Naked Blade: A West Point Soldier in Pre-Civil War Battles of The Indian & Mexican Wars / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


In 1833 fifteen-year-old George Taylor leaves his family home in Macon, Georgia, and enters the Military Academy at West Point with nothing more than the clothes on his back and the strong will to succeed. Through the adventures of this young man, the reader experiences life in the strict confines of the Academy, and then his life-changing experiences as an officer in the United States 3rd Artillery.

The painful "Trail of Tears" relocation of the Cherokee Indians is the young officer┬┐s first assignment, then a march into the miasmic swamps of the Florida Everglades to round up the elusive Seminole Indians. When these military missions are complete, George and his comrades are called to "Defend the Rio Grande," a move that propelled the United States into the bloody war with Mexico.

This tightly woven story is based on fact and also explores the lives of soldiers who went on to stellar careers in the Civil War, men such as Grant, Lee, Early, and McClellan. America became an ocean-to-ocean national empire as a result of these valiant soldiers┬┐ efforts.

The eighteen original images etched by soldiers of the period provide an intensified experience of military life before the Civil War.

General Dave R. Palmer, Past Superintendent USMA at West Point
"The story of George Taylor is one well worth telling...full of adventure and human interest...."

Colonel James F. Schnabel, ret. US Army Chief Historian
"...a significant look at a most important period of United States expansion... I read it twice in one week..."

Lt. Colonel R. L. Sullivan, Commander 5th Bn 3rd Field Artillery, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.
"Thorough research... it shows!"

"The intensity of storytelling rises off the fever chart. . . What becomes striking evident is the adaptability to a screenplay." Roland Barber, Author/Pulitzer Prize Nominee, Professor UCLA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967853031
  • Publisher: Getting Out By Going In
  • Publication date: 6/10/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 9.69 (w) x 7.44 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The bleat of a nearby deer startled him. Then suddenly and without warning, the animal darted past him with the speed and panic of a hunted animal. George's heart skipped a beat. Although the deer had frightened him, his thoughts went racing to an even more frightening place. What had frightened the deer? He listened for the sound of the Seminole. A whistle came from some place to his left. Or was it from behind? He couldn't be certain. George looked at his fish. They were still flapping furiously and making an inordinate amount of noise. His thoughts darted from one option to the next. Should he run? Drop the fish? Could he hide? His options were eliminated as the brush began to move a short distance from the exact spot he was standing. Best guess was that something, or more accurately someone, was not more than ten feet from where he was standing. The stillness in the air was instantly filled with the report of the Indian's gun. A shot rang louder than any practice drill to which George had previously participated. Something landed with a thud not twenty feet into the brush. George suddenly realized that he had unwittingly entered a very volatile situation should his presence become known. This was undoubtedly the real thing. Real shots. Real Indians. The thought of his own death sent panic pumping through George's veins and it propelled him to dive for cover with a firm grip on his musket. Landing as quietly as possible, he was surprised to find himself in one piece, safe behind a thick clump of laurels. His presence had gone undetected as he spied two bodies pushing through the thicket. The Indian's intended target lay in a clearing. As the throes of life were kicked from the dying doe's legs, George glanced nearby to locate his stream-plucked bounty. The fish were very much alive and flapping on the trail where they had been hastily abandoned. At that moment the oddest thought crossed George's mind. The trackers who stumbled into camp were always filled with tall tales of close encounters with the Seminole. He had always listened with skepticism to the recanting of their dubious heroics. Now, as he faced his own "tall tale," he wanted nothing more than the ability to live long enough to tell it. George vowed never to pass judgment on a tracker's veracity, if only God would let him live. But living required him to eliminate all evidence of his whereabouts. This meant that he first he needed to stop the fish from flailing about and get them off the trail. How was he to retrieve the fish? He couldn't run the risk of the Indians finding the net; that would lead to him easily. Two dark skulking forms made their way into the clearing. Leading the two was a Seminole whose wizened face bore the look of an experienced warrior. The younger one followed, holding his musket at the ready.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2003

    surprisingly accurate

    The accuracy of events and details surprised me and I found myself really getting interested in the life of the soldiers. I liked reading about some of the Civil War Heroes and how life was when they were just learning their skills. Soldiering sure was a lot tougher in those days...

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