The Saber and Scroll Historical Journal is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal which welcomes submissions from graduate and undergraduate students, as well as alumni on history or military history topics, book reviews and exhibit/museum reviews.

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Jeff Ballard

Editor in Chief

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Current Issue: Volume 10, Number 3 – Spring 2022

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Welcome Letter

Jeff Ballard
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.1


The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society – Pacific Southwest 2021 Essay Contest - “Rising Historian” This Day I Conquer or Die: The Battle of Bleinheim, 1704

Andrew Roth
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.2

Proportional to its effect on culture and history, the Battle of Blenheim is one of the most under-represented and under-re- searched events in military history. It saved the Grand Alliance between Holland, England, and Austria from being knocked out of the War of Spanish Succession and cemented the reputation of John Churchill, the First Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722), as a brilliant commander. In a few short hours, Marlborough had guaranteed the safety of Vienna—previously threatened by an army of 50,000 men—and finally brought the Grand Alliance to a true offensive footing. The glorious Sun King’s court was taken over by emotional sobriety unseen in its 43 years since taking power: as historian James Falkner said, “When the dreadful news arrived, no one could credit the scale of defeat for French arms, and Louis XIV was so stunned by the news that it was thought at first that he had suffered a stroke.” In sheer numbers, the Grand Alliance had captured an enormous amount of men and materiel that made sure that the French would not rebound for years. Camille d’Hostun de la Baume, duc de Tallard (1652–1728), the French commander, was imprisoned for seven years in England. This paper will provide support for the thesis that the Franco-Bavarians lost due to disunity of command, disunity of combat arms, and a lack of experience in their commanders..

No Faith in Hope: Darwin, Lady Hope, and the Evolution of an American Lie

Michael Kahn
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.3

Charles Darwin did not recant his work on evolutionary biology on his deathbed. Rather, it is an apocryphal story, with some basis in fact, which became distorted with retelling over time, as well as utilized by polemicists and proselytizers to discredit Darwin.

Balloons of the Civil War: The Birth of Multi-Dimensional Warfare

Michael G. Stroud
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.4

Giant, colorful balloons rising gently into the blue sky is the modern image of balloons. Few realize that these lighter-than-air bal- loons and their passionate aeronauts were put to military use by both sides during the tumultuous American Civil War to turn the tide in their favor. The forward-thinking application of the giants of the sky changed warfare forever. This study examines the military application of balloons by both the Union and the Confederacy, as well as their daring aeronauts who laid the foundations for multi-dimensional warfare. The use of diverse sources reveal the history of military ballooning, its use in the American Civil War, and identify the wars’ most prominent aeronauts. This study concludes with the legacy of ballooning in the Civil War, and how aeronauts and their actions laid the foundations for multi-dimensional warfare in the future.

An Intersection of Myth and Memory - Hollywood Meets the Sullivan Brothers

Marisa Kahla
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.5

In December 1942, Aletta Sullivan received the worst news of her life. The ship her sons had been serving on, the USS Juneau, had been destroyed during the naval battle of Guadalcanal and all five of her sons, the “fighting Sullivans” as they had been affectionately dubbed by the press, were missing in action and feared dead. The Sullivan brothers, with their boyish charms and wholesome Midwestern upbringing, became overnight sensations when they all enlisted together following the attack on Pearl Harbor and insisted on all serving on the same ship. The boys became media darlings, and their image was used for a variety of promotional material for enlistment and the growing war effort on the home front. Their deaths, however, would gain them mythical status, their story transformed from one of tragedy into triumph. The Sullivan brothers became the literal poster boys for Hollywood and media mythmaking at its finest, and their lives and sacrifices were used to effectively shape the way the world viewed not only the war itself but wartime sacrifice as a whole. The Sullivans made history, but it was Hollywood that made the Sullivans.

Confederate Mission Command at Chickamauga: A Case Study of Braxton Bragg and A.P. Stewart

Matthew A. Hughes
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.6

In the American Civil War, the Battle of Chickamauga of 18–20 September 1863, holds important lessons on mission command, particularly the actions of Confederate General Braxton Bragg and one of his division commanders, A.P. Stewart. Their degree of application of the principles of mission command greatly influenced the course of the battle. Bragg’s incompetency in utilizing favorable terrain, discord in relationships with subordinate commanders, and vague or shifting mission orders caused the Confederacy to squander opportunities to destroy the Union army in early September and at other points that could have proved decisive during the battle. In contrast, Stewart’s tactical competency and mutual trust among his subordinates enabled his division to seize key terrain and penetrate Union defenses that adjacent units could have exploited for an earlier and more decisive victory.

Evaluating Tiberius’ Character According to Seneca’s Father/Son— Master/Slave Paradigm On Mercy

Mary Jo Davies
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.7

As a slave-master, a Roman father ruled under the guise of pater potesta (father’s power), which allowed him to kill his slaves without compassion. However, Roman society expected a father to show his own children more clementia (mercy) and only kill them after more tempered methods of discipline had failed. As pater patriae (father of the country), a Roman emperor had these same authoritative privileges over the entire Roman population. Since the reigns of Tiberius and Caligula had degenerated into ruthless despotism, Seneca (4 BC—65 AD) wrote On Mercy to warn the newly appointed young emperor Nero (r. 54 AD—68 AD) that as pater patriae he should treat his free subjects according to the father/son model rather than the master/slave model. By showing his free subjects more mercy, he would win public esteem and ensure a successful reign. Although all emperors exhibited some measure of ruthlessness toward their subjects, Rome’s understanding of good and bad imperial behavior in the first century AD, specifically in accordance with Seneca’s father/son—master/slave model, demon- strates why Rome considered Tiberius a bad emperor despite his many accomplishments.

Book Reviews

Robert L. O’Connell’s The Ghosts of Cannae

Micahael G. Stround
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.8

The tactical genius of Hannibal Barca (247–182 BC), sworn enemy of Rome, would bring all his martial gifts to bear at Cannae and the result would be near destruction for the Roman Republic, as by day’s end, nearly 70,000 Romans, including one consul would be dead. So great was the destruction that “if it [were] possible to conceive of hell on earth, this human abattoir at Cannae must have been the equal of any hell that history in all its perversity has managed to concoct” (160). The epochal catastrophe of Cannae, its buildup of preceding events, and subsequent aftershocks all make the case for Hannibal winning the battle but losing the war in Robert O’Connell’s The Ghosts of Cannae. The author builds a compelling narrative that proposes that Cannae was more than just the destruction of a massive Roman army by its most vehement enemy, but that the effects or rather the ghosts of Cannae haunt military thinkers and strategists to this day.

Mary Beth Norton’s 1774: The Long Year of the Revolution

Gerald J. Krieger
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.9

Although coffee was introduced to America by Captain John Smith with the founding of the Colony of Virginia in 1607, the beverage did not become common until the famous Boston Tea Party (December 16, 1773), when a group of merchants and traders disguised as Native Americans boarded the Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver and threw 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor, valued at £18,000 (roughly the equivalent to one million U.S. dollars today), to oppose the tea tax. Only then did the colonists turn to coffee as a replacement for their favorite caffeinated beverage. Many historians are specializing in American history focus on the revolutionaries and the series of events that began with the Stamp Act riots (1765), culminating in the Boston Tea Party. Historians often suggest that this sequence of events “all seem to lead inexorably, if not almost inevitably, to the revolutionary war that followed,” according to Mary Beth Nor- ton (xvi). However, the events that followed December 1773 revealed many debates, disagreements, and disruptions rather than a unified voice of the colonies. Norton’s latest book, 1774: The Long Year of the Revolution, examines sixteen crucial months after the Boston Tea Party.

Saber and Scroll Exhibition Review Contest - First Prize

Pexcho’s American Dime Museum

Aisha Manus
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.3.10

In an unassuming building at 216 6th St., in Augusta, Georgia, a collection of extraordinary wonders lives, begging to be explored. From shrunken heads to a vial of flatulence, Victorian medical devices to a live sword swallow- er, Pexcho’s American Dime Museum is a step back to a time of American curiosity and gullibility. Is Pexcho’s a real museum? You bet! Is it also a possible scam? Probably! What is real and what is fake is left to the observer to decide, and that is just part of the fun!

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Volume 10, Number 2 – Winter 2021

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Welcome Letter

Lew Taylor
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.1


The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society - Pacific Southwest Essay Contest Tim Keenon Grand Prize Winner: The Battle of Lake George

Gerald Krieger
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.2

While many people are familiar with the French and Indian War (1754-1763), they associate the war with General Edward Brad- dock’s disastrous expedition to capture Fort Duquesne at the Battle of the Monongahela (July 9, 1755). This battle was only one of four elements in a more extensive British campaign to reduce French forces in North America. Sir William Johnson led one overlooked segment of the campaign during The Battle of Lake George (September 8, 1755), which is significant for two reasons. The first is that it was fought exclusively with an amateur army of American provincials (only one British regular officer was present). The second is that it served as vindication for the fighting abilities of American provincial forces who were defeated during Braddock’s failed battle. If Johnson had lost at Fort Edward, it would have rolled New York and New England defenses back to Albany and ceded the region to the French. Fortunately, Johnson and his men won that day. The Battle of Lake George left a mark on the fabric of the American militia, which would serve as a badge of honor as Americans rallied the colonists almost two decades later during the American Revolution.

The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society - Pacific Southwest Essay Contest First Prize Winner: Greek Warfare from the Dark Age to the Macedonian Takeover

Mary Jo Davies
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.3

While ancient Greek weapons and military tactics changed dramatically over their long history, the one feature that remained constant was the Homeric ideal of heroic warfare. Individual heroism embodied Greek identity through 800 B.C. In the eighth century B.C., Greek military tactics evolved. The highly successful hoplite phalanx required foot soldiers to fight collectively in the service of city-states. As a result, collective heroism replaced individual heroism. However, Greek success in the Greco-Persian wars in the fifth century B.C. came at a price. Contact with the Persians would profoundly change the dynamics of hoplite warfare. The Persians employed combined-arms tactics, which for cultural pride, the Greeks never fully embraced or mastered. This gave rise to the one city that would: Macedon. King Philip II eventually conquered all of Greece and brought a definitive end to classical Greek warfare forever.

The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society - Pacific Southwest Essay Contest Second Prize Winner: The Invasion at Inchon: The Greatest Turning Point of the Korean War

Sgt. John Chambliss
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.4

In August of 1950, the southeastern corner of the Korean peninsula was under siege. Here, South Korea and the United Nations were pushed into a final defensive line. This line, known as the Pusan Perimeter, was quickly being overrun while men and supplies were depleting by the day. With the North Korean Naktong Offensive beginning on 1 September, an event that marked North Korea’s final assault on South Korea, the Pusan Perimeter was in serious trouble. The United States had to rescue the peninsula and protect vital United Nations interests. In order to relieve the Perimeter, an invasion of the peninsula needed to occur. Thanks to the brilliant minds and actions of all those involved, a successful invasion on the western side of the peninsula marked the first turning point of the war in favor of the United Nations.

The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society - Pacific Southwest Essay Contest Honorable Mention: The Greek Hoplite at the Battle of Thermopylae

Phillip Greer
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.5

In 480 BCE the combined armies of Greece, led by Sparta, confronted the Persian Army at the pass of Thermopylae. The pass at Thermopylae was an ideal location that best suited the Greek hoplites, and the pass could have been held for a significant amount of time had the Greeks not been betrayed by Ephilates. The Greek hoplite was the primary soldier figure who was a citizen that fought in the phalanx formation. This analysis with the focus on the Greek hoplite helps place a new perspective for the conduct of ancient warfare.

The Guerrilla and the Peninsular War

Dr. Robert Young
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.6

In today’s world, we constantly hear of insurgencies. In recent history, the famous wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan displayed the potential effectiveness of the insurgent against the established power. During the Era of Napoleon, a similar situation existed in supposedly French occupied Spain. Spanish guerrillas continually frustrated and eventually wore down the world’s foremost military power at that time. It rightfully earned the nickname “The Spanish Ulcer.”

Clerk of Eldin and the Royal Navy’s Offensive Line

Mcihael Romero
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.7

The British Royal Navy underwent a period of tactical stagnation in the eighteenth century; the line-of-battle-ahead that had carried the day in three wars with the Dutch during the previous century gave way to stalemate after stalemate as more European powers adopted the tactic. Toward the end of the American of Revolution, John Clerk of Eldin began examining inconclusive naval battles of the (then) recent past and offered alternatives to the line-ahead that might result in more decisive victory. With suggested tactics such as isolating and overpowering the rear of the enemy fleet or breaking the enemy’s line entirely, Clerk’s writing titillated naval commanders enough to consider breaking with accepted doctrine of the day. This paper examines the origins of the line-ahead, inconclusive battles that inspired the writing of Clerk’s Essay on Naval Tactics, and the application and critical reception of Clerk’s writing in both Britain and the United States.

The "Irrepressible Conflict:" Policing in Civil War-Era New York City, 1860-1862

Anthony James Field
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.8

During the early 1860s, America’s largest city was a hub of socio- economic transformation and upheaval that shaped the future of its urban spaces as well as the republic at large. Race, policing, gender, and politics all intersected at physical cross streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The New York Police Department sought to control the “dangerous class” who engaged in violence or riotous destruction of property sowing the seeds of civil disorder. The police also served to curtail what Gotham’s high society termed “social vice,” which included the legal interracial romantic couplings within the dangerous class. This study shows how the police protected social mores by stopping what they called “Amalgamation” and how they tackled early anti-war rioters. The historical information provided by contemporary newspapers and New York literature are a wellspring for intellectual contemplation.

Connecticut and the American Revolution: British Raids on the Connecticut Shoreline Aimed to Sow Terror and Curb the Flow of Supplies to the Continental Army

Howard Bibbins
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.9

In the century and a half of the British Empire’s North American colonial era, before the onset of the American Revolution in 1775, Connecticut had established itself as an economic engine unparalleled in the American colonies. When war came, Connecticut mobilized itself in many ways to benefit the Continental Army. Led by Governor Jonathan Trumbull (1710-1785) and the Connecticut Committee of Safety, Connecticut sent enough food, guns, and cannons to General George Washington’s Army to earn the nick- name “The Provision State” as well as gain unwelcome attention from the British military command just over the border in New York. To stem the flow of these provisions, as well as to terrorize the homes of Patriot sympathizers along the Connecticut coast, the British Army, on three different occasions, undertook a strategy of sending troops to burn supplies as well as homes in Connecticut over eight years of war.

The MacKechnie Force’s Command Issues in the Battle of Salamaua June-September 1943

Alisha Hamel
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.10

Salamaua was part of Operation Postern which was intended to recapture the Huon Peninsula from the Japanese to isolate the Japanese at Rabaul, an important chokepoint in the Southwest Pacific Theater during World War II. The Battle of Salamaua was intended to distract the Japanese at Lae to allow the 9th Australian Division to take Lae and secure the New Guinea side of the Vitiaz Straits as part of Operation Cartwheel. This article tells the story of the American involvement in the Battle of Salamaua. The Battle of Salamaua was the last time that Americans fought under Australian command during World War II.

To Annihilate All Armenians Living Within Turkey: Continuity and Contingency in the Origins of the Armenian Genocide, 1877-1915

William E. Brennan
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.11

Debates regarding the Armenian genocide center on the extent to which decision-making for the genocide was contingent on the specific circumstances of the onset of World War One, or reflected longer-term continuities with the late 19th-century Hamidian massacres and genocidal planning by the Ottoman political leadership before the war. These debates present a false dichotomy regarding decision-making for the genocide, which was simultaneously a function of the specific contingencies of the war, and at the same time represented a culmination of a process of escalating hostility towards Armenians by Muslims at multiple levels of Ottoman society initiated in the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. This structural anti-Armenian radicalization was in turn driven by the fragmentation of the Ottoman Empire, resulting from Russian imperialism and the growth of internal ethnic nationalism, anti-Muslim violence in the Balkans and the Caucasus, and the Ottoman political leadership’s attempts to violently suppress perceived internal revolts.

The Battle of Bannockburn 1314: Its Legacy Then and Now

Michael G. Stroud
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.12

Popular culture has provided the world with the exploits of William Wallace as in the 1995 Mel Gibson film Braveheart and his band of rugged Scots in their struggle for freedom from the English in the late 13th century to early 14th century. It was, however, the leadership, resolve and fortitude of its warrior-king Robert the Bruce that saw this struggle brought to fruition. This study examines the military prowess that Robert the Bruce utilized at the tactical level to overcome both the numerical and more heavily armed English on the grounds near the stream of Bannockburn in 1314. The use of primary sources of the battle help to relay the sequence of events, while reflecting the politicization of the actual events. This study concludes with the legacy of the battle in both military lessons and tactics as well as its symbolism to the people of Scotland and for the cause of freedom and independence.

Book Reviews

John Richard Paul’s Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, A Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution

Mary Jo Davies
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.13

Much of Joel Richard Paul’s Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, A Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution is riveting and entertaining; it chronicles history in the form of an entertaining fiction novel, embellished with details designed to reinforce drama and captivate the reader. Paul’s book is a prime example of popular history— an avenue within the discipline of history that takes on a reader-friendly approach; it often involves a moral slant by exposing past human errors to promote a more ethically responsible present. But when Paul refers to the established historical record as one that has been influenced by societies that “bred hypocrisy and corruption,” he creates a roadblock to the importance of understanding history (p. 345).

Fred Anderson’s A People’s Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years’ War

Lewis A. Taylor, II
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.14

The Seven Years’ War is, for the most part, not a period of American history that people are very familiar with. However, if the discussion mentions The French and Indian War, it will be more familiar to most people. (3) In A People’s Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years’ War, Fred Anderson, a historian and author of many books on early colonial and military history, shows that by looking at the experiences of the provincial soldiers from the Massachusetts Colony, especially their rights and interactions with the regular military of Great Britain, the Seven Years’ War, “the last and greatest of America’s colonial wars,” (vii) is an essential moment in the history of the United States. Anderson’s argument that “the war gave the provincials a sense, at a crucial point in their lives, of their identity as a distinct people” (223) and this experience allowed these provincial warriors the ability to see themselves as Americans. This experience was not unique to the militia of Massachusetts. Militiamen from other colonies, especially those whose borders touched on the areas claimed by both England and France, most notably Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia, had a similar experience.

Jeff Guinn’s War on the Border: Villa, Pershing, the Texas Rangers, and an American Invasion

Kathleen Guler
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.15

In War on the Border: Villa, Pershing, the Texas Rangers, and an American Invasion, former investigative journalist Jeff Guinn focuses on the border relationship between Mexico and the United States, leading up to and including the Mexican Revolution (1910–20). The major players of this era included General John J. Pershing, a sequence of Mexican presidents, Mexican federal army generals and revolutionary leaders, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, and the notorious Texas Rangers. Guinn provides important context for how the border conflict developed, which goes back as far as 1825, four years after Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821. Mexican leadership hoped the U.S. would offer to assist the fledgling nation in creating a constitutional government and thereby stabilizing it. Instead, U.S. President John Quincy Adams offered to buy part or all of Mexico, a tactic to gain land and resources similar to the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Mexico was stunned.

Museum Review

Museum Review of the National Museum of the United States Army

Lt. Chris Booth
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.2.16

As far as reviews go, this one will be exceedingly positive, as the National Museum of the United States Army stands as a remarkable testament to what a service’s flagship museum should be. The museum’s stated objectives to “Educate and engage, Preserve, Honor, Pay Tribute, Inspire, and Stimulate” are each overwhelmingly achieved, as guests will be impressed by the size and quality of numerous dioramas, interactive nature of the exhibits, and the incredible memorabilia on display from every period of the U.S. Army’s history. Located on over eighty acres near Fort Belvoir, Virginia, this newly opened facility (fall 2021) is situated perfectly near Washington D.C. The fact that free admission does not require access to a military facility (only an online ticket reservation is needed) makes it a solid addition to any travel itinerary for someone sightseeing in the nation’s capital.

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Volume 10, Number 1 – Summer 2021

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Welcome Letter

Mike Pratt
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.1


Who’s in Charge - Military-Political Conflict Within France During the Franco-Algerian War

Dr. Robert Young
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.2

It was a war most have forgotten. One of history’s first imperialistic powers fell apart in a conflict filled with errors. The Franco-Algerian War demonstrated not only the power of insurgency but the weakness of a nation trying to fight and win a war that was not supported at home. France would eventually fail to suppress the Algerian rebels. Their government would then have to suppress the French military as it sought to bypass and blatantly disregard the leaders of the nation they were sworn to protect.

Pericles’ Reckless Megarian Policy

Stan Prager
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.3

The celebrated achievements of fifth century Athens in the “Age of Pericles” were forever tarnished by the disastrous Peloponnesian War, which pitted respective leagues allied with Athens and Sparta against each other in a twenty-seven-year contest for hegemony that permanently transformed the Classical Greek world. In this assessment, most historians of the era concur. But what was the cause of the war? Traditionally, interpretation has been based upon Thucydides—the Athenian historian whose magisterial chronicle, The History of the Peloponnesian War, has served as the authoritative primary source for the conflict—but might there be greater nuance in what Thucydides reported and what he may have deliberately omitted? “Pericles’ Reckless Megarian Policy Was the Central Cause of the Peloponnesian War” argues that control of Megara, a tiny polis that occupied a critically strategic geography, was the central if unacknowledged Athenian war aim that both sparked the conflict and prolonged it.

Gustav Badin: The Afro-Swedish Experience in Eighteenth Century Sweden

Susan Danielsson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.4

In 1760, Queen Lovisa Ulrika (1720-1782) received the ten-year-old slave boy Adolf Badin (1750-1822) as a gift. Considering herself an enlightened monarch, Lovisa Ulrika released him from slavery and raised him with her four other children. Badin lived a unique life for an Afro-Swede in eighteenth century Sweden, embracing his faith and education to find person meaning. He faced racial discrimination as a person of African descent, but he created a socially and intellectually independent life for himself. Carl Linnaeus’s classification of humans and Sweden’s participation in the Atlantic Slave Trade reinforced negative rhetoric against Afro-Swedes. Most Afro-Swedes were not in proximity to the royal family, forcing them to navigate through Sweden’s institutions and culture alone. They faced issues such as poverty and breaking up of the family. Little scholarly This paper sheds light on the Afro-Swedish experience in eighteenth century Sweden, a long-neglected topic.

Sir Walter Scott and the Invention of Scotland’s Identity

Caitlin and Dilawar Khan
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.5

Following the turbulent acquisition of Scotland, the new United Kingdom struggled to arrive at a unified identity. This paper analyzes the role of the romantic works of Jane Porter and Sir Walter Scott in creating a new Scottish identity and, by extension, a new English one. Considerations include the romanticizing of historical Scottish figures such as William Wallace and Rob Roy, the use of pastoral imagery to stoke the imagination, and the appeal to cultural tradition. By linking these figures of Scottish heritage to the traditions of English kingship and political thought, Romantic Literature created a more inclusive perception of the Scots. Following the works of these two authors, Scottish heritage would move from outlawed music and regalia to an official celebrated part of the British heritage.

Martin Luther and the Reformation: Ninety-five Theses to the Diet of Worms

Phillip Greer
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.6

Martin Luther is one of the most pivotal individuals in human history especially regarding Christianity. His action and Theses led to a schism between the Catholic and Protestant religions and became known as the Reformation. The Reformation began with Luther and the first few years after the posting of his Ninety-five Theses. The Holy See did not approve of Luther’s challenge to their authority and directed charges of heresy against Luther that culminated in the Diet of Worms. It is there that Luther had a trial regarding his actions from the posting of the Ninety-five Theses to the Diet of Worms.

That Dreadful Day: The Battle of Manzikert

Chris Schloemer
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.7

The Battle of Manzikert in 1071 resulted in a period of decline for the Byzantine Empire (although it would last in some shape or form for almost 400 years). This “dreadful day,” as the Byzantines called it, was one of the most influential battles in history.[i] The result changed the entire region, sending shockwaves through both the Christian and Islamic worlds and opening the floodgates to Turkish incursion into the most strategically important region of the empire.[ii] It could have been mitigated, but the battle and its aftermath was a disaster for the Byzantines and had great ramifications for not only the Byzantine Empire, but for the course of history in this region of the world. It, and the decade of civil war that followed, resulted in the Byzantine request for aid from the Pope, precipitating the First Crusade.

The Bund Duetscher Mädel and the Indoctrination of the German Girl

Sarah Weiler
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.8

As the Nazi government took hold, one of the key elements to retaining their power was influencing the younger generations to perpetuate the party ideology—nationalism, patriotism, and Aryan pride. Outside of the family, this was accomplished by the Hitler Youth, divided into two gender-specific organizations, the Hitlerjugend for boys and the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) for girls. From the ages of 10 to 21, young women were programmed to be the perfect Nazi bride, concerned only with Kinder, Küche, and Kirch (children, kitchen, and church). The BDM used a combination of physical activities and social conditioning to train these young women to raise future generations of the Reich.

Book Reviews

Stephen Eric Bronner’s Reclaiming the Enlightenment: Toward a Politics of Radical Engagement

Mike Pratt
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.9

Stephen Eric Bronner, a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University, attempts to reclaim the spirit of the Enlightenment from the dialectical clutches of those who attribute to the movement the worst excesses of modernity in the subsequent centuries after the 1700s. Specifically, Bronner is critical of Horkheimer and Adorno’s 1947 work Dialectic of Enlightenment, in which the co-authors attack the Age of Reason as the root cause of modern issues such as imperialist ambitions, totalitarianism, and mass globalization. I found this re-interpretive work to be a very sobering read, mostly because I feel that it gave me a clearer understanding of the causal relationship between the Enlightenment and the positive evolution of its tenets and ideals. Western and non-western nations alike are faced with problems of modernity that can be explained by reason and logic, many of which resulted from the tension of Counter-Enlightenment efforts to subvert the Enlightenment spirit. Bronner touched on a number of major concepts that are still salient today, most of which are waiting for the “ideological willingness” of nations to act on them and thus revive the spirit of the Enlightenment in our own time (xi).

W.E.B. DuBois’ Black Reconstruction in America: A History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860-1880

Savannah Jackson-Cornell
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.10

W.E.B. DuBois published Black Reconstruction in America: A History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860–1880 in 1935. At the time of the book’s publication, America was in the fallout of the Great Depression and experiencing a capitalist crisis. Following the crash of the Stock Market in October 1929, America faced the largest economic fallout in industrial, economic history. In his work, DuBois sought to expand the period recognized as Reconstruction from twelve years to twenty, and although it was criticized at the time, the book has grown in relevance since its publication. Black Reconstruction revised the narrative of Reconstruction, identified propaganda and misinterpretation in historiography, and drew connections between slavery and America’s capitalist society.

Edwards Cox's Grey Eminence, Fox Conner and the Art of Mentorship

Maj. Cody Schuette
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.11

Inspired by Civil War stories to serve, indispensable to General Pershing during the Great War, and immensely influential on the prominent American generals of World War II, Major General (MG) Fox Conner is largely considered “one of the greatest military minds of the 20th century,” yet he is nearly forgotten to history (xv). Grey Eminence, Fox Conner and the Art of Mentorship by Edward Cox details MG Conner’s remarkable story, from birth in post-Confederate Mississippi to his influence on each World War, and his successful approach to mentoring subordinates. Despite MG Conner ordering all his papers and journals burned late in life, Cox retrieves “long-forgotten references and unpublished original sources” to illuminate MG Conner’s extraordinary life and lasting impact (xvii). Cox relies on his experiences as an Army officer to augment this historical account with lessons for developing contemporary leaders.

Lecture Review

Military History in the Age of COVID; A Review of the Society for Military History’s 2021 Annual Conference

J.R.O. Flinchum
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.12

The Society for Military History held its 87th Annual Meeting in Norfolk, Virginia in May 2021, titled “Turning the Tide: Revolutionary Moments in Military History.” Conference planners blended in-person and virtual attendance and presentation to provide a hybrid experience. The hybrid experience provided reasonable accommodations in the not-quite-post-coronavirus environment of late spring 2021, when the Center for Disease Control had only recently eased their guidance for mask-wearing by vaccinated individuals, but attendees encountered some expected technical difficulties throughout the conference. In spite of said difficulties, the Society for Military History succeeded in resuscitating the tradition of academic conferences and providing a forum in which scholars could exchange ideas and network, just in a modified format which may portend the role of conferences in the future.

Museum Review

Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

Chris Schloemer
doi: 10.18278/sshj.10.1.13

San Antonio is full of history, including the Alamo, the missions, and numerous museums. Most of it definitely has a western theme. However, I recently discovered a historical gem in San Antonio that I had no idea existed: The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio (HMMSA). My wife told me about the museum and I had to check it out. Unfortunately, the museum is closed to visitors due to the pandemic. However, it has a robust online presence. This museum has many resources for historians, educators, and the general public that allow for a fantastic learning experience.

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Volume 9, Number 4 – Spring 2021

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Welcome Letter

Chelsea Tatham Zukoski
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.1


From Captain America to Watchmen: Comic Book Superheroes and War in Twentieth Century America

Chelsea Tatham Zukoski
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.2

Since their beginnings in the early twentieth century through the post-Cold War era, comic books have entertained readers while also reflecting American cultural ideals amid war and political conflict. Almost every comic book character and superhero ever created in the United States was some sort of reflection of the political or cultural climate in which it was created. It would take volumes to categorize and analyze all the characters’ and superheroes’ war- time influences, but this survey chronicles the major characters that shaped wartime comic books from World War I through the post-Cold War era following decades of constant conflict. Those characters are Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, The Dark Knight, and Dr. Manhattan. These characters’ stories were not solely about their respective time period’s conflict, but their personalities and heroic missions were deeply entrenched in those era’s fears, hopes, and cultural ideals. Despite the comic book medium only recently being included and analyzed for its historical scholarship value, this research shows comic books as primary sources for a critical understanding of how American society grappled with war through entertainment.

The Skagway Commercial Club

Jennifer L. Williams
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.3

The Skagway Commercial Club was formed as a community effort to promote Skagway, Alaska as a travel destination in early 20th century. Using period newspapers and publications, corporate and individual promotional literature, and relevant secondary sources, the article discusses the efforts of the Skagway Commercial Club to promote Skagway as a tourism destination in the first three decades of the twentieth century and evaluates its effectiveness of the Commercial Club in relation to outside advertisements such as cruise ship literature and shop brochures published by individual business owners. While the Club did try to actively promote Skagway during its first two or three years in existence, its efforts were minor compared to the individual efforts by business owners to advertise and promote their own businesses.

Why the British Lost the American Revolution

Gerald Krieger
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.4

The reasons behind the British loss of the American colonies during the American Revolution remain a subject of debate among scholars. How could the most powerful maritime empire in the world lose to an underequipped and poorly trained army? The crux of the conundrum for King George III, the Prime Minister, Lord Frederick North, and members of Parliament in London was that they failed to properly grasp the political complexities in the colonies. This drove strategic errors, operational miscalculations, and ultimately, undermined confidence in leadership. This paper reviews six factors that help explain what went wrong in London in North America. Today, the British dilemma in North America would be categorized as a “wicked problem,” or one in which there is no ideal solution, only varying solutions that might create other challenges.

The Doctrines of Imagination: American Foreign Policy & the Images of Puerto Rico, 1898-1968

Carlos A. Santiago
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.5

The United States was on the verge of becoming an imperial power in the nineteenth-century. Foreign policy was used as a means to colonize former European outposts like the island of Puerto Rico. While the United States was not powerful enough to enforce foreign policies like the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, it remained hopeful that Europe’s power would diminish in Latin America. The Monroe Doctrine had to evolve several times for it to be an effective imperial tool for the United States. The Roosevelt Corollary, the Good Neighbor Policy, and the Truman Doctrine were iterations of the Monroe Doctrine. With each evolution of this foreign policy, the image of Puerto Rico and its people changed along with it. American foreign policy and Puerto Rico are intertwined, which can be seen in the work of American writers from 1898-1965.

A Division at War - Part II

Dr. Robert Young
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.6

During World War II, the U.S. 32nd Infantry Division fought a long line of vicious battles in the Southwest Pacific Area, primarily on the island of New Guinea and in the Philippines. New Guinea was frustrating and costly. The Philippines took it to a whole other level. On Leyte, the 32nd entered after the operation began and though costly it was perhaps their easiest campaign of the war. From Leyte they moved to the main Philippine island of Luzon, where the Division would toil throughout the spring of 1945. The Villa Verde Trail on Luzon became the name synonymous with the 32nd Infantry Division in World War II. They fought with honor and distinction despite achieving little. Such was the nature of the war on Luzon in 1945.

The Jewishness of the Babatha Archives

Mary Jo Davies
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.7

In the 1960s, in a cave at Nahal Hever near the western bank of the Dead Sea, archaeologist Yigael Yadin discovered the bones of many bodies belonging to men, women, and children, along with copious amounts of papyri stowed away in a crevice of the cave. This discovery dates back to the second-century AD. This study will examine the significance of one of the archives that belonged to a woman named Babatha and which provides a rich array of evidence regarding the life of Jewish women under Roman rule in second-century Arabia Petraea. More significantly it will reveal that Jews living in this Roman occupied region were not as romanized as some historians claim.

Wild West Shows: An Unlikely Vehicle for the Survival of the Native American Culture in the Late Nineteenth Century

Melissa Sims
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.8

This essay discusses how Wild West shows, such as Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, were places where Native Americans could safely practice their cultural and spiritual customs and traditions in the late nineteenth century. When the Bureau of Indian Affairs forced Native Americans to abandon their entire cultural system for an American one, Native Americans, like the Lakota Sioux, actively sought to participate in Wild West shows, despite being portrayed as savages and as the enemy of white settlers.

Book Reviews

Brian McAllister Linn's The Philippine War: 1899 - 1902

Lewis A. Taylor II
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.9

The United States has been involved in many wars considered “forgotten” by historians, the one most mentioned being the Korean Conflict. However, there is one war that even fewer people are aware of, and that is the Philippine War of 1899 to 1902. Military historian Brian McAllister Linn, in The Philippine War: 1899– 1902, attempts to rectify this by crafting a comprehensive book on military operations in the Philippines.

Peter Wallenstein’s Blue Laws and Black Codes: Conflicts, Courts and Change in Twentieth-Century Virginia

Matt Brent
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.10

Per Wallenstein, an Associate Professor of History at Virginia Tech, has combined several of his essays about topics in Virginia history into a collection called Blue Laws and Black Codes: Conflict, Courts and Change in Twentieth-Century Virginia. Because of the nature of the text, each essay can be read independently of the others. Doing so, while acceptable, would severely limit one’s ability to grasp Wallenstein’s overall argument about the history of Virginia, the idea that traditions change because individuals sought to challenge them.

Lindsay M. Chervinsky’s The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

Chris Schlomer
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.4.11

Lindsay M. Chervinsky, a White House historian at the White House Historical Association, has written a very readable, scholarly, and interesting book on George Washington and how he created the Cabinet as we know it. She artfully illustrates how Washington’s military experiences provided lessons he brought into his presidency, how he used these lessons to manage his staff as president, and how he gradually—despite his initial reluctance—created the Cabinet.

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Volume 9, Number 3 – Winter 2020

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Welcome Letter

Robert Young
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.1


Allied Amphibious Doctrine, the Landing Craft Shortage of 1943-1944, and Operation OVERLORD

William F. Lawson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.2

The Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944 is rightly considered a touchstone event of the Second World War. The Allies’ success marked the beginning of the war’s final phase in Western Europe. Without the Normandy operation, it is difficult to see how the Allies could have achieved final victory in the West. Most accounts of the Normandy invasion deal with the assault troops, seaborne and airborne, but rarely do the means of transporting those troops to the objective receive more than passing mention. The story of those landing craft, and their critical contribution to the Allies’ capability to launch such an operation, is as important as the training and deployment of the troops they carried onto those hos- tile shores. The design, manufacture, and deployment of suitable amphibious landing craft and their availability ultimately proved to be a deciding factor in the final operational plan as well as the overall Allied strategic picture in Europe in 1944.

Afghanistan: America’s Forever War

Mason Krebsbach
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.3

Within weeks of the attack of September 11, 2001, the United States began a campaign to eradicate Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. This campaign would shift from a campaign of “clear and hold” to a focus of rebuilding that nation within two years after the initial American presence. More than eighteen years, several billion dollars, and roughly twenty-four hundred US casualties later,1 the US military still maintains a significant presence in Afghanistan, not significantly closer to exiting than they were in the early days of 2002. The United States’ failure to officially end the war in Afghanistan is founded principally upon the United States’ lack of both sound counterinsurgency (COIN) applications and inconsistent objectives prior to the 9/11 attack on New York’s Twin Towers.

This paper explores the years prior to 9/11, the United States’ failure to apply sound COIN concepts, and the inconsistent objectives related to the United States’ failure to officially end the war in Afghanistan.

They Gave Their All: The Sullivan Brothers and the Tragic Loss of the USS Juneau

Jeff Ballard
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.4

The loss of the Juneau near Guadalcanal in the British Solomon Islands on Friday the Thirteenth (November 1942) was a seminal event in the United States’ World War II experience. The death of the five brothers, in the most ferocious naval battle of the Pacific War, created a windfall of patriotism, which the US government leveraged to boost war bond sales and increase war material production. The siblings’ deaths had both immediate and far-reaching consequences on the military’s prosecution of the Second World War and the deployment of its troops in the nation’s future conflicts. Finally, this tragedy left an imprint on American popular culture, renewed by the discovery of the Juneau’s wreck on St. Patrick’s Day 2018.

Why Washington Matters: How General George Washington Saved the American Revolution

Joseph Frusci
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.5

On January 6, 1783, three senior officers, then stationed at Newburgh, New York, arrived in Philadelphia with a dire warning for the Continental Congress. The officers were General Alexander McDougal from New York, Colonel Matthias Ogden from New Jersey, and Colonel John Brooks from Massachusetts. Their warning to the members of Congress was that the Continental Army at Newburgh was on the verge of mutiny. Congress did not immediately understand how this could have happened, but America’s newfound independence was in danger of being lost after eight long years of warfare. In dealing with this event, General George Washington faced the greatest threat to the American Revolution: a disgruntled army and some of the senior officers plotting against the Continental Congress.

Forging the Vision: Nathanael Greene

Christopher Brandon
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.6

The American Revolution was a time when ordinary men were often put in positions to accomplish extraordinary things. Major-General Nathanael Greene was no exception; however, his accomplishments far surpassed many of his contemporaries. A journey that began in his youth, Greene crafted a vision throughout his life that often defied the laws of tradition. As a result, Greene’s methods were oftentimes unorthodox, which led to a certain degree of criticism. His circumstances were often unfavorable; there- fore, he believed that success must be achieved through non-traditional means. He developed his understanding of success through his studies and the culmination of his life events, developing and executing bold yet unconventional strategies with a great degree of success. The following explores Nathanael Greene’s evolution as a visionary leader from his humble Quaker beginnings through the apex of his accomplishments during the Southern Campaign.

America at War: The Common Cup

Meg Groeling
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.7

“The Common Cup” is an approximately four-thousand-word discussion of the importance of coffee in the Union armies during the American Civil War. The history of Civil War coffee is traced, including the lack of coffee in the Confederacy due to the blockade of Southern ports. Several letters and diaries are quoted concerning the importance of coffee to a soldier’s daily routine, and how distressed a soldier became when there was no opportunity for even the briefest coffee break.

The Christian Commission’s “Coffee Wagon” is noted as one of the ways volunteer citizen groups could provide comfort to their fighting men in the field and in hospitals. The story of the Sharps Carbine “Coffee Grinder” Rifle is told; exposing it as a hoax, although there was no proof it was perpetrated intentionally.

Finally, the importance of coffee to group cohesion and task orientation is noted. Coffee was more than just a beverage. An “Afterward” presents several links to video offerings concerning Civil War coffee. This is included because of the quality of the videos and the belief of the author that video offerings such as these are a vital part of the changes in the way history will be presented in the twenty-first century.

The Continental Navy's Shakedown Cruise

Michael Romero
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.8

Eight ships of the recently established Continental Navy set sail from Philadelphia in February 1776. They were under orders from the Continental Congress to clear the Southern states’ waters of marauding British naval forces, such as those organized by Lord Dunmore of Virginia. Instead, Commodore Esek Hopkins led his squadron to New Providence in the Bahamas, where they captured desperately needed military stores. On the return trip, the Conti- nental crews contended with outbreaks of smallpox and tropical fever aboard ship. Approaching New England, the squadron captured two small British vessels and chased the 20-gun HMS Glasgow into port. Despite Hopkins’ casual disregard of orders, Congress and the general public hailed the expedition as a great success upon the squadron’s return in April 1776. The ships of the Continental Navy had gathered valuable experience at sea and in combat that would serve the infant service well in the years to come.

Into the Maelstrom: America and Vietnam, 1945 – 1956

Lew Taylor
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.9

In 1945, the United States began its involvement in Vietnam -- an involvement that spanned thirty years and ended up causing the deaths of over 55,000 American servicemen and women, as well as many as 2,000,000 Vietnamese. This involvement was tragic and avoidable. Beginning with the Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt and continuing through the administrations of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, the United States labored under the misguided impression that the suppression of Communism in Southeast Asia was vitally important to the security of the United States. Was the war in Vietnam a civil war, or a proxy war between the United States, Russia, and China? Or was it the Vietnamese people’s determination to rid themselves of foreign domination?

Chosin Reservoir: The Battle that Stalled a War

Phillip J. Greer
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.10

The onset of the Korean War was indicative of the superpowers’ quest for ideological supremacy, with multiple factors setting the stage for massive confrontation. North Korean forces were able to quickly overwhelm those of South Korea. The United States entered the conflict and was able to reverse the North Korean gains and drive them to their border with China. Unknown to NATO forces, the Chinese Army was mobilized to intercept the allied forces at the Chosin Reservoir. Despite having superior numbers, US forces were able retreat and save the majority of their personnel in North Korean territory. The combined North Korean and Chinese armies won a pyrrhic victory that shocked both sides into a stalemate.

A Division at War - Part I

Robert Young
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.11

Often forgotten in the discussions of the ground war in the Pacific during the Second World War are the contributions of several prominent US Army infantry divisions. The 32nd Infantry Division was one such unit. They spent more days in combat in the Pacific than any other US Army unit. The 32nd had its baptism of fire on the southeastern coast of New Guinea at Buna in November 1942. A brutal two-month campaign saw an unprepared, inexperienced 32nd victorious. The division returned to combat on New Guinea’s northern coast in 1944 at Aitape before another grueling campaign along the Driniumor River. Although victorious, the 32nd Infantry Division left New Guinea in the fall of 1944 for the Philippines tired and depleted.

Book Reviews

Roy E. Appleman’s East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950

Lynne Marie Marx
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.12

Roy E. Appleman was an army combat historian, a World War II and Korean War veteran, a National Park historian, and the author of several Korean War historical works including East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950. With Korea known as “The Forgotten War,” Appleman elected to investigate the 31st Regiment Combat Team’s (RCT) experience at the Chosin Reservoir near Manchuria, China. East of Chosin is a vital entry in Korean War historiography since, previous to its publication, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir received very little documentation or research. Appleman combed through documents, written interviews, and oral histories to piece together the story of the 31st RCT. Therefore, East of Chosin is a critical book for any historian to examine to see if Appleman’s theories have stood the test of time.

Patrick J. Sloyan’s When Reagan Sent in the Marines: The Invasion of Lebanon

Peggy Kurkowski
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.13

In the long annals of American military operations, the deployment of U.S. troops to Beirut in 1982 to stabilize a war-torn city is one typically under-reported or studied. In Patrick J. Sloyan’s new book, When Reagan Sent in the Marines: The Invasion of Lebanon, the author redresses this oversight with an extremely harsh analysis of the events leading up to America’s befuddled involvement, which ultimately climaxed with the horrific death of 241 U.S. Marines in the worst terrorist at- tack upon Americans until the events 9/11, 18 years later.

Michael Palmer’s Stoddert’s War: Naval Operations during the Quasi-War with France, 1798-1801

Michael Romero
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.14

Michael A. Palmer served in the US Navy, worked for the Naval Historical Center, and worked for many years in the history department at East Carolina University. His books on history cover material on land and at sea from the sixteenth century to beyond the first Gulf War. Originally published in 1987 by the University of South Carolina Press and rereleased as one of the US Naval Institute’s Classics of Naval Literature in 2000, Michael Palmer’s first book, Stoddert’s War, is currently accessible only through libraries and used booksellers. This is a problem that needs rectifying, as Palmer’s examination of the nascent US Navy at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries offers surprisingly relevant lessons to the present day.

Bruce L. Brager’s Grant's Victory: How Ulysses S. Grant Won the Civil War

Robert Young
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.15

Bruce L. Brager is a writer of the US Civil War, having previously published titles including Here He Stands: The Story of Stonewall Jack- son, Petersburg, and Monitor vs. Merrimack. In Grant’s Victory: How Ulysses S. Grant Won The Civil War, Brager demonstrates the major differences between the Chancellorsville and Wilderness campaigns, specifically the change in leadership from General Joseph Hooker to General Ulysses S. Grant. Brager dedicates most of this work to a synopsis of the campaigns in the Civil War’s Eastern Theater, with an emphasis on leadership deficiencies in the Army of the Potomac. It does leave the reader at times in its early pages wondering when Grant will enter the discussion, as Grant is not really mentioned until the Chancellorsville chapter, and then only because he was squeezing Vicksburg at the same time.

Russell Crandall's Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama

Lt. Chris Booth, United States Coast Guard
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.16

Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama by Russell Cranall. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006. ISBN 978-0742550483. Pp 256. Paperback $41.The military actions of the United States during the Cold War have been well researched and documented, and while not as regularly dis- cussed as wars from other periods such as World War II or the Civil War, its military efforts during the latter half of the 20th Century were still incredibly impactful to American foreign policy and the global power struggle. One piece of solid literature based on American military operations during the Cold War is Russel Crandall’s Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama, an engaging and thought-provoking book that focuses on three of the least discussed military actions in American history. Overall, the book is well researched and strikes a fair balance of giving credit where it is due for the various successes of each military intervention, while also exacting sharp criticisms when warranted for leadership errors or miscalculations. However, the book is not without its flaws. The author’s choice to focus solely on the strategic and operational levels of war while ignoring almost completely the tactical level of decision making is an omission that leaves the book with a lack of depth and context, otherwise easily achieved with even a token observation of ground-level military action.

Virtual Battlefield Tour

Bloody Ridge National Peace Park

Jeff Ballard
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.3.17

On 4 July 1942, an Allied recon- naissance plane photographed Japanese airfield construction on Guadalcanal in the British Solomon Islands. When completed, Japanese twin-engine bombers could fly deep into the Coral Sea and threaten the United States and Australia’s vital lifeline.

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Volume 9, Number 2 – Fall 2020

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Welcome Letter

Lew Taylor
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.1

Letters to the Editor

Chris Schloemer, Senior Editor
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.2


Mair Thomas: Life at Bletchley Park

Gina Pittington
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.3

Breaking the German Enigma Codes by Britain’s intelligence team at Bletchley Park (BP) was considered to be one of World War II’s best-kept secrets. Better than the secret itself is the fantastic feat of nearly ten thousand people keeping that secret for decades from friends and family, both during and following the war. In recent years, women have begun to gain recognition for their part in the codebreaking operation at BP. Less recognized are the women who tirelessly listened to radio transmissions at Y Stations across the globe, waiting for enemy communication. Women made up about 75 percent of BP’s workforce and were the backbone of the cryptology team that broke Germany’s so-called unbreakable codes. Nearly eight thousand women are listed on the Honour Roll at the installation, who kept silent for decades. The contributions of women at BP are too numerous to detail; therefore, this paper highlights memories of a few who were interviewed by various authors and focus primarily on one woman’s experience and life at BP, Mair Eluned Russell-Jones (née Thomas).

Lincoln and the Constitution

Eric Balkan
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.4

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln’s primary goal was to preserve the Union, even when doing so may have exceeded his constitutional powers. Finding that the Constitution gave little guidance for emergency situations, Lincoln sought support for his actions retroactively from Congress and, when that was not forth- coming, trusting the voters to re-elect him. These actions included a declaration of war, although without using those exact words, enlarging the army, instituting a naval blockade, suspending habeas corpus, instituting martial law, and freeing Confederate slaves. Lincoln did not entirely ignore the courts—he carefully wrote the Emancipation Proclamation so it would fall under his war powers—but sticking to the letter of the law was clearly a secondary concern.

America’s Forgotten Patriot: Mercy Otis Warren and the Writings that Fanned the Flames of Revolution

Lew Taylor
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.5

The following is a study of the life and writings of Mercy Otis War- ren. Warren was not only a revolutionary, but also a writer and political thinker. As a satirist, poet, and historian who watched the sparks of insurrection grow into the flames of a full-blown revolution, she used her writings to help arouse the passions of the citizenry and fan the flames of revolution. Because she was a confidante to many of the central characters of the American revolutionary period, she became a leading advocate of colonial independence in a period where women, for the most part, were not politically active. Through her satirical plays, poetry, voluminous correspondence, and three-volume history of the Revolution, we can observe the patriot movement from the viewpoint of someone who lived during the period, and just as importantly, through the eyes of a woman—a republican woman.

Johan Thuri: A Voice for the Sami, the Indigenous People of Northern Scandinavia

Susan Danielsson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.6

Johan Thuri (1854–1936) wrote An Account of the Sami, the first book written in the Sami language and translated into multiple lan- guages. It gave him an international platform to speak about Sami issues. During his lifetime, he witnessed firsthand the impacts of rapid modernization on the Sami. The railroad connected Sweden, allowing mining operations and inviting tourists to the area, but it also disrupted the annual reindeer migration of the Sami. Settlers and tourists viewed the Sami as a primitive, backwards people. Thuri understood that the process of modernization was irreversible, but it did not mean that the Sami had to suffer. He used his writings and status to give a voice to the Sami, humanizing them. They were a people with unique culture, traditions, and history. Throughout his life, he remained in the international spotlight, so newspaper articles were used to piece his story together.

Mamie Till Mobley: The Unsung Hero of the Civil Rights Movement

Deanna Simmons
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.7

It has been argued that the death of Emmett Till was the catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1950s through the late 1960s. Despite the numerous times the lynching of Emmett Till has been analyzed and evaluated, there is little information that points to the importance of the actions of his mother, Mamie Till Mobley. This research aims to prove that although Emmett Till’s murder was an important push towards the Civil Rights Movement, it was in fact the actions of his mother following his death that led the country toward a reckoning with their brutal treatment of African Americans, especially in the Deep South.

The Making of the Modern Woman: British Suffragettes in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century

Sarah Weiler
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.8

The British suffragettes built upon the societal changes that took place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The increased literacy and access to education started to level the playing field in terms of engagement in the political process. As laws regarding women owning property changed, women began to fight to exercise their political will directly. At the turn of the twentieth century, women in the United Kingdom began to picket, rally, and protest for universal suffrage. In the years leading up to the First World War, the suffragettes became more violent and aggressive in their protests, leading to multiple arrests, hunger strikes, and at the Epsom Derby in 1913, Emily Wilding Davison was trampled to death by the king’s racehorse. With the outbreak of the war, nationalism took precedence over individualism, and during the conflict years, the suffragettes were less active. Universal suffrage for the Unit- ed Kingdom was finally accomplished in 1928 with the passing of Equal Franchise Act, which allowed both men and women over the age of twenty-one to vote, regardless of whether or not they were property owners.

Book Reviews

Admiral James Stavridis’s Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character

Michael Romero
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.9

Author Admiral James Stavridis served in the United States Navy for over thirty years. From his modest beginnings as a midshipman at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis to his final tour of duty as a four-star admiral and Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, he has had a lot of time to reflect on leadership and character and has seen many examples of both first-hand. Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character offers biographical sketches of prominent naval figures from Ancient Greece to the present-day United States, with Admiral Stavridis’s interpretation on what made them leaders of great character.

Woody Holton’s Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia

Matt Brent
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.10

Students throughout the United States spend several years of their elementary and secondary education studying American history. Much attention in these classes is given to the American Revolution. The traditional narrative describes how Americans rose up against the English to protest unjust taxes and excessive abuses by Great Britain. Author Woody Holton is currently the McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, where he specializes in early American history with a focus on underrepresented populations like women, Native Americans, and African Americans. In this text, Holton seeks to add to the story of the Revolution by presenting a different perspective, that of the non-elites. He argues that while the stories of taxation and abuses contributed to the Revolution as previously acknowledged, it was the actions of the non-elite groups in Virginia, the largest American colony, that pushed the gentry of the colony to seek independence.

Tom Clavin’s Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell

Peg Kurkowski
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.11

The American Wild West is for- ever symbolized by the iconic image of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday facing down the Clantons and McLaurys at the O.K. Corral in the windswept town of Tombstone, Arizona, in October 1881. It is a well-tread story that never seems to lose its fascinating appeal in its simple American charms: the good guys take on the bad guys, and the bad guys take it on the chin. With thirty shots in just as many seconds, the showdown signaled something far more significant than a grudge match between surly cowboys and testy lawmen, according to a new book.

Tom Chaffin’s Pathfinder: John Charles Frémont and the Course of American Empire

Kathleen Guler
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.12

Pathfinder is popular historian Tom Chaffin’s well-researched biography of John Charles Frémont (1813–1890). Many biogra phies of Frémont tend to concentrate on his far-flung expeditions across the western territories (1838–1854), for which he was famously dubbed “The Pathfinder.” Besides the expeditions, this biography also details Frémont’s life leading up to them; other non-expeditionary events during his travels, such as his confusing role in California’s Bear Flag Revolt (1846); and post-expedition exploits, including his brief tenure as territorial governor of Arizona, unsuccessful presidential bid, work as an abolitionist, generalship during the Civil War, and questionable entrepreneurial efforts during his waning years.

Museum Review

The History Galleries of The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC

Deanna Simmons
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.13

The idea for a museum dedicated to the contributions made by African Americans was born over a century before the opening of the National Museum of African Ameri- can History and Culture (NMAAHC). In 1915, African American Civil War veterans proposed the idea of building something dedicated to those African Americans who served in wars through- out US history. For decades, officials de- bated the idea, but it never materialized. Finally, in 2003, Congress passed the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act. This placed the museum under the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution.

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia

Michael Romero
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.2.14

Until I began working at Colonial Williamsburg as an interpreter nine years ago, I was unaware as to just how extensive this living history museum really was. After nearly a century of work, Colonial Williamsburg is approximately one mile long and a half-mile wide, close to the size of the original town circa 1770. Williamsburg was established in 1699 to replace Jamestown as the capital city of Virginia. Built on the site of a previous settlement called Middle Plantation, Williamsburg boasted healthy water and proximity to the recently established College of William and Mary and was a more convenient meeting place for representatives coming from throughout the colony. It was in Williamsburg that the Virginia House of Burgesses organized the colony’s resistance to the Stamp Act and Townshend Duties, and such figures as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry got their first legislative experience. Much of the American Revolution was fought with Williams- burg of the capital of Virginia. In 1780, the capital moved to Richmond where it remains today. Visitors as well, although separate from Colonial Williamsburg. Further information, including the current programming schedule, is available at

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Volume 9, Number 1 – Summer 2020

Download Volume 9, Number 1

Welcome Letter

Gina Pittington
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.1

Letters to the Editor

Chris Schloemer, Senior Editor
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.2


Slavery in New York: Through the Lens of James Fenimore Cooper’s Written Works

Sharon Powell
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.3

In this article, I propose to analyze James Fenimore Cooper’s written works, including The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish and “A Defense of Slave-Owning America,” in terms of the ways that these works, and others, represent Cooper’s attitude and the attitude of Americans toward slavery and the black community during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly those residing in the state of New York.

Identity in a Teacup: Tea’s Influence Over the Lives of British Women in the Nineteenth Century

Caitlin Khan
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.4

This paper studies the link between the development of the social aspect of the tea table and the roles it allowed upper-class English women to play within the set framework of nineteenth century British society. Literature of the period clearly indicates that the tea table provided wealthy English women with an identity in society. Worsening political relations between China and Britain restricted the availability of Chinese tea, which led to the development and marketing of Indian tea. Advertising for newly developed Indian teas, which primarily targeted housewives and upper-class women, demonstrates the significance of the authority that English women held over home purchases. In studying the culture surrounding tea as both a social activity and political message, there comes a greater understanding of women and their positions in nineteenth century British upper-class society.

Unintentional History Makers: Evolution of Feminist Historiography

Tara Dyson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.5

What is now considered the early feminist movement initially began in simplicity as women’s endeavour to gain social, political, and educational equality. Slowly emerging into Western civilization during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the movement birthed new ideas regarding American society, which ultimately perpetuated continual change throughout history. Women such as Abigail Adams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Lucy Aikin, Maria Edgeworth, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Virginia Woolf produced literature that transversed the gender limitations of their times, endeavoring to achieve equality in varying aspects of American culture. Their documentation requires acknowledgement of women’s roles throughout history, their contributions to it, and their evolution of change within historiography itself.

Not Fit to Breed: Eugenics in Sweden, 1900 to Present

Susan Danielsson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.6

In the 1930s, the Swedish government enacted eugenic policies that permitted the forced sterilization of individuals the government deemed unfit to reproduce, often targeting them with accusations of mental illness. When officials passed the Sterilization Acts, they kept socioeconomic benefits in mind, but the eugenics movement in Sweden had deep roots in race-based science. Charles Darwin and his famous works on evolution inspired Swedish scholars to promote social hygiene within their own population, and they used political parties and the elite to push their agenda into social policy. Officials implemented sterilization laws that were intended to improve the gene pool of the Swedish population as a way to ensure the affordability of their welfare system. In the 1950s, the Swedish government started to prioritize the rights and wants of the individual, instead of making them second to the wellbeing of society.

Australian and American Relations in the Southwest Pacific Theater of World War II

Alisha Hamel
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.7

While both the Australians and Americans fought the Japanese during World War II, leadership and cultural differences became apparent when they fought together in New Guinea. While Australia and the United States were and still are great allies, even the best of allies have different cultures, training, and leadership methods, often resulting in difficulties when they are put into combat roles together.

The Morality of Genocide: The Holocaust Revisited

Mike Rechtien
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.8

Subjective labels such as “evil” or “immoral” cannot effectively be evaluated, bringing little understanding to a phenomenon of human behavior called genocide. History clearly shows that the Holocaust was merely a single chapter in the ongoing saga of human prejudice-based mass destruction. The Bosnian genocide and the massacre of Jewish families by their fellow Polish townspeople in Jedwabne in 1941, for example, illustrate that this latent human impulse can be activated when three conditions are present: opportunity, impunity (perceived or actual), and moral basis.

Revisiting the Slaughter House Cases (1873)

Eric Balkan
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.9

Fear of yet another cholera epidemic plagued New Orleans in 1869. Attributing the cause of cholera to the pollution of the water supply, of which slaughterhouse waste dumping was a chief component, the Louisiana State Legislature passed a law regulating slaughterhouses. Opposition to this law by butchers eventually led to an 1873 Supreme Court ruling, which became a landmark decision in Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence, as the butchers had sought relief under that amendment. The conventional modern opinion of Justice Samuel Freeman Miller’s majority ruling in the Slaughter-House Cases, which denied the butchers’ claim, is that it was an anti-Reconstruction ruling that gutted the “privileges or immunities” clause in the amendment, forcing future courts to rely on “substantive due process” to justify their decisions. However, relatively recently, several historians and legal scholars have offered a revisionist view that looks more favorably upon Miller’s opinion, asserting that it was misinterpreted. This paper analyzes the majority and dissenting opinions in that case and related cases, reports on the congressional debate on the Fourteenth Amendment, and considers the historiography of the case, both conventional and revisionist. It concludes that Justice Miller, a Lincoln appointee and physician with a long-standing interest in public health, wrote a decision defending the actions of the biracial Louisiana Reconstruction legislature against white supremacists, defending it against laissez-faire economics, and defending the concept of federalism in general.

Book Reviews

Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

Gina Pittington
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.10

Wendy Lower is a Holocaust and genocide professor at Claremont McKenna College. Her research for Hitler’s Furies began in 1992 when she visited Ukraine. The Soviet archives had recently opened for access, and Lower stationed herself near Heinrich Himmler’s headquarters in Zhitomir. While there, she found multiple German records of the Nazi-occupied Eastern territory during World War II listing thousands of women that transferred to the eastern front beginning as early as 1941. While examining the newly released documents, she noticed women had served in multiple positions both civilian and conscripted. She compared them to the pioneers of the American West, as they were pioneers for Germany opening the new frontiers for extended living space.

Kevin Gutzman’s Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776 1840

Matt Brent
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.11

In the late eighteenth century, the American British colonies developed a revolutionary fever caused by various conflicts and disagreements with the British crown. It was this excitement that drove the colonies to break with their mother country and seek their own destinies. One of those colonies, Virginia, the largest and most populous colony, is the center of Kevin Gutzman’s Virginia’s American Revolution. In his text, Gutzman explores the political and legal background to Virginia’s desire for independence and seeks to explain how the attitude of Virginians affected the Commonwealth’s development in the decade following independence.

Museum Review

Samegården Sami Museum; Kiruna, Sweden

Susan Danielsson
doi: 10.18278/sshj.9.1.12

Every year, thousands of tourists travel through Kiruna, Sweden to Abisko National Park to chase the Northern Lights or enjoy outdoor activities, such as dogsledding or wildlife safaris. Kiruna offers tourists an opportunity to learn about the little- known Sami, the Indigenous people of Northern Scandinavia, through the Samegården Sami Museum.

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