May 13 - The Memoirs of Colonel John S. Mosby (Mosby)
This is not a work of fiction! These are the actual memoirs of a legendary leader of partisans who bedeviled the Union army for years, almost within sight of the capitol. With only a few local men under command, John Singleton Mosby's ability to strike fast and then melt away before an effective pursuit could be organized kept the Yankee forces awake and often snarled in knots. With daring feats like capturing a Yankee general out of his bed within his defended headquarters, Mosby made his name a synonym for guerrilla warfare. Even today you can purchase in
The mettle of the man may be judged by the enemies he kept. Said General Joseph Hooker, "I may here state that while at Fairfax Court House my cavalry was reinforced by that of Major-General Stahel. The latter numbered 6,100 sabres. . . . The force opposed to them was Mosby's guerrillas, numbering about 200, and, if the reports of the newspapers were to be believed, this whole party was killed two or three times during the winter. From the time I took command of the army of the Potomac, there was no evidence that any force of the enemy, other than the above-named, was within 100 miles of
Mosby outraged many of his Southern admirers after the war when he publicly endorsed General U.S. Grant for President. After an appointment of U.S. Consul to Hong Kong and a 16-year career with the Southern Pacific Railroad, he came to
Real men don't take guff from snotty kids. Neither does Disko Troop, skipper of the "We're Here", a fishing schooner out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, when his crew fishes Harvey Cheyne out of the Atlantic. There's no place on the Grand Banks for bystanders, so Harvey is press-ganged into service as a replacement for a man lost overboard and drowned. Harvey is heir to a vast fortune, but his rescuers believe none of what he tells them of his background. Disko won't take the boat to port until it is full of fish, so Harvey must settle in for a season at sea. Hard, dangerous work and performing it alongside a grab-bag of characters in close quarters is a life-changing experience.
And when Harvey at last is reunited with his parents, who have thought him dead for months, he must face the hard decisions of how he will allow his experience to change his life.
Mysterious Phileas Fogg is a cool customer. A man of the most repetitious and punctual habit - with no apparent sense of adventure whatsoever - he gambles his considerable fortune that he can complete a journey around the world in just 80 days... immediately after a newspaper calculates the feat as just barely possible.
With his excitable French manservant in tow, Fogg undertakes the exercise immediately, with no preparations, trusting that his traveling funds will make up for delays along the way. But unbeknownst to him, British police are desperately seeking to arrest him for the theft of a huge sum by someone who resembles him, and they will track him around the world, if necessary, to apprehend him.
This is an adventure novel of the first water, with wholly unexpected perils, hair-breadth escapes, brilliant solutions to insoluble problems, and even a love story. And can this be? - That he returns to London just five minutes too late to win his wager and retain his fortune?
Captain Karl von Schenk of the Kaiser's Navy is a stereotypical German nobleman - supremely self-confident, touchy about the divisions of class and any infringement on his place. He thinks he is handsome, has a suitably manly physique, an excellent singing voice, and a facility with writing. His wartime service related in his diary is a series of triumphs over harrowing circumstances, bringing his boat back in spite of the best efforts of the Royal Navy to stop him.
His one vulnerability is a young lady he meets on leave in Bruges, Belgium. Although she is the trophy girlfriend of a German colonel who could cause him much harm if he were to find out, von Schenk pursues his Zoe with Teutonic straightforwardness. And both he and the reader are entirely blind-sided by the unexpected thunderclap that puts an end to the sweet affair.
Stephen King-Hall, a Royal Navy officer during the war and writing as "Etienne", penned this book as if he had simply discovered it on a surrendered submarine. In fact, some editions of the book list the author as "anonymous." King-Hall's knowlege of naval affairs lend authority to this yarn of men that go to the sea in ships that sink... on purpose.