25 FEBRUARY 2015: Hi folks! The rumors of my demise are totally unfounded! Neither have I abandoned Maritime Maunder. That said, lemme 'splain (thank you, Ricky Ricardo) why I have been remiss in posting. Quite simply, I have been totally focused on my finishing my new book, which is all but done at this point and, I expect, will see daylight in late spring or early summer depending on how long the editing process takes and how long the layout, cover design, and printing takes. But my hope is for June... The title, by the way, is IN HOSTILE WATERS and it's the story of the final cruise of USS Argus in 1813. Should be a fun/interesting/informative read for those of you who enjoy maritime US history. Of note (at least to me!) is that I am bring together both my American officer character (The Greater the Honor, In Pursuit of Glory) and my British officer (When Fortune Frowns, Gun Bay) in the same book. I will update through Maritime Maunder and twitter (@1812war) as the release date looms!
So for today: the title is "more wrong history" and I must add, there seems to be a real wealth of erroneous/false/misleading history wandering around out there in people's minds. And before I go any further, let me correct an erroneous statement I made in my previous post about the Marine landing at Iwo Jima. After it went up, I received an email from an old pal who corrected and augmented what I had written. I had stated that the iconic image of the flag raising had been staged by Joe Rosenthal because he missed the shot at the initial raising. That was incorrect; after the first flag was raised, the Marine commander, watching from a ship offshore, radioed the flag was too small - he could not see it well from the ship, and he sent in a larger one. When Rosenthal got there (to the top of Suribachi) his timing was perfect; the new flag had also just arrived and he took a "grab shot" of the men struggling with the heavy pole on which they had affixed the flag. Further. I mentioned that the six "flag raisers" had been sent back to the states to sell war bonds. That was incorrect in that three of them died before the fight had ended and only three, Ira Hayes (the Pima Indian), Rene Gangon, and Navy Corpsman John Bradley returned to the United States, where they did tour the country selling war bonds. Thank you, Bill Anderson!
As a further note on "wrong history" I received today an email from a good pal asking for my comment on the history it contained. The email was titled, "The first president of the United States." And in it was stated that the first president was NOT George Washington, but a man named John Hanson. I am sure many of you have seen this one; it's been around the web before. Thanks to Hank Gulick for the forward.
Now, let's look at some facts here, first a bit about ol' John: He was self-educated (as were many in those days) and lived in Charles County MD. He married and produced 9 kids, one of whom joined the Continental Army and lost his life in the Revolutionary War. John's political career began in 1757 as a member of the Maryland Colonial Assembly where he was known as an outspoken advocate of the Patriot Cause. He was named a delegate to the Continental Congress and ultimately, its president (this was a role based on England's Prime Minister) 1781-2. It was during this time that the Articles of Confederation were ratified and at the same time, General Washington pretty much ended the War at Yorktown. At which time, the Continental Congress became the Congress of the Confederation (Also called the United States in Congress Assembled - quite a mouthful!) and Hanson was elected as President of THAT body, not the United States of America. Technically, that entity (The United States of America) did not exist until 1789 when the United States Constitution was ratified and George Washington was named president of the United States. Your history books were not wrong - at least on THAT score!
Hope that will put paid to at least a little piece of false/misleading history!
See you soon, and until then,