such an overview of their attitudes been presented. Smith's work demolishes the stereotype of the Indian-hating officer and broadens our understanding of the role of the army in the American West.
Success in war ultimately depends on the consolidation of political order. Nadia Schadlow argues that the steps needed to consolidate a new political order are not separate from war. They are instead an essential component of war and victory.
The challenge of governance operations did not start with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US Army’s involvement in the political and economic reconstruction of states has been central to all its armed conflicts from large-scale conventional wars to so-called irregular or counterinsurgency wars. Yet, US policymakers and military leaders have failed to institutionalize lessons on how to consolidate combat gains into desired political outcomes. War and the Art of Governance examines fifteen historical cases of US Army military interventions, from the Mexican War through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Improving future outcomes will require US policymakers and military leaders to accept that plans, timelines, and resources must be shaped to reflect this reality before they intervene in a conflict, not after things go wrong.
Schadlow provides clear lessons for students and scholars of security studies and military history, as well as for policymakers and the military personnel who will be involved in the next foreign intervention.
Well Satisfied with My Position offers a first-person account of army life during the Civil War’ s Peninsula Campaign and Battle of Fredericksburg. Spencer Bonsall, who joined the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry as a hospital steward, kept a journal from March 1862 until March 1863, when he abruptly ceased writing. Editors Michael A. Flannery and Katherine H. Oomens place his experiences in the context of the field of Civil War medicine and continue his story in an epilogue.
Trained as a druggist when he was in his early twenties, Bonsall traveled the world, spent eight years on a tea plantation in India, and settled in Philadelphia, where he worked in the city surveyor’ s office. But in March 1862, when he was in his mid-forties, the lure of serving his country on the battlefield led Bonsall to join the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry as a hospital steward.
Bonsall enjoyed his life with the Union army at first, comparing bivouacking in the woods to merely picnicking on a grand scale. “ We are about as jolly a set of old bachelors as can be found in Virginia,” Bonsall wrote. But his first taste of the aftermath of battle at Fair Oaks and the Seven Days’ Battles in Virginia changed his mind about the joys of soldiering— though he never lost his zeal for the Union cause.
Bonsall details the camp life of a soldier from firsthand experience, outlines the engagements of the 81st, and traces the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Peninsula Campaign. He records facts not available elsewhere about camp conditions, attitudes toward Union generals and Confederate soldiers, and troop movements.
From the end of June to late October 1862, Bonsall’ s illness kept him from writing in his journal. He picked up the record again in December 1862, just before the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in which the Union suffered a staggering 10,200 casualties and the 81st Pennsylvania lost more than half its men. He vividly describes the bloody aftermath. Bonsall’ s horse was shot out from underneath him at the battle of Gettysburg, injuring him seriously and ending his military career. Although he was listed as “ sick in hospital” on the regiment’ s muster rolls, he was labeled a deserter in the U.S. Army records. Indeed, after recovery from his injuries, Bonsall walked away from the army to resume life in Philadelphia with his wife and child.
Published for the first time, Bonsall’ s journal offers an unusually personal glimpse into the circumstances and motives of a man physically ruined by the war. Seventeen illustrations, including some drawn by Bonsall himself, help bring this narrative to life.
How do you convince men to charge across heavily mined beaches into deadly machine-gun fire? Do you appeal to their bonds with their fellow soldiers, their patriotism, their desire to end tyranny and mass murder? Certainly—but if you’re the US Army in 1944, you also try another tack: you dangle the lure of beautiful French women, waiting just on the other side of the wire, ready to reward their liberators in oh so many ways.
That’s not the picture of the Greatest Generation that we’ve been given, but it’s the one Mary Louise Roberts paints to devastating effect in What Soldiers Do. Drawing on an incredible range of sources, including news reports, propaganda and training materials, official planning documents, wartime diaries, and memoirs, Roberts tells the fascinating and troubling story of how the US military command systematically spread—and then exploited—the myth of French women as sexually experienced and available. The resulting chaos—ranging from flagrant public sex with prostitutes to outright rape and rampant venereal disease—horrified the war-weary and demoralized French population. The sexual predation, and the blithe response of the American military leadership, also caused serious friction between the two nations just as they were attempting to settle questions of long-term control over the liberated territories and the restoration of French sovereignty.
While never denying the achievement of D-Day, or the bravery of the soldiers who took part, What Soldiers Do reminds us that history is always more useful—and more interesting—when it is most honest, and when it goes beyond the burnished beauty of nostalgia to grapple with the real lives and real mistakes of the people who lived it.
Nelson’s William Alexander, Lord Stirling, (1726-83) is the biographical account of a man who served 18th-century American society as a prominent citizen in peacetime and as a soldier in the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War Stirling was appointed a colonel in the New Jersey Continental Line and from there rose to the rank of Major General. A brave and loyal soldier, he greatly impressed General George Washington, who made him commander of one of the five divisions of the Continental Army. Serving in this capacity, Stirling made his reputation as a military man fighting in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. He spent the winter of 1777-78 with Washington at Valley Forge. From time to time he carried out independent military operations, most notably a raid against Staten Island in January 1780. Stirling’s buoyant optimism and reckless enthusiasm for any task led one military comrade to state that his high birth and good humor provided him with many more opportunities in life than his skill and intelligence would have permitted. He died while in command of the Northern Department on January 15, 1783, full of military glory and, according to one cynic, “good liquor.”
A German-born Union officer in the American Civil War, Maj. Gen. Peter Osterhaus served from the first clash in the western theater until the final surrender of the war. Osterhaus made a name for himself within the army as an energetic and resourceful commander who led his men from the front. He was one of the last surviving Union major general and military governor of Mississippi in the early days of Reconstruction.
This first full-length study of the officer documents how, despite his meteoric military career, his accomplishments were underreported even in his own day and often misrepresented in the historical record. Mary Bobbitt Townsend corrects previous errors about his life and offers new insights into his contributions to major turning points in the war at Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, as well as other battles.
Townsend draws on battle reports not found in the Official Records, on personal papers, and on other nonpublished material to examine Osterhaus’s part in the major battles in the West as well as in minor engagements. She tells how he came into his own in the Vicksburg campaign and proved himself through skill with artillery, expertise in intelligence gathering, and taking the lead in hostile territory—blazing the trail down the west side of the river for the entire Union army and then covering Grant’s back for a month during the siege. At Chattanooga, Osterhaus helped Joe Hooker strategize the rout at Lookout Mountain; at Atlanta, he led the Fifteenth Corps, the largest of the four corps making Sherman's March to the Sea. Townsend also documents his contributions in the battles of Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge, Arkansas Post, Port Gibson, Ringgold Gap, and Resaca and shows that he played a crucial role in Canby’s Mobile Bay operations at the end of the war.
In addition to reporting Osterhaus’s wartime experiences, Townsend describes his experiences as a leader in the 1848–1849 Rebellion in his native Germany, his frustration during his term as Mississippi’s governor, and his stint as U.S. consul to France during the Franco-Prussian War.
Osterhaus stood out from other volunteer officers in his understanding of tactics and logistics, even though his careful field preparation led to criticism by historians that he was unduly cautious in battle. Yankee Warhorse sets the record straight on this important Civil War general as it opens a new window on the war in the West.
A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne is a firsthand account of World War I through the eyes of an enlisted soldier. William S. Triplet was a seventeen-year-old junior in high school when, on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked for a declaration of war. Passed by Congress and signed by the nation's chief executive four days later, this declaration stirred the superintendent of schools in Triplet's hometown of Sedalia, Missouri, to make an emotional plea to all eligible students to join the armed forces. "Any student who felt called upon to fight, bleed, and die for his country could receive his graduation diploma upon his return from the war." Triplet was eighteen months short of being of legal enlistment age, but the army didn't check birth certificates. The appeal of military benefits—room and board, travel, adventure, and fifteen dollars a month, plus knowing he would receive his high school diploma—was too much for the young Triplet to pass up. Thus began William S. Triplet's remarkable career in the U.S. Army, in which he served until his retirement as a full colonel in 1954.
In A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne, Triplet covers the early years of his service in Company D, 140th Infantry Regiment, 35th Division, from shortly after the time of his enlistment in 1917 to his honorable discharge in 1919. During those months he participated in several actions, most notably the battle of the Meuse-Argonne. With both elegance and a touch of humor, he masterfully portrays the everyday life of the soldier, humanizing the men with whom he served. His vivid depictions of how soldiers fought give the reader a much clearer view of the terrifying experiences of combat. He also touches on the special problems he encountered as a sergeant with an infantry platoon composed of soldiers from many different walks of life.
In writing this memoir, Triplet relied heavily on a detailed diary that he kept while he was in France in 1918. Through his annotations, Robert H. Ferrell provides the historical context for Triplet's firsthand experiences. The result is a compelling memoir that offers insight into the lives of the soldiers who served during World War I. Anyone with an interest in World War I or military history in general will find A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne of great interest.