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A very short story about an overlooked Michigan Regiment. My two great-grandfathers, Jasper Smith and Ellwood Janney, served in the Eighteenth Michigan Infantry during the American Civil War. In 1864 the Eighteenth found itself in Decatur, Alabama, way down south across the Tennessee River. There, along with newly organized 14th US Colored Infantry, they had to stop Confederate forces under General Hood and the torious Nathan Bedford Forrest. Had they failed Nashville likely would have fallen into Confederate control and caused the defeat of President Lincoln in the looming election. Outnumbered by 35,000 Confederate Forces to 5,000 Union forces this tiny fort held its ground. A daring charge by the Black Union soldiers routed Confederate artillery positions. This was a turning point. Met with cheers from the White soldiers, lasting bonds were forged that continued after the end of the war. The bones of the story are historically documented but the dry bones are brought alive with dialogue and some probable episodes that cant be documented as factual. Part of the action is based on a recurring dream of the author that faded as he aged but was revived when he visited Decatur. Thus the work is a genre I call 'faction' a blend of fact and fiction. The fiction though is meant to simply dramatize the truth. The author also served in the military, the United States Air Force, during the Vietnam war.
The author also served in military, a Captain in the United States Air Force serving during the Vietnam war and later a lawyer. The source of much of the material came from the daughter of Ellwood, the authors great-aunt, a Quaker who pioneered women's equality. She was a Professor of History, earning her credentials at the University of Michigan and Columbia University in the early 1900s.