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John Pershing

A noted historian recalls how he came to learn about the five-star general who led American forces to victory in World War I, and the sacrifices made by his family.

Editor's Note: This essay, the last that Gene Smith wrote for American Heritage, was in our files when the historian passed away in 2012. Gene was a long-time favorite of our editors, having published 31 essays in the magazi Read more >>

The author, who once served under General Patton and whose father, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was Patton's commanding officer, shares his memories of "Ol' Blood and Guts"

On the morning of December 19, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower strode into the gloomy school building in Verdun that housed the main headquarters of General Omar Bradley’s Twelfth Army Group. He had called a meeting of all the senior commanders under Bradley. Read more >>

The United States Military Academy turns 200 this year. West Point has
grown with the nation—and, more than once, saved it.

In the Meuse-Argonne, this backwoods pacifist did what Marshal Foch saw as “the greatest thing accomplished by any private’ soldier of all the armies of Europe.”

Pershing called him “the greatest civilian soldier” of World War I. Foch described his exploit in the Argonne as “the greatest thing accomplished by any private soldier of all the armies of Europe.” Read more >>

The doughboys numbered only 550 men -- the remnants of four battalions -- and were surrounded by Germans. Then they were given the order to attack.

In the early fall of 1918 five hundred American infantrymen were cut off from their regiment and surrounded by Germans during five days of fighting in the Argonne Forest. Read more >>

Our former Secretary of State recalls his service fifty years ago in the Connecticut National Guard—asthmatic horses, a ubiquitous major, and a memorable

A Negro cavalry regiment was John J. Pershing’s “home” in the service. From it came his nickname, and he never lost his affection for—or failed to champion—the valorous colored troopers he led.

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