12 April 2011 was the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. The official start, when Fort Sumter was fired upon. It ‘s also the date my first book on the Civil War: DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY, can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and from Who Dares Wins Publishing.
They swore oaths, both personal and professional. From the Plain at West Point, through the Mexican War, to the carnage of Shiloh. They were fighting for country, for a way of life and for family. Classmates carried more than rifles and sabers into battle. They had friendships, memories, children and wives. They had innocence lost, promises broken and glory found.
Duty, Honor, Country is history told both epic and personal so we can understand what happened, but more importantly feel the heart-wrenching clash of duty, honor, country and loyalty. And realize that sometimes, the people who changed history, weren’t recorded by it. This book is big, almost twice the length of my usual books, because the story demands a large scale.
Reviews for Mayer’s books:
“Exciting and authentic. Don’t miss this one.” W.E.B. Griffin
“Mayer had me hooked from the very first page.” Stephen Coonts
“Fascinating, imaginative and nerve-wracking.” Kirkus Reviews
“Will leave you spellbound.” Book News
“Mayer has established himself as one of today’s better military writers. A background in Special Operations gives him credibility and understanding from having been there and done that.” Airpower Journal
“A treat for military fiction readers.” Publishers Weekly
The seeds of the Civil War were planted well before 12 April 1861, with the founding of the country. Our story, though, starts in 1840, in Benny Havens tavern, just outside post limits of the United States Military Academy. With William Tecumseh Sherman, a classmate, a plebe, and Benny Havens’ daughter coming together in a crucible of honor and loyalty. And on post, in the West Point stables, where Ulysses S. Grant and a classmate are preparing to saddle the Hell-Beast, a horse with which Grant would eventually set an academy record, and both make fateful decisions that will change the course of their lives and history.
The key to this series is a simple fact I had to memorize as a plebe at West Point:
Who commanded the major battles of the Civil War? —— There were 60 important battles of the War. In 55 of them, graduates commanded on both sides; in the remaining 5, a graduate commanded one of the opposing sides.
That struck me as utterly fascinating and disturbing on a core level. After all, how did men who went to the same Academy, who swore the same oath of allegiance, end up fighting each other? In addition, it made me wonder if perhaps the war lasted so long and was the bloodiest in our history until World War II, because the leaders on both sides had all been trained in the same place?
So I decided to take a handful of fictional character and insert them into history, to rub elbows with those who would become great and those who would become infamous. And have them live through events, both epic and personal.
The story ranges from West Point; to a plantation in Natchez, the richest city in the United States where cotton was king; to the only mutiny in the United States Navy; to St. Louis where Kit Carson is preparing to depart on a famous expedition to the west with Fremont that would eventually bring California into the Union; to Mexico, where the United States Army suffered its highest casualty rate to this day and brought most of the western United States into the Union; to the founding of the Naval Academy; to John Brown’s hanging; to the firing on Fort Sumter; through First Bull Run; the first battle of ironclads, the Monitor and Virginia; and culminating in the epic battle of Shiloh, where the United States had more casualties in one battle than in all previous wars combined and the face of warfare changed forever.
And that’s leaving out many more events that arc the story. My handful of fictional characters are swept up by the tide of history and their factual contemporaries, and sometimes are more than swept up as they are the significant unknowns, the people who changed history but weren’t recorded by it.
This is history told both epic and personal so we can understand intellectually what happened, but more importantly feel the heart-wrenching struggle of duty, honor, country and loyalty coming into collision.
This first book will be followed by more books, taking our characters through the Civil War and beyond, into the Plains Wars and further.
As they say at West Point: Much of the history we teach, was made by people we taught.
I hope you enjoy!
Bob Mayer USMA ‘81 Infantry and U.S. Special Forces
PS: And, coming on the 4th of July, 185 years to the date after his death, The Jefferson Allegiance, a modern thriller where the pieces of the Jefferson Cipher must be found to found and put together to uncover the the Jefferson Allegiance, a document from the Founding Fathers, that in the wrong hands, could destroy the country.
NY Times bestselling author Bob Mayer has over 40 books published. He has over four million books in print and is in demand as a team-building, life-change, and leadership speaker and consultant for his Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way concepts. He is the Co-Creator of Who Dares Wins Publishing.
Born in the Bronx, Bob attended West Point and earned a BA in psychology with honors and then served as an Infantry platoon leader, a battalion scout platoon leader, and a brigade reconnaissance platoon leader in the 1st Cavalry Division. He then joined Special Forces and commanded a Green Beret A Team. He also served as the operations officer for the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and with Western Command Special Operations in Hawaii. Later he taught at the Special Forces Qualification Course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, the course designed to train new Green Berets. He wrote the Gettysburg Staff Walk for the office committee. He also lived in Korea where he earned a Black Belt in Martial Arts and in Tennessee where he earned a Masters Degree in Education from Austin Peay State University with an additional concentration in history.
Bob draws on all of these experiences to write his novels and his nonfiction books, including WHO DARES WINS: The Green Beret Way To Conquer Fear & Change and The Novel Writer’s Toolkit: A Guide To Writing Great Fiction And Getting It Published. He teaches novel writing and improving the author via his Warrior-Writer program.
Bob lives on an island off of Seattle. For more information see www.bobmayer.org