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War & Espionage
A Journal of the Santa Fe Expedition under Colonel Doniphan:
Under Colonel Doniphan in 1846
By Jacob S. Robinson
Jacob Robinson volunteered for Colonel Doniphan's expedition, which left St. Louis in June 1846 for old Santa Fe, simply because he had nothing better to do. The expedition continued on through Navaho country and then down into Chihuahua, Mexico, where they fought with the Mexicans. Their victories were the basis of a United States claim to what is now New Mexico, Arizona and California. As a newcomer to the great West, Robinson was fascinated by all that he saw, and provides some wonderful sketches of the people and scenery.
A Ride to Khiva:
My Travels and Adventures in Central Asia, 1875
By Frederick Gustavus Burnaby
Frederick Gustavus Burnaby--soldier, traveler, writer, and pioneer balloonist--set out on an unofficial mission in 1875 to investigate the motives behind Russia's exclusion of foreigners from Central Asia. This real-life adventure details the hardship and humor of Burnaby's excursion. Reprinted eleven times in its first year of publication, the story made Burnaby a popular hero in his own day.
A Virginia Girl in the Civil War:
Being a Record of the Actual Experiences of the Wife of a Confederate Officer
By Myrta Lockett Avary
This narrative gives a rare glimpse inside the mind of the wife of a former Confederate officer and shows with a simple sincerity what life was like for many Southern women during the human tragedy of the Civil War. The author tells of her many travels across the war-torn South, her capture behind enemy lines, her encounter with the famous Belle Boyd, her friendship with the dashing General J.E.B. Stuart, and the devastation suffered by the citizens of Richmond in the last days of the Confederacy. This is a real "Gone with the Wind."
Against All Odds:
Shot Down Over Occupied Territory in World War II
By Frederick Dustin Worthen
The author and his eight crewmembers bailed out of their crippled B-24 on their 24th mission over enemy territory. Shot at and then captured by the Germans, they were taken to a stalag in Nuremberg, and then on a forced march to another in Moosburg. They were strafed by Allied planes, nearly lynched by an angry mob, starved, and shot at again by retreating SS just before their liberation by General Patton. Incredibly, all nine crewmembers survived, and eight of them contributed to this remarkable account that took 20 years to write.
An American General:
The Memoirs of David Sloan Stanley
By David Sloan Stanley
Stanley had a remarkable American military career. He started in 1853 by surveying a railroad route along the 35th parallel, fighting the Cheyennes on Solomon's Fork and the Comanches near Fort Arbuckle. At the start of the Civil War he turned down a Confederate commission and led Federal troops in dozens of battles, including most of the battles in the Atlanta Campaign and the defense of Nashville (he won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his leadership in the battle of Franklin, Tennessee). This memoir must be read by anyone seriously interested in the Civil War.
Anson's Voyage Around the World:
In the Years 1740-1744
By Richard Walter
When Britain declared war on Spain in 1740, Commodore George Anson was sent to harass the Spanish in the Americas. His fleet was manned with the sick and infirm, and he lost the majority of his crew by the time he reached the west coast of South America. Nevertheless, the HMS Centurion sacked the city of Paita in Peru and managed to capture a Manila galleon before sailing home the rest of the way around the world. The author, Richard Walter, was chaplain aboard, and it is interesting to compare this book with Woodes Roger's account of the same voyage.
Boots and Saddles:
Or, Life in Dakota with General Custer
By Elizabeth B. Custer
The wild west from a wife's perspective! Mrs. Custer describes her life on the plains with the General until his disastrous defeat at Little Big Horn. She nursed frostbitten soldiers, camped among the Sioux, and saw the capture of Rain-in-the Face. All the while she maintained a home -- no mean feat in a land of punishing blizzards, scorching summers and few amenities. More than anyone else, Elizabeth was responsible for creating the character of General Custer, and burnishing his image as long as she lived.
Confessions of a Macedonian Bandit:
A Californian in the Balkan Wars
By Albert Sonnichsen
Sonnichsen left San Francisco in 1905, went to Macedonia, and got caught up in the Balkan Wars. Oddly Quixotic but quintessentially American, he took sides with the revolutionaries fighting against the Turks and the Greeks in the Strumitza Mountains, on the Bulgarian border. Horror abounds, but also humor: the revolutionaries abduct a young woman, hoping her ransom will fund their war, but she and her pregnant companion make their lives miserable.
In Darkest Africa:
Or the Quest, Rescue, and Retreat of Emin Pasha Governor of Equatoria
By Henry M. Stanley
This was to be Stanley's last expedition to Africa. He was charged with rescuing Emin Pasha (Viceroy), who had been appointed a governor in the southern Sudan by the British, and had been forced to retreat to the Lake Albert (now northern Uganda) by the uprising led by an Islamic holy man. In 1888 Stanley journeyed up the Congo and to the lake, reaching Emin, who refused to leave. Eventually persuaded by Stanley, they proceeded to the Indian Ocean by way of the Semliki River which was found to connect Lake Albert with Lake Edward. Both volumes of the original are included in this single edition.
The Expedition for the Suppression of the Slave Trade
By Samuel W. Baker
In 1869, Ismail Pasha, the ruler of Egypt, appointed British explorer Sir Samuel White Baker as governor general of Sudan, which was then governed by Egypt. Ismail wanted Baker to defeat the slave trade and open routes for commerce, and he gave him life and death authority to make it so. This is Baker's narrative of his campaign against the slavers. In the tradition of Stanley, Livingstone and Burton, Baker weaves a powerful tale, all the more incredible because he lived it.
Just Off the Ground:
Recollections of an Early Aviator
By Carl Recknagel
This is a memoir of the author's flying career, starting with his flight training at March Field, California, in the mid-1920s, his days flying PT-3s and DH-4s; and his training in attack aviation with the Army Air Corps at Kelly Field, Texas, through to his hours in a Curtiss Falcon A-3s and his second-place finish in the Patrick Trophy race in 1930. Written in witty, casual prose, this book is great fun for all military aviation enthusiasts.
Scenes and Adventures in the Army:
Or, Romance of Military Life
By Philip St. George Cooke
Cooke, an 1827 graduate of West Point, saw and told more of military life in the mid-nineteenth century than almost any other U.S. Officer. Commissioned a brigadier general in the Union Army soon after the start of the Civil War (one of his sons became a Confederate general), he was given command of the calvary forces in Washington, D.C. After the surrender he served in the Black Hawk and Mexican wars. He is best remembered as commander of the famous "Mormon Battalion" of the U.S. Dragoons, which left Santa Fe, New Mexico, in October, 1846, and pulled their wagons over trackless desert to San Diego, rejoining General Kearney in the conquest of California. Cooke ended his active career in the late 1850s as an observer in the Crimean War. This book covers it all with detail and color.
Tenting on the Plains:
With General Custer from the Potomac to the Western Frontier
By Elizabeth B. Custer
Elizabeth Custer chronicles the journey with her legendary husband, General George A. Custer, from the time of his leaving the Army of the Potomac in 1865, through Texas, New Orleans, and to the western frontier. Her descriptions of the daily rigors of travel, survival, and the people encountered, have become classic historical literature -- and in this case, enlivened by the perceptive eye and mind of a woman who, in her own right, became a heroine of the time.
The Quest for Freedom:
A Story of Belgian Resistance in World War II
By Yvonne de Ridder Files
This is the story of a true hero of WWII, a young woman who risked her life fighting the Nazis during the entire war. She was extensively involved in both sabotage and espionage, and later in the sheltering and movement of allied airmen. She was betrayed, tortured, and when she refused to divulge any information she was sentenced to be hanged. She was saved at the last moment by the liberation of Antwerp on September 4th, 1944. For the actions she describes in this book, she was later awarded a certificate of merit by General Eisenhower.
The Outbreak of the White Mountain Apaches, 1881-1886
By Anton Mazzanovich
September 1886 and the surrender of the Chiricahua Apache Geronimo marked the end of centuries of warfare between European-Americans and the desert Indians in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The final drama in the long clash between cultures played out like grand theater with larger-than-life characters. Ultimately, the story ended, not in an epic and bloody battle, but with an operatic struggle between men of uncommon courage, valor, honor and humanism and those of common deceptiveness, cruelty, treachery and self-aggrandizement. The final act lasted for more than 16 months. This is an account of that struggle by a soldier who was there, up to and including the final scene in Skeleton Canyon.
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