Tag: George Washington

The Ides of March

Julius Caesar. George Washington. Tsar Alexander. Christopher Columbus. King Odoacer.

The Ides are significant to all of them.

Caesar, of course, met some blades. But, he was already a very sick man. And it was hard to keep a secret in Rome. What if he went that day knowing his fate?

Washington faced a coup among his officers at their winter camp in Newburgh. They hadn’t been paid in months. The war wasn’t technically over as negotiations dragged on in Paris. He made an epic speech few have ever heard of. But what if he hadn’t?

Tsarist Russia ended on 15 March 1917. The world has never been the same. But what if Alexander hadn’t abdicated? What if the Tsarina had come up with a desperate plan to turn the people against the Communists? An appalling sacrifice?

Columbus returned to Spain on 15 March 1492. But, he brought more than word of the New World back with him. His crew also brought Syphilis, previously unknown in the Old World. But what if that Syphilis was something more deadly?

King Odoacer, the first King of Italy after the last Roman Emperor in the West, was assassinated by Theodoric on the 15th of March 493. But what if the tables were turned?

In honor of this momentous day in history, I’ve made the Ides of March free on Nook, Kobo and Google Play.  It’s loading on Apple and should be live shortly.

Eagle’s mission to Washington’s camp which turns out to have much more than a speech at stake is free in all modes, pdf, mobi and epub HERE.

The MP3 audio of any of those missions is available if you email me at Bob@bobmayer.com.

More great giveaways are exclusive to those who are on my email list which you can sign up for here.  My web site is being completely redone in order to make it easier to find my books and the orders they’re written in. I’ll also be uploading a new Readers Guide on all platforms soon which contains all my titles and information about how they’re connected.

Valentines Day (A Time Patrol novella) will be out next month!

Nothing but good times ahead!

 

 

Hidden History: The Origin of the Purple Heart: The Badge of Military Merit

The first military award ever established by the US Military is the Badge of Military Merit by George Washington, who graces the front of the Purple Heart, which is considered the successor to the Badge.

badge merit originalWashington announced the award in 1782, not for soldiers killed or wounded, but for enlisted soldiers who showed exceptional bravery. Prior to this time, awards were considered the province of only officers. Washington understood the key to any army is the soldiers who do the fighting. Tweet this! Washington said: The road to glory in a Patriot Army and a free country is open to all.”

This is part of the reason why the United States military has always been made up of citizen-soldiers, willing to serve and defend their country.

Interestingly, the following year, at the Newburgh Cantonment, as peace talks were dragging on in Paris (the Revolutionary War didn’t end until fall 1783), Washington had to face a potential mutiny among his officers over the lack of pay forthcoming from Congress. On 15 March 1783, as Washington WA Postdetailed in Ides of March (Time Patrol), Washington had to give a famous speech, appealing to the patriotism and fidelity of his men, to quell this action. It was only when, with shaking hands he had to put on his reading glasses to read a letter and telling the men he’d grown old in service of his country, that the mood shifted.

History. We have to learn from it or else we will repeat it. This is one of the mantras from the Time Patrol books and one of the reason I write them, trying to show history in an exciting format. For: He who controls the past, controls the future. He who controls the present, controls that past. Orwell. 1984.

Let us control our present!

 

Hidden History: 41 years a slave; 53 a Free Man. The Inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Josiah_Henson_bwHis name was Josiah Henson. He was born into slavery in 1789 in Maryland. He escaped in 1830 and made it to Canada. He started a settlement and school for other fugitive slaves.

A name not as well known as Harriett Beacher Stowe. But his book, 

, is widely acknowledged to be the source document from which she wrote her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. His book was first published in 1849. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852. In fact, in later editions, Henson changed his title to the book on the right. 

Henson origianlHenson coverI came across it while doing research for one of my books. I was focused on George Washington and the speech he gave on the Ides, the 15th of March 1783 to quell a mutiny among his officer corps at Newburgh NY. But the interesting thing about writing the Time Patrol books is that they take me in completely unexpected directions. I became interested in Washington’s slave and cook, Hercules, who was, technically, the first White House chef, although there was no White House yet. He also ran away eventually. But it got me to thinking about sacrifice. About how often the smallest act could lead to more significant events. Based on feedback from readers, the most powerful of the six storylines in Ides of March is the one where he has a presence, even though he wasn’t even born yet in 1783. Such is the conundrum of time travel.

I will leave you with Henson’s own words:

’I will conclude my narrative by simply recording my gratitude, heartfelt and inexpressible, to God, and to many of my fellow-men, for the vast improvement in my condition, both physical and mental; for the great degree of comfort with which I am surrounded; for the good I have been enabled to effect; for the light which has risen upon me; for the religious privileges I enjoy, and the religious hopes I am permitted to cherish; for the prospects opening to my children, so different from what they might have been; and, finally, for the cheering expectation of benefiting not only the present, but many future generations of my race’.

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