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"As a tribute to all past, present, and future USMC active & reserve personnel, veterans, and retirees, this story brings to life a long-forgotten episode in Marine Corps history."
Thank you for your service and self-sacrifice.
Prelude to Civil War
Harper's Ferry, October, 1859
A chronicle of the U.S. Marines' assignment to, preparation for, and direct involvement in the precarious October 1859 conflict at Harper's Ferry, Virginia – John Brown's raid and his capture.
An enlivening and accurately detailed historical fiction narrative of the most significant prelude to our Civil War.
This novel includes over 400 informational annotations embedded in the text and a 48-page Appendix. Both are designed to further enlighten the reader regarding the following critical contributors to this event:
the Marines themselves, the B&O Railroad, the town of Harper"s Ferry, and the U.S. Armory/Arsenal.
Oddly enough, the United States Marines' role during the capture of John Brown at Harper's Ferry, October 1859, has been wholly overlooked and virtually forgotten – even by the Marines themselves.
Typically, within a short line or two, most modern history books exultantly refer only to Colonel Robert E. Lee, "commanding Marines" and aided by First Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart, as capturing John Brown. Is this an accurate depiction of the bona fide story? NOT QUITE! Colonel Lee did not directly command the Marines as implied. The interservice rivalry of the day and the Military Act of 1834 would not have allowed an Army officer to command any personnel from the Marine branch of service, except at the president's specific, written direction. Lee was tasked to be the overall commander of Army forces, made up of Militia units from Virginia and Maryland. The Marines sent to Harper's Ferry were "Regulars" and commanded by their own Officer-in-Charge, First Lieutenant Israel Greene, USM.
So... why were the Marines sent? Who were they? How were they organized? How did they prepare for the journey to Harper's Ferry? (Harpers Ferry is our modern spelling of the town's name. What happened to the apostrophe in "Harper's" after our Civil War is an unsolved mystery.)
What credibly took place after the Marines arrived? What kind of a wooden ladder could do what three heavy sledgehammers could not? How and why did the sword used to strike down John Brown bend? As one studies the Marines' involvement in this bygone confrontation, more and more questions present themselves and demand explanation.
Now, one hundred and sixty-plus years after the event, this historical novel offers an in-depth look at the actions of those heroic, but forgotten, Marines. Although fictional dialogue has been incorporated to give "life" to the story, historical accuracy has been preserved as correctly as possible.
Dale Lee Sumner was born and reared in a very Navy family. His father was a retired Avionics Chief Petty Officer, and his mother a Yeoman Third Class Petty Officer during WWII. His brother was a Navy SEAL. (All three are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.) Dale retired from the U.S. Navy as a Commander (O-5) .
While stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station at Yuma, Arizona , as a young Navy enlisted man (AZ3), he experienced the unusual privilege of being awarded the station's highest honor of "Marine of the Month." A close association with the Marines continued throughout the rest of his Naval career.
In 1996, Dale and Robert O. Wagner, Jr. co-founded the first Civil War Federal Marine re-enacting unit – "U.S. Marine Detachment, Washington Navy Yard, 1859-1865."
He and his wife currently reside in Middle Georgia.
Hardcover: 360 pages
Item Weight: 1.72 lbs
Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 10 in.
Interior: Black & White w/ white paper
Publication Date: May 6, 2021
Paperback: 328 pages
Item Weight: 1.16 lbs
Dimensions: 6.69 x 0.74 x 9.61 in.
Interior: Black & White w/ white paper
Publication Date: December 7, 2021
Kindle Unlimited: Enabled
e-Book ISBN-13: 978-0-9974634-6-0
File Size: 1074 KB
Text to Speech: Enabled
Screen Reader: Supported
Enhanced Text Setting: Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Print Length: 396 pages
Publication Date: February 27, 2020
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