Military Campaign Stories

Civil War – The Battle of Shiloh

Civil War – The Battle of Shiloh

The first year of the American Civil War wasn’t a great one for the Union Army. Losses at places like Bull Run and Ball’s Bluff overshadowed a string of smaller but equally important battles across the country. President Abraham Lincoln’s general-in-chief, George B. McClellan, was highly regarded by his men but was difficult to deal with, increasingly insubordinate, and failed to follow up on his victories.  However, a shining star was beginning to emerge in the Western Theater of the war. Ulysses S. Grant began the war in 1861 as a Colonel but was elevated to command a campaign along the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers by Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont. Grant, it would turn out, had the aggression necessary to take the fight to the rebels. He bloodied the Confederates at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, the two most significant Union victories at the time, forcing the rebels out of Kentucky.  The Battle of Shiloh: The Bloody Turning Point President Lincoln promoted Grant, now...

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SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

SSG Wilson Watson, U.S. Army (1942-1966)

Within the ranks of the military, there exists a certain rivalry between those who serve on the front lines and those who serve in the rear with the gear. While all jobs contribute to putting Americans in the fight, the Marines have long prized their beloved infantry above all. In modern terms, it is referred to as the "grunt versus POG debate" with POG referring to "persons other than grunts." In Vietnam, one might have heard the term REMF. Whatever one might call those in the rear, it would serve students of history well to hold their tongue before calling men like Army mess hall cook Wilson Watson a POG or REMF. Little would they know that they would be speaking of a former Marine who fought the Japanese Army alone for 15 minutes on Iwo Jima before the rest of his platoon caught up. The cook serving up a healthy dose of S.O.S on a plate had previously served up violence on Iwo Jima that would lead to the deaths of 60 enemy soldiers. Yes, quite literally, the soldier cracking eggs...

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Witness to the Storm by Werner T. Angress

Witness to the Storm by Werner T. Angress

On June 6, 1944, Werner T. Angress parachuted down from a C-47 into German-occupied France with the 82nd Airborne Division. Nine days later, he was captured behind enemy lines and, concealing his identity as a German-born Jew, became a prisoner of war. Eventually, he was freed by US forces, rejoined the fight, crossed Europe as a battlefield interrogator, and participated in a concentration camp's liberation. Although he was an American soldier, less than ten years before, he had been an enthusiastically patriotic German-Jewish boy. Rejected and threatened by the Nazi regime, the Angress family fled to Amsterdam to escape persecution and death, and young Angress then found his way to the United States.  In Witness to the Storm, Angress weaves the spellbinding story of his life, including his escape from Germany, his new life in the United States, and his experiences in World War II. A testament to the power of perseverance and forgiveness, Witness to the Storm is the compelling...

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Service Reflections of SSGT Kenneth Russell, U.S. Air Force (1951-1954)

Service Reflections of SSGT Kenneth Russell, U.S. Air Force (1951-1954)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents SSGT Kenneth Russell's legacy of his military service from 1951 to 1954. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Air Force. My draft number was coming up, and I preferred the Air Force over the Army. The Korean War was on, and it looked like I would be drafted, so I enlisted in the Air Force in Salt Lake City, Utah, in January 1951. My basic training took place at Lackland AFB, Texas, but it was...

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Korean War – The Battle of Chipyong-Ni

Korean War – The Battle of Chipyong-Ni

On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when some 75,000 Soldiers from the North Korean People's Army (NPKA) poured across the 38th parallel and, within days, captured Seoul, the South Korean capital. For two months, the outnumbered South Korean army and the small American force fought numerous battles with NPKA as they withdrew down the Korean peninsula to the Pusan area at the southeast tip of Korea. It was here that they set up a final defensive perimeter where they were able to impede the enemy's advancement. To take the pressure off the continuous attacks by the NKPA, a counteroffensive began on Sept. 15th, when United Nations forces made a daring landing at Incheon on the west coast. The unexpected attack crushed the meager NPKA defenses within a few days, cutting off North Korean supply lines to the south.  U.N. casualties during the Incheon landing and subsequent battles resulted in 566 killed and 2,713 wounded. In the fighting, the NKPA lost more than 35,000 killed and...

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General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Meteoric Rise

General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Meteoric Rise

Speaking of Eisenhower, Field Marshal Lord Montgomery once said, "nice chap, no general." General George Patton once lamented that it was too bad that Eisenhower had no personal knowledge of war. General Omar Bradley would write that Eisenhower "had little grasp of sound battlefield tactics." That might seem like some pretty harsh criticism considering the West tends to look back on Eisenhower as the man who led the allies to victory in Europe. His iconic status was further cemented in history when he became President of the United States in 1952. However, the historical facts would prove that Eisenhower was but a LtCol at the start of 1941 and an officer who had never personally seen combat. Yet, that wouldn't stop him from getting the keys to one of the largest military force the world has ever known. General Dwight D. Eisenhower: A Mediocre Rise to Power Dwight D Eisenhower entered the halls of West Point in 1911 with a greater chance of becoming a football star than the Supreme...

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Service Reflections of YN2 James Hopton, U.S. Navy (1965-1969)

Service Reflections of YN2 James Hopton, U.S. Navy (1965-1969)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents YN2 James Hopton's legacy of his military service from 1965 to 1969. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Navy. Graduation at Boot Camp San Diego 1965 I was in 10th grade in high school, and one day I was walking downtown and saw a recruiting poster of a sailor in dress blues with "Travel and see the World" with the USS Constitution behind him. I was hooked from that moment on. That's all I...

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Service Reflections of SGT Bill Lee, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1969)

Service Reflections of SGT Bill Lee, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1969)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents SGT Bill Lee's legacy of his military service from 1966 to 1969. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Marine Corps. I grew up in a dysfunctional, alcoholic, domestically violent home on Minneapolis's North Side. I was just hanging out after being expelled from two separate high schools. My girlfriend, at age 16, was an Irish Catholic beauty on the dean's list. She had gone away to be a nun...

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Service Reflections of ET2 David Ingebright, U.S. Coast Guard (1966-1970)

Service Reflections of ET2 David Ingebright, U.S. Coast Guard (1966-1970)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents ET2 David Ingebright's legacy of his military service from 1972 to 1976. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Coast Guard. Commanders inspection at Monterey It was 1972, and I had just graduated from the Electronics Technician program at the DeVry Institute of Technology in Phoenix, Arizona. The Vietnam War was in full swing, and the draft lottery was being used to draft young men my age. Since...

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Service Reflections of CPL Dan Olson,  U.S. Marine Corps (2009-2013)

Service Reflections of CPL Dan Olson, U.S. Marine Corps (2009-2013)

As a child, I always wanted to be a Marine and spent many hours watching movies and playing “war” with friends in the backyard wearing surplus WWII, Korea, and Vietnam apparel and gear given to me by my “uncle” Jr. The late 90s, while I was in high school, was a relative time of peace, and the few people I did see joining the military were doing it for college money, which, while making sense to me, also kind of soured the idea for me. In my senior year in 2000, the Army National Guard ran a recruiting event in the quad area at lunch, and a friend and I added our names to a list to get more information; my mother always told me that the military would brainwash me and that I was flat-footed and wouldn’t be accepted anyway (I’m not flat-footed) and when that Army Sgt called the house I heard my mother quickly give him a piece of her mind and then abruptly hang up on him, and that was the end of that, I wasn’t fully committed to the idea myself and had apprehensions and concerns about whether I’d be up to military life and honestly was unsure that I even had what it takes to make it through boot camp. After high school, I worked for my family, got engaged, and took out a loan for my first home. Then September 11th happened. I was angry, and silly as it may sound, I was filled with guilt as I saw on the news the brave men and women my age who answered the call to service both before and during this unprecedented time in our country. Still, I had obligations here at home and continued on my current course at the time. Years passed, and I grew older and feared that my youth would quickly pass me by. Then, the economic recession of 2008 hit.

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Civil War – The Civil War Within the Confederacy

Civil War – The Civil War Within the Confederacy

The civil war within the Confederacy is often overshadowed by the actual Civil War. The American Civil War was a titanic struggle between the overwhelming numeric and material advantages of the Union, and the tactical and leadership advantages of the states that would form the  Confederate States of America. In such a large conflict many stories, unfortunately, go untold and it becomes easy to oversimplify each side. The war did not become inevitable simply because of the Republican Party and the election of Abraham Lincoln to the executive branch of the federal government.  Even describing the conflict as "North vs. South" is inaccurate to a degree, as support for the war was far from unanimous on either side. On occasions when dissent within each side is discussed today, the focus is almost always on the Union's Copperheads. However, it should be remembered that there was a vigorous pro-Union movement in the South, particularly in areas where not many people owned slaves....

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