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Stephen Wendell
Paris, France
Explorer, adventurer, campaigner, peregrine
Recent Activity
“When I asked him [Grandpa Ben] if he killed anyone, this is what he told me: They had just been in action and his best friend had been killed that day and he was very upset. As he left the area he was walking through the woods and came up... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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September 28, 1918, the sun rose, unseen. A cold, drizzling rain fell from a close sky. On the slopes of the hollow north of Baulny, men of the 137th and 139th regiments lay, soaking wet, chilled to the bone. Sleep was impossible with the cold, the damp, and the night’s... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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The confusion that began in the fog the morning before, continued through the morning of September 27. Around 3:00 a.m., the 137th Regiment, now behind the 139th, received orders to support the 139th in its morning attack, which was to begin at 8:30 after a three-hour artillery barrage. The 137th... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“Then [in war] there is a very great difficulty arising from the unreliability of all data. This means that all actions must necessarily be planned and carried out in a more or less uncertain light, which like a fog or moonshine, gives things a somewhat exaggerated and unnatural size and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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For the French, it’s the Battle of Verdun. For the British, the Somme. For the Americans, the Meuse-Argonne is the superlative battle. The largest battle in US history: 1.2 million American soldiers participated. The longest battle: lasting 47 days. The deadliest: 26,277 Americans killed. The battle ended with the war,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
“Each infantryman carried his rifle, bayonet, steel helmet and gas mask. He had 250 rounds of rifle ammunition, carried in a belt, and two bandoliers, each one swung over one shoulder and under the other arm. On his back was his combat pack, in his pack carrier. This contained his... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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Below, I’ll detail the battle plan where it concerns Private B. F. Potts of Company M, 137th Infantry Regiment. For the moment, I’ll rely on Kenamore, who ably describes the stakes in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which will begin in two days—a hundred years ago. At the conference of allied leaders... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“One day they came upon a building during a rain storm, and the guys wanted to seek shelter there. The captain forbade them from entering, so they slept in the field that night about 100 yards away. In the middle of the night, the building was destroyed by an artillery... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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It’s difficult to imagine the Grandpa I knew as a young man, in the prime of his youth, in the uniform of a World War I infantryman. But there he is. Private Potts’s medium frame fills the olive drab wool service tunic, with narrow, standing collar, five buttons up the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“That first of September was a notable day, although it did not appear so at the time, for it was the last time the men were to sleep under cover for more than a month, and that month the most trying in their histories.” (Kenamore 69) By the time Private... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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As the climactic battle draws near, we’re picking up the pace this month in A Very Muddy Place. Private Potts has no idea that this is his itinerary for the rest of September—a hundred years ago: September 12—In Reserve at Saint-Mihiel 16—Special Job for Private Potts 19—A Potts Family Day... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“Grandpa Ben told me about a time on a train in France. They had stopped for the night and were directed to stay on the train, which was on a track next to a small French town. Some of the guys disobeyed orders, went into the town, broke into a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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My great uncle John Wesley Potts, one of Ben Potts’s boys, was the family genealogist. To him the Potts family is thankful for much of the information we have concerning our family history. I have several photocopied pages of the family tree, which includes old photographs and a few stories.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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At Triopetra on Crete’s south coast, I learned that its highest rock is the place from which Icarus took off on his mortal flight, too close to the sun. I also learned that, while Icarus fell into the sea, his father and wing maker, Daedalus, flew on to Sicily… Issue... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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Potts, Benjamin F., PVT. INF., Army Serial Number 3501865, and other members of Camp Gordon August Automatic Replacement Draft Company #11, Infantry, boarded the Tunisian at Montreal on August 24, 1918, bound for Liverpool. From the Tunisian’s Passenger List, August 24, 1918 It was in the summer of 1918 that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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They were colleagues, associates, students—friends of a man. They met at the top of the world, where the mountain peaks meet, where the air is pure and sparse. Then they climbed yet higher. Evening light stretched long across a lower plain, threw darkness to the depths of a narrow gorge,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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A Potamida vase (lower left) on display at the Archaeological Museum of Kissamos From as early as the seventh century BC, craftsmen of a river bank settlement took white clay from nearby hills to make pottery. The style, unique to the settlement, produced a simple, squat vase with sturdy handles.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”—proverb Now you can learn how to learn from a book! Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Kids and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“If it moves, salute it. If it doesn’t move, paint it!” My cousin Bruce recently sat down with Uncle Jesse, Ben’s last surviving child, to refresh their memories, to tell the old war stories again, second-hand now that the main character is no longer with us. The quote above stuck... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“In one corner, a two-foot square opening in the floor captures one’s attention. Four rusty rungs set into the stone lead down a few feet. Below that, only a flat rock floats in cool darkness.”—from Exploring Zovigli A dark, square hole in the floor of a ruin on a hill... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“I, Benjamin Franklin Potts, do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States.” The words feel like strangers in the mouth, being, at the same time, repeated after a man in uniform and of such moral import. The American flag on his right, the Tennessee Tristar,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
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“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”—Walt Disney Akrotiri Spada is the northernmost point of Crete and the very end of Rodopou Penninsula. It’s marked by Zovigli, a conical hill that rises 70 meters above the surrounding terrain, which is 300 meters above the sea. Evenly... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing
J’ai eu le plaisir d’être invité par Thibault Malfoy à sa dernière rencontre Paris J’écris, pour parler de l’auto-édition et de ma propre expérience en publiant Petit Lot. C’était une soirée sympa, dynamique, avec plein de questions du public. La discussion tournait autour de trois questions : pourquoi s’auto-publier, comment... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at Petit Lot
Petit Lot et le Grand Cor de la licorne est actuellement disponible en livre relié, broché et numérique. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2018 at Petit Lot
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June 5, 1917, the Great War thundered across the fields of northern France. Earlier in the spring, a large-scale attack, called the Nivelle Offensive, failed with heavy casualties, resulting in a series of mutinies and mass desertions in the French army. In the Argonne Forest, a battle of mine-and-countermine, now... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at Peregrine Publishing