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23 December 2019


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Charles I

Please Santa all I want for Christmas is more, painful as it must surely be.

Maureen Lang

Time for a re-read of DPH- I'd forgotten that Balthazar had been Falstaff in "Merry Wives."

Ahhhh, my favorite character in all the novels, the wonderful Smoot!

Thanks for posting this excerpt, dear brother- hoping for a few more of them on SST/TA in 2012.


"Our American Cousin," a nice bit of foreshadowing. Good writing allows the reader to slip easily into the environment and mind of the characters. Well done, Col.

Saw The Conspirators recently, too timely, as if we've gone full circle but with the twist that we seem to be preparing for a civil war instead of ending one.

The Twisted Genius

Ah, my old friend John Balthazar. His ability to turn the men that don't fit in into a quality fighting force is something I admire and can relate to. A common disciplinary tool in the 25th Infantry Division in the late 70s was the rehab transfer. When a young soldier became a problem and a candidate for a chapter 13 discharge, the brigade commander would often transfer that soldier to another battalion to give him one more chance to prove himself. After having great success with two of these rehab transfers, my rifle platoon became the repository for the brigade's rascals, sad sacks and ne'r-do-wells. I ended up with more than a third of my platoon being rehab transfers. Unlike Balthazar, I was not given the opportunity to interview these rehab transfers. These hard cases seldom became angels, but they had great field initiative and ingenuity. My platoon often served as the second scout platoon for the battalion.



I know the feeling. pl


Just finished reading "Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson" by S.C. Gwynne. His chapter on winter quarters of 1862-1863 is wonderful with its description of the theater produced by the soldiers. Folks would come out from Richmond for the productions.

Also mentioned is the great snowball fight, with hundreds of men fighting in battle formation commanded by field officers, complete with regimentmal bands and full military display. General Lee himself was pelted a few times.

Then too was the mention of the Union and Confederate bands playing at each other across the river. After the Union boys played "John Brown's Body", the Confederate soldiers hollered back, "now play one for our side". The Union band promptly played a rousing rendition of Dixie.


Tears rise up...

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