I have three Civil War books that have been published. What the North fought for, and what the South reconciled to, the greatness of the United States of America, has been waning since the Carter administration. Bush’s War is accelerating the bankruptcy of our country like the American Revolution hastened the bankruptcy of Bourbon France, which caused the French Revolution. Abraham Lincoln said: “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”
Quoting from my unpublished book “Three Quarter Cadillac:” In 1864, at the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Joseph P. Putnam, Company F, 55th Illinois, scrambled over the field to secure a stretcher for Captain Jacob Augustine, “but before he had gone many steps a bullet pierced his thigh, breaking the bone and severing an artery. A sweet singer, jolliest of messmates, loved for his invincible good nature, respected by all for his manliness, courage, and cheerful attendance upon duty, his heroic death was in harmonious keeping with his life. The rosy-cheeked, curly-headed boy knew that his wound was mortal, and told a comrade, George W. Curfman, who attempted to aid him, that he had but a brief time to live. Then he began singing: ‘We’re going home to die no more.’ As his life’s blood pulsed away his voice grew fainter and fainter, but murmured the refrain until forever stilled on earth.” 1
High Private Putnam and his comrades, “knights of the knapsack,” with their love of country, service and sacrifice, preserved the Union. With blood and powder they defended the Constitution that their fore-bearers had promulgated. Decades after the Civil War, First Sergeant James A. Wright, Company F, 1st Minnesota, wrote: “It was no trivial thing to offer to die that the nation might continue to live.” 2
With regard to the assumption that the Baathist regime possessed weapons of mass of destruction, Gen. James “Spider” Marks, who was tasked with the mission of finding the 946 identified sites and disposing of the weapons, offered these trenchant remarks concerning the priority the Bush administration placed on his role and the presumptive reason for war.
“‘No one in Rumsfeld’s general chain of command seemed to know who I was. I mean, I was a senior general officer, but…I’m sure I was below their noise level’…Pointedly, he added, ‘I was taught when I made general officer that I didn’t have a noise level. Everything was mine. I had to give a sh*t about every issue, because if I didn’t, something critical would slip through.’ Let me get this straight, I [Jeff Stein] said to Marks: After all the talk about Saddam Hussein over the previous two years, the officials responsible for planning the actual war no longer cared about WMD? ‘Well,’ he said, continuing to put it like a soldier, ‘they ostensibly cared, but their give-a-sh*t level was really low.’” 62