Henry Bertrand’s “Civil War and Bloody Peace” war years ended over 100 years ago, but in some ways, they haven’t ended yet. In 2008 we got our first black President in Barack Obama, which should have been a great leap forward to ending racism in this country; instead, it brought racism into the open. With Trump’s election, racism even became popular.
This indicates the grasp racism still has on this country—the U.S. has the distinction of being the last civilized country to free its slaves. The Democrats and Republicans have a terrible time working together, as evidenced by the growing politically divisive and bitter campaigns. In 2003 George W. Bush got Democratic approval (not overwhelming but enough) for the start of his Iraq War was by saying, “you’re either with us or against us.” This is same language used in the Civil War.
If we look seriously at Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, take him off his pedestal by stripping away all the rhetoric and mythology about how great he was, we’d still recognize the tremendous effort he made to keep the country united. Here you’ll see that had less to do with Emancipation and more to do with the need for progress; industry, the railroads, and resources that the South threatened to withhold. Yes, the war was fought over ending slavery, but no, it was not fought over freeing slaves. Not at first. That is important to understand.
As for being the first American president assassinated, I don’t see how Lincoln possibly could have survived the war that he was so much a part of. He probably knew, judging by the dreams he’d reported, that his death was the ultimate outcome of this first Republican presidency in a country so torn by bloodshed. He hadn’t been willing to stop war from the start by recognizing that slavery would die on its own as the slaves freed themselves. But if he had sided with the Southerners, perhaps an abolitionist would have killed him. That’s how crazy disturbed this time period was.
What we can see, if we can linger on alternative history just a moment more, was that ifLincoln had allowed the South’s secession, and they had formed their own country, war would still have been fought by both sides over the western territories—whether they should be slave or free. Civil War, and the “old west” development with the takeover of Indian lands in the west, were going to happen regardless of choices made before 1861.
Andrew Johnson, as president after Lincoln, was easier for the abolitionists in Congress to push around because he’d not been tried by fire. So that deluded Southern actor, John W. Booth, who shot Lincoln did the abolitionists a favor. Imagine the country had Lincoln not been killed. But this book doesn’t play alternate history. Quite the opposite. You’ll see by following Henry’s orders how our country came to be as it is now.
The various Indian tribes have remained a notable presence in society, thanks in part to the money they make from casinos. But there was a silent voice out there during the Indian “bloody peace” years that kept them from being completely “exterminated.” Their many voices still struggle to be heard in the growing clamor for environmental awareness. Many retain an aura of anger toward the white society as they wait for a certain clue or signal, maybe an apology, and it is time that these angers were healed. Returning the Black Hills to the Indians would be a good start, but nothing else so right is also so hard to consider—in part because they can’t take that money they were paid when the Black Hills was stolen.
Part of the problem of ridding the U.S. of racism is capitalism. Racism occurs when one group wants to keep another group out of the competition. There was a story William Powell told, shortly before Wounded Knee in 1890, of Indians looking to take part in the American system. One day when visiting a reservation in the 1800s Powell asked a young Indian, who had excellent English and had been educated at an Indian school, why he just loafed around. “Do you prefer that life to having something to do?”
“I would be glad to get anything to do to earn some money.”
“Can you drive a six-mule team?”
“I can drive a six-mule or any other kind of team,” he answered. “But nobody will give an Indian anything to do out here.”
Powell finished this story by saying, “Looking at it from a moral standpoint—the question which suggests itself is, Has the government no responsibility in the matter? It is our duty to fit them to take their places in the great struggles of life.”[i]
Indians made deals for the land but felt they had retained the right to the resources on the land, only to find out the whites thought differently. Land treated away included its resources, and sharing didn’t happen in a capitalist system.
My hope is that this book offers a new understanding of how the United States came to be as it is today, and where we should be headed in the future. We don’t learn from the past if we don’t know it.
NOTE TO RESEARCHERS/READERS: Every effort has been made to make sure the index works properly, but there may be a time or two where the page numbers don’t match up. Please be sure to check the preceding and following pages. I’ve never indexed before, and found the process daunting, at best. Since doing this, I’ve noticed problems in other books as well. My issue was not to hire someone because this was a good way to make sure all my issues line up, and that I’m promoting the book properly by including in the index all the important details. The index in any book is a good indication of what the book is really all about. Also accept my apologies for lack of a good breakdown of tribal names in the index. Most often the more specific names could not be found. My main hope is that I’ve answered a few of your burning questions about U.S. history.
NOTE TO KINDLE READERS: You won’t get many of the photos and maps here. If you enjoyed the read, consider adding the paperback edition to your library.
Scroll down for introduction. (I really hate this website.)
Talked with Kindle expert on the phone today and she said in order to fix all those errors, I was going to have to make a PDF file of the Word document and upload that in Kindle Creator. Well, she doesn't have a clue how long that will take, since I made a lot of updates to the book in Kindle Creator and in fract jut went through the print copy to make sure those changes were there, too! So be warned, any formatting problem in my kindle belongs to Amazon. Let me know if I'm wrong. Oh, sure, they'll say we'll we only expect fiction writers to use it. Ha! I saw no such disclaimer.
FOR THOSE STILL CONFUSED, THIS IS A MAJOR NONFICTION BOOIK, NOT A FICTION NOVEL.
Yes, I've been working on this every ding-dong day. I got the indexing done while on my last road trip and now the real fun begins. What if it's too big for Amazon to handle? I often think this is why other publishers rejected it. So the Kindle version will, by necessity, be short of the photos in the book. I hope to get the book printed in color, but heaven knows what that will cost the reader. And whether I'll have to take some out there, as well. Know I did my best on the indexing. There maybe be a page or two off, but I've seen that as the case in every published book with index.
How long before I can submit for publication? It would be great if I could do that by July 11. That's something to shoot for, anyway.
The best thing about doing the indexing yourself - you can catch any errors that might have slipped past you. So glad I could fix that one today. And these errors can take many forms. It could be a typo. It could be wondering if J.W. Powell is the same person as William Powell. It's not. But what William Powell was doing talking to Indians I can't yet figure out. He wasn't anywhere near the Indian wars. And then there's J.J. Reynolds and John Reynolds. Well, John was killed in the Civil War but could J.J. be his son? It's not. This is all fun stuff that I never would have caught if I weren't doing the indexing myself. Yes, it's a tedious process, but so important to the quality of the book. And to the marketing of the book.
I was asked why I don't hire someone to do the indexing. Boy, I sure wish I was the type who could! This is truly hard work! But it's also a process I looked forward to, and it's interesting to see the topics that so completely and concisely describe the book. For historians, this is the most important area that helps us decide whether or not to purchase it. How could I leave that in someone else's hands? I'd end up paying them, and re-doing it! I'm into the Bloody Peace period now, and wow, what a lot of material you can't find anywhere else! When this is done, hopefully by the end of July, I have to format the biblio, insert the index (another challenge) and then off to Amazon to see if I did everything right. As soon as my son is done with the book cover, I'll post it here.
One of the things that's nice about doing it myself at Amazon is I can add some more fun stuff about the people of the day. The details that make history real. It's so odd to think about the rejections I got, some that said it was too "narrowly focused." Guess what. ALL history books are narrowly defined. They have to be. Think about it. Pick up the last history nonfiction you read and tell me the boundaries that author used. I've gotten all the footnotes to match the bibliography and now, after I go through my books to make sure I didn't miss anything cool, I'll have a lot of books to get rid of and a really interesting read. That's the goal, anyway. Tell me what you'd like to know about US History between 1862 and 1884 and I'll tell you if it's in here.
This book breaks my heart. There's so much more to learn about our country writing a book from the viewpoint of a soldier's orders, by combining these three periods of U.S. history in a way that's never been done before. It's heart-breaking and yet so important for all of us to understand. The process of getting this book ready to publish myself is not an easy one. I'm doing the editing of the book now, to make sure your read is clear and concise. Then I have to go through it again and pick out key words to create the index. Then I have to make sure the footnotes are probably formatted and are referenced in the Bibliography. Still I have hopes that I can publish it yet this summer, before my trip to Greece.
It's reading well, thankfully, and I can add some fun material back that was removed because I feared it was too long. I'm going to beef up the Navajo section with more native material, too. The downside of this is that the maps have to be redone because I won't want to have the book published in color. Also the photos and maps will probably not be in the kindle version at all, which is a shame. But I do hope it will remain a worthy read.
Days are not physical days but days that I've had a chance to work. I finally decided the endnote match to biblio can wait. I need to stop putting off the review of the textual material. I first had to make sure the TOC matched the chapters, and again checked formatting. I know I'm putting off actually reading it. What if I don't like it, now that I'm using editor eyes? What if that's why it hasn't found a publisher? I removed any suspect photo, and contacted for permission on an important one. But next up is reading it, and make sure everything that's important is in there, now that I know I have some room to work.
Had to dig out old material from a CD, preface, acknowledgements, bibliography. The Biblio was fun to insert. First I had to reformat for the book--made the print a little smaller which threw the lineage off. Then after I inserted it I had to reformat again because the margins are different. Now I'm trying to decide if I should edit the book before worrying about matching the footnotes to the biblio. That might be smart, right? I'll have a few days to think about it, as I won't be back here much before Monday.
Using a published book to make this appear as professional as possible, I created the table of contents and then did a search on how to add pages below the endnotes. On the toolbar there's a magnifying glass and in the box it says "tell me what you want to do." So I said, in a variety of ways, add text below endnotes. And finally I got the message to convert the document to the most recent format. And that seems to have worked. More later!
Self-Publishing a Nonfiction: Yes, it's official. I've begun the process. Adam has agreed to be my cover artist - for pay, as he deserves because he's so good. He's also working on a new cover for my half-breed novel but that's a story for another time.
So far I found out that the book isn't so big that Amazon needs me to break it into two. It appears there's room enough to make the maps and photos bigger, and maybe even add a little more material, a lot of which I took out to make publishers happy.
I learned I could download a template for setting up the margins and size of the book. That really simplifies things. There's still the issue of getting headers and footers added. But Word does have a header/footer feature that allows for different even/odd pages. It gets a little trickier adding page numbers, however.
The biggest problem, so far, is after converting footnotes to end notes. You can't add anything to the document after that. I'll have to find a way to add the index and bibliography. Indexing - oh, that'll be fun!
I gave up on publishers. I don't know why, but they think my book will not sell. I have to disagree. I performed Henry's stories a number of times and was always asked, when will it be available? I posted that I'm doing it at Amazon myself and have got a number of orders for it already. I promise I will keep the price as low as possible. The goal is to have it read, not to make a million. But also, once it's published, hopefully the IRS will stay off my back! Anyway, publishers, shame on you for being afraid to publish the truth.