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Commander and Builder of Western Forts Cover

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Commander and Builder of Western Forts

The Life and Times of Major General Henry C. Merriam, 1862-1901

Jack Stokes Ballard  

  During his thirty-eight-year career as a military officer, Henry Clay Merriam received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Civil War, rose to prominence in the Western army, and exerted significant influence on the American West by establishing military posts, protecting rail lines, and maintaining an uneasy peace between settlers and Indians. Historian Jack Stokes Ballard’s new study of Merriam’s life and career sheds light on the experience of the western fort builders, whose impact on the US westward expansion, though less dramatic, was just as lasting as that of Indian fighters such as Custer and Sheridan. Further, Merriam’s lengthy period in command of black troops offers a study in leadership and important understandings about the conditions under which African Americans served on the Western frontier. During the course of his service, Merriam crisscrossed the country, from Brownsville, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Barracks, serving in eastern Washington, California, and Denver. Drawing extensively on the many letters and records associated with Merriam’s long army career, Ballard presents his service in a wide range of settings, many of which have become the stuff of Western history: from conflict with Mexican revolutionaries on the Rio Grande to the miners’ riots in Coeur d’Alene. Ballard’s careful research provides a vivid picture of the military’s role in the westward expansion.

Commodore Abraham Whipple of the Continental Navy Cover

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Commodore Abraham Whipple of the Continental Navy

Privateer, Patriot, Pioneer

Sheldon S. Cohen

Abraham Whipple (1733-1819) commanded insurgents who destroyed HMS Gaspee in Narragansett Bay and helped direct the successful invasion of the Bahamas. This little-known, yet intrepid and frequently successful Continental Navy officer contributed significantly to the War for Independence. An esteemed officer of the fleet, he spent his last years in frontier Ohio where he was respected and appealed to younger generations as a "representative of the Revolution."

Sheldon Cohen's biography of Whipple presents a look inside the life of a Continental officer. He illustrates at a personal level the complexities of naval warfare, including Whipple's reliance on personal finances and family connections to outfit his ships and pay his crew. Cohen also reveals the commander’s treatment as a British prisoner of war, and his eventual migration west, shedding light on experiences shared by many Revolutionary War veterans.

Con Thien Cover

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Con Thien

The Hill of Angels

Written by James P. Coan

A memoir/history of a much-beleaguered Marine outpost of the DMZ.

Throughout much of 1967, a remote United States Marine firebase only two miles from the demilitarized zone (DMZ) captured the attention of the world’s media. That artillery-scarred outpost was the linchpin of the so-called McNamara Line intended to deter incursions into South Vietnam by the North Vietnamese Army. As such, the fighting along this territory was particularly intense and bloody, and the body count rose daily.

Con Thien combines James P. Coan’s personal experiences with information taken from archives, interviews with battle participants, and official documents to construct a powerful story of the daily life and combat on the red clay bulls-eye known as "The Hill of Angels." As a tank platoon leader in Alpha Company, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division, Coan was stationed at Con Thien for eight months during his 1967-68 service in Vietnam and witnessed much of the carnage.

Con Thien was heavily bombarded by enemy artillery with impunity because it was located in politically sensitive territory and the U.S. government would not permit direct armed response from Marine tanks. Coan, like many other soldiers, began to feel as though the government was as much the enemy as the NVA, yet he continued to fight for his country with all that he had. In his
riveting memoir, Coan depicts the hardships of life in the DMZ and the ineffectiveness of much of the U.S. military effort in Vietnam.

Confederate Combat Commander Cover

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Confederate Combat Commander

The Remarkable Life of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan, Jr.

Lawrence K. Peterson

Known as one of the most aggressive Confederate officers in the Western Theater, Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr. is legendary for having had eight horses shot out from under him in battle—more than any other infantry commander, Union or Confederate. Yet despite the exceptional bravery demonstrated by his dubious feat, Vaughan remains a largely overlooked Civil War leader.
    In Confederate Combat Commander, Lawrence K. Peterson explores the life of this unheralded yet important rebel officer before, during, and after his military service. A graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Vaughan initially commanded the Thirteenth Tennessee Infantry Regiment, and later Vaughan’s Brigade.  He served in the hard-fought battles of the western area of operations in such key confrontations as Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and the Atlanta Campaign.
    Tracing Vaughan’s progress through the war and describing his promotion to general after his commanding officer was mortally wounded, Peterson describes the rise and development of an exemplary military career, and a devoted fighting leader. Although Vaughan was beloved by his troops and roundly praised at the time—in fact, negative criticism of his orders, battlefield decisions, or personality cannot be found in official records, newspaper articles, or the diaries of his men—Vaughan nevertheless served in the much-maligned Army of Tennessee. This book thus assesses what responsibility—if any—Vaughan bore for Confederate failures in the West.
    While biographies of top-ranking Civil War generals are common, the stories of lower-level senior officers such as Vaughan are seldom told. This volume provides rare insight into the regimental and brigade-level activities of Civil War commanders and their units, drawing on a rich array of privately held family histories, including two written by the general himself.

Lawrence K. Peterson, a retired airline pilot, worked as a National Park Service ranger and USAF officer. He is the great-great grandson of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr.

Counterspy Cover

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Counterspy

Memoirs of a Counterintelligence Office in World War II and the Cold War

Cutler, Richard

During World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, Richard W. Cutler was an officer with the elite X-2 counterintelligence branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and with its successor, the Strategic Services Unit (SSU). Counterspy offers a rare firsthand account of the secret war against Hitler and the postwar competition with the Soviets for German intelligence assets. While with X-2, Cutler analyzed the super-secret Ultra intercepts and vetted agents about to be sent into Nazi Germany. Cutler provides an insightful overview of OSS operations during the war and their contribution to the AlliesÆ victory. This is also one of the few books to describe the role of the OSS and the SSU in the postwar occupation of Germany. CutlerÆs first job after the German surrender was to vet all of Allen DullesÆs wartime sources inside Germany, who were aptly nicknamed the Crown Jewels. Just as the OSS was reorganized into the SSU, Cutler moved to Berlin, where his first task was to collect intelligence from former Nazis. Soon he became chief of counterespionage in Berlin. Soviet intelligence had already begun recruiting former German intelligence officers to spy on Americans, so CutlerÆs top priority was to uncover Soviet objectives and either neutralize or double their agents. Cutler reveals previously unpublished case histories of double agents against Soviet intelligence and details agentsÆ recruitment, missions, methods of operation, successes and failures, and fates. All of these events are recounted against the fascinating background of postwar Germany. He provides a vivid picture of the mood of the German people, how they rationalized war guilt, and how they coped with the devastation throughout the country. With photographs and a foreword by bestselling author Joseph E. Persico (RooseveltÆs Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage), Counterspy is a unique account of espionage during the momentous years of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War.

Dartmouth Veterans Cover

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Dartmouth Veterans

Vietnam Perspectives

Phillip C. Schaefer

These are tales of what it was like for young men to go from the bucolic hills of New Hampshire to a land wracked by war and violence. The result is a collection of more than fifty accounts, showing the variety of experiences and reactions to this dramatic period in American history. Some soldiers were drafted, some volunteered; some supported the war, but many turned against it. Common to all the stories is the way in which war changes men, for good and ill, and the way in which the Vietnam experience colored so much of the rest of these writers' lives.

Devil's Game Cover

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Devil's Game

The Civil War Intrigues of Charles A. Dunham

Carman Cumming

The first book-length study of one of the Civil War's most outlandish and mysterious characters, Devil's Game traces the amazing career of Charles A. Dunham, double agent. _x000B__x000B_Dunham was a spy, forger, journalist, and master of dirty tricks. Writing for a variety of papers (including New York's Tribune, Herald, and World) under alternate names, he routinely faked stories, even writing contradictory accounts for different papers. Dunham also used his journalism to create new identities and then boldly cast himself to play the roles. With the help of his wife, Ophelia, he passed in and out of at least a half-dozen personae. _x000B__x000B_His characters included the vicious "Colonel" Charles Dunham, under the command of General Early; Colonel James Watson Wallace, a wounded Virginian convalescing in Montreal; and Colonel George Margrave, "one of the most cool and reckless villains in the Confederacy." In the South, he was known as Isaac Haynes, with still more aliases for his Canadian travels. Dunham would reinforce his house of cards by going so far as to have the invented characters in his ersatz stories accuse each other of heinous crimes. _x000B__x000B_Dunham achieved his greatest infamy at the war's end. Called to testify in Washington, he was the most notorious of the witnesses to swear that Lincoln's assassination had been plotted by conspirators in Montreal and Toronto, on orders from Richmond. These intrigues continued even from behind bars, as he worked tirelessly to build a network of evidence implicating President Andrew Johnson in the assassination. _x000B__x000B_Although this testimony was later discredited, until now many parts of Dunham's wartime (and postwar) career have remained shadowy. Carman Cumming sheds new light on numerous escapades, including Dunham's effort to sell Lincoln on plans for a raid to capture Jefferson Davis and a complex effort in Canada to plan--and then betray--cross-border raids. _x000B__x000B_Exhaustively researched and unprecedented in its depth, Devil's Game is a shocking portrait of a consummate chameleon. Drawing together all previous Dunham scholarship, Cumming offers the first detailed tour of Dunham's convoluted, high-stakes, international deceits. A carefully crafted assessment of Dunham's motives, personality, and the complex effects of his schemes make Devil's Game an important and original work that will change some basic assumptions about the secret operations of the Civil War.

The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke Volume 1 Cover

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The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke Volume 1

November 20, 1872--July 28, 1876

Edited and Annotated by Charles M. Robinson III

John Gregory Bourke kept a monumental set of diaries beginning as a young cavalry lieutenant in Arizona in 1872, and ending the evening before his death in 1896. As aide-de-camp to Brigadier General George Crook, he had an insider's view of the early Apache campaigns, the Great Sioux War, the Cheyenne Outbreak, and the Geronimo War. Bourke's writings reveal much about military life on the western frontier, but he also was a noted ethnologist, writing extensive descriptions of American Indian civilization and illustrating his diaries with sketches and photographs. Previously, researchers could consult only a small part of Bourke’s diary material in various publications, or else take a research trip to the archive and microfilm housed at West Point. Now, for the first time, the 124 manuscript volumes of the Bourke diaries are being compiled, edited, and annotated by Charles M. Robinson III, in a planned set of six books easily accessible to the modern researcher. Volume 1 begins with Bourke’s years as aide-de-camp to General Crook during the Apache campaigns and in dealings with Cochise. Bourke’s ethnographic notes on the Apaches continued with further observations on the Hopis in 1874. The next year he turned his pen on the Sioux and Cheyenne during the 1875 Black Hills Expedition, writing some of his most jingoistic comments in favor of Manifest Destiny. This volume culminates with the momentous events of the Great Sioux War and vivid descriptions of the Powder River fight and the Battle of the Rosebud. Extensively annotated and with a biographical appendix on Indians, civilians, and military personnel named in the diaries, this book will appeal to western and military historians, students of American Indian life and culture, and to anyone interested in the development of the American West.

The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke Volume 2 Cover

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The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke Volume 2

July 29, 1876--April 7, 1878

Edited and Annotated by Charles M. Robinson III

John Gregory Bourke kept a monumental set of diaries beginning as a young cavalry lieutenant in Arizona in 1872, and ending the evening before his death in 1896. As aide-de-camp to Brigadier General George Crook, he had an insider's view of the early Apache campaigns, the Great Sioux War, the Cheyenne Outbreak, and the Geronimo War. Bourke's writings reveal much about military life on the western frontier, but he also was a noted ethnologist, writing extensive descriptions of American Indian civilization and illustrating his diaries with sketches and photographs. Previously, researchers could consult only a small part of Bourkes diary material in various publications, or else take a research trip to the archive and microfilm housed at West Point. Now, for the first time, the 124 manuscript volumes of the Bourke diaries are being compiled, edited, and annotated by Charles M. Robinson III, in a planned set of six books easily accessible to the modern researcher. This volume opens as Crook prepares for the expedition that would lead to his infamous and devastating Horse Meat March. Although Bourke retains his loyalty to Crook throughout the detailed account, his patience is sorely tried at times. Bourke's description of the march is balanced by an appendix containing letters and reports by other officers, including an overview of the entire expedition by Lt. Walter Schuyler, and a report by Surgeon Bennett Clements describing the effects on the men. The diary continues with the story of the Powder River Expedition, culminating in Bourke’s eyewitness description of Col. Ranald Mackenzie's destruction of the main Cheyenne camp in what became known at the Dull Knife Fight. With the main hostile chiefs either surrendering or forced into exile in Canada, field operations come to a close, and Bourke finishes this volume with a retrospective of his service in Tucson, Arizona. Extensively annotated and with a biographical appendix on Indians, civilians, and military personnel named in the diaries, this book will appeal to western and military historians, students of American Indian life and culture, and to anyone interested in the development of the American West.

The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke Volume 3 Cover

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The Diaries of John Gregory Bourke Volume 3

June 1, 1878--June 22, 1880

Edited and Annotated by Charles M. Robinson III

John Gregory Bourke kept a monumental set of diaries beginning as a young cavalry lieutenant in Arizona in 1872, and ending the evening before his death in 1896. As aide-de-camp to Brigadier General George Crook, he had an insider's view of the early Apache campaigns, the Great Sioux War, the Cheyenne Outbreak, and the Geronimo War. Bourke's writings reveal much about military life on the western frontier, but he also was a noted ethnologist, writing extensive descriptions of American Indian civilization and illustrating his diaries with sketches and photographs. Previously, researchers could consult only a small part of Bourke's diary material in various publications, or else take a research trip to the archive and microfilm housed at West Point. Now, for the first time, the 124 manuscript volumes of the Bourke diaries are being compiled, edited, and annotated by Charles M. Robinson III, in a planned set of eight books easily accessible to the modern researcher. Volume 3 begins in 1878 with a discussion of the Bannock Uprising and a retrospective on Crazy Horse, whose death Bourke called "an event of such importance, and with its attendant circumstances pregnant with so much of good or evil for the settlement between the Union Pacific Rail Road and the Yellowstone River." Three other key events during this period were the Cheyenne Outbreak of 1878-79, the Ponca Affair, and the White River Ute Uprising, the latter two in 1879. The mistreatment of the Poncas infuriated Bourke: when recording the initial meeting between Crook and the Poncas, he wrote: "This conference is inserted verbatim merely to show the cruel and senseless ways in which the Government of the United States deals with the Indian tribes who confide in its justice or trust themselves to its mercy." Bourke's diary covers his time not only on the Plains and Midwest, but also digresses to his time as a young junior officer, fresh out of West Point, and experiencing his first introduction to the Southwest. He comments on issues in the military during his day, such as the quirks and foibles of the Irish soldiers who made up a large part of the frontier army, and also on the problems of Johnson Whittaker, who became West Point's only black cadet following the graduation of Henry Flipper in 1878. Extensively annotated and with a biographical appendix on Indians, civilians, and military personnel named in the diaries, this book will appeal to western and military historians, students of American Indian life and culture, and to anyone interested in the development of the American West.

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