“Strike The Tent” trilogy by W. Patrick Lang

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E-Book version of all three available at iUniverse

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I was interviewed some time ago by the North Carolina Museum of History concerning the writing of this trilogy.

"The Confederate Secret Services, a conversation with W. Patrick Lang, novelist, retired U.S. Army colonel, and military intelligence consultant

Patrick Lang discusses his two novels, The Butcher’s Cleaver and Death Piled Hard, both of which focus on Claude Devereux, a Virginia banker who is recruited by the Confederate secret service and placed in the office of Union secretary of war Edwin Stanton. Approximate run time: 24 minutes. Podcast Podcast

This podcast is highly recommended



"Science currently holds that time travel is an impossibility, but readers of Down the Sky, thefinal volume of Colonel Pat Lang’s Strike the Tent trilogy will question that assertion. Code-named “Hannibal,” Confederate penetration agent Claude Devereux is firmly lodged in the upper echelons of the Federal war machine. Now a Brigadier General of the Union forces with the new Congressional Medal of Honor on his chest, Major Devereux of the Confederate Secret Service knows time is running out. His minders in Richmond may no longer trust him, his personal life is a shambles, and Union spy-catcher Lafayette Baker is determined to bring him down. Only his peculiar, personal friendship with President Lincoln holds his enemies at bay.

Claude’s missions for the Federal War Department take him to major battles, and the reader will experience Cedar Creek, and Fort Fisher as if in person. The vision of Lincoln standing in full view of the Confederate sharpshooters at Fort Stephens is indelible, as is the vignette of a severely wounded Union officer on the grounds of the Belle Grove Plantation after Cedar Creek. Such a view of battle could only have come from the author’s personal experiences.

The book stands alone, but it is a worthy successor to its two predecessors, The Butcher’s Cleaver, and Death Piled Hard. The great Shelby Foote said:

'The Civil War brings everything into a sharper focus with heightened color. Anytime you want to study human behavior, it is well to study the Civil War, because in that you study human behavior under terrific pressure and heat. So that men show what they are for good or bad more readily than in ordinary times.'

Readers of the trilogy, and of Down the Sky in particular will find this unerringly demonstrated by the historical rigor and deep creativity of Patrick Lang.

James Peak


These books are available in electronic formats to include "Kindle' from major vendors. pl


"Strike the Tent," a review by Richard Sale 

“In my beginning is my end.”

Pat Lang’s three-volume novel is a vast work that has real genius. It speaks with what Yeats called, “the living voice.” What makes it remarkable is the astonishing breadth of the canvas on which he paints, the dazzling sweep of the characters and scenes and the variety topics. The force of his narrative, the delicate mental reactions and subtle emotional calculations of the characters, along with Lang’s thorough mastery of the Civil War, make the book an amazing and praiseworthy performance.

There is a chiseled quality, a hardness and clarity in the way Lang sees things. In the book, you find that there are sexual tensions, personal rivalries, and strategic dilemmas in abundance. Lang’s world is a complicated and dangerous world. There are two supreme loyalties for a man – one is loyalty to his country, and the other is loyalty to family. Since the family loyalty is more personal, it is also the stronger.

Claude Devereux, a Confederate agent, is also man of tortured self-doubt (at one point he observes that ‘the people who doubted him most, are the people he cherished most”) and he is also a man ambitious of achievement, liking to pit his resources against superior odds, liking to be in places where he is liable to be killed. His mission forces him to perform exploits to validate his sense of his own worth. He is condemned to a perilous life of constant re-assessments, constant vigilance and wariness, always scanning the ground around him to avoid his own destruction. Claude is one of those who has to know when to be silent, to know just how much to say, to be truthful and yet to mislead, how to drop casual observations as a kind of test of a person’s acuteness, how to sense what others mean or know even if they don’t say it. He has to be able to know that someone is planning a secret meeting even though he says the exact opposite; he has to know that a person who appears to have real influence has in fact lost it; he has to know that another is a wire-puller, and yet a person from whom you can have anything you want if you simply present the right face and hit the right note.

In the end, Claude is destroyed by the very events he has set in motion, destroyed by his own inner demons. In the Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot used the line, “In the beginning, is my end.” That is Lang’s plot in a nut shell.

Reading Pat Lang’s novel has also changed the way I viewed the Civil War. It is a novel about patriotism, discipline and comradeship, but it is also about honor and the values of civilization. There is too much vindictive animosity about popular depictions of the South in the Civil War. In too many books, the South is pictured as a static, agricultural land directed by men of a refined culture that was marred by the ownership of slaves. Men of the North were men of the cities. By necessity, the liberty of the individual in the North was submerged into the preponderant weight of the mass. The mixed nature of the population demanded amalgamation. That was the source of the North’s strength. It was a gross strength, the strength of massed and limitless numbers.

By contrast, the South was an old civilization, one of luxury and refinement. In Lang’s book, you will discover that the gentlemen of the South were men of social graces and tradition. To the Greeks, nobility was the prime mover in forming the nation’s culture and the Confederate men are very Greek in their ideals. In the South, culture was shown in the whole man — in his external appearance, conduct, and in his inner nature. The Southern cavaliers lived by ancient commandments—“Honor the gods, Honor your father and mother, Respect the stranger.”

High civilization in history springs from the differentiation of social classes. The upbringing of those classes aims at producing a man the way he ought to be. It unites nobility of action with nobility of mind. In the South, a man measures his own nobility by the regard he enjoys in other’s eyes. Men do what they do in order to ensure their own worth. Heroes treat each other with constant respect and their whole social system depends on such respect.

The culture of the Confederacy prized physical prowess and spiritual harmony as the highest goods attainable by a successful life. A sense of honor prevented men from committing any gross action, and they were driven by an enormous drive to obtain honor by performing some great deed. Men did what they did to ensure their own worth. The man’s job was to forget himself in the service of the honorable duties demanded by his country in the while avoiding doing anything base. This was the foundation of the whole system of southern ethics. Honor was universally valid. You could not forget your country. Its values were universal and timeless and your service to them never ended.

Behind the cavaliers of the South stood the Southern women. Respect for honor lurked at the point of every sword. The men were chivalrous and enacted a gallantry that wasn’t false or artificial. Women in the South were worshipped as fit companions for the cavaliers. All this emerges as you read Lang’s narrative.

People like to cite Tolstoy’s War and Peace as a kind of mechanical homage to what they haven’t really read. I recently began W&P for the ninth time, and I can say, without flattery, that Lang’s work echoes in many ways Tolstoy’s masterpiece.

Richard Sale


Review by Lawrence Kart of "The Butcher's Cleaver"

"This a remarkable and a very unusual book, with those qualities being inseparable. In particular, there is its pervasive, perambulating, almost dreamlike air — both in narration and description. That is, everything that its central character, Confederate agent Claude Devereux, takes note of (but not only Claude) is presented to us as though it were preserved in amber — estimates of men and situations but also the then-existing "look" of things, natural and man-made. Of course, to capture or evoke the "then-existing" as it was then felt is the great yet elusive goal of historical fiction. In addition, a feel for, or a need to evoke, the "then-existing" implies a no less powerful sense that much of what existed then is lost. It is here, without ever becoming too explicit, that "The Butcher's Cleaver" is so poetic. Again, this is present in the most seemingly ordinary descriptive passages (as time seems to slow down a bit to allow Claude to notice the look of a street, a piece of architecture, etc.). After a while one begins to feel that that all this verbal and visual "touching" amounts to a continuous farewell on Claude's part, and not only because he almost certainly knows that his cause and way of life are doomed but also because we know (as he anticipates) what acts Claude himself will bring to pass after the span of the novel itself is completed. The perambulating, near dreamlike quality of the book comes to a climax in the scene where Claude and his brother Patrick observe Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. Again, one would think that in the face of such a famous scene of "action" that the tempo of the writing would have to accelerate, but instead, if anything, it slows down a bit more, to convey what probably does occur in the minds of trained men who are observing combat but also to convey, in this case, their awed, horrified reluctance to take in what they cannot avoid seeing. Patrick, BTW, is a beautifully modeled character; his role in the double game the Devereux brothers are playing is at times almost heartbreaking." Lawrence Kart


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41 Responses to “Strike The Tent” trilogy by W. Patrick Lang

  1. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart wrote
    Colonel — Ashamed to say that I haven’t yet read “Down the Sky” or “Death Piled Hard” (though I have bought “Death Piled Hard”). My reasons are perhaps peculiar and also perhaps a tribute to the power of the series. Feeling fairly sure where the series was going in the broad sense (it is of course outwardly constrained by historical fact) and also so moved by the personal fatality and nature of Devereux after reading volume one, I’ve not yet been able to move on to the stresses and strife that I know is to come. In effect, I’ve been reduced here to the sort of reader I sometimes was as a child, unwilling to endure the account of a grave eventual loss. That it will be a fictional one doesn’t make it any easier for me to contemplate, because the “fiction” of volume one feels more real than any h istorical account of that time I know. But I will move on eventually.

  2. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart wrote
    Ordered “Down the Sky” the day before yesterday. That should do the trick.

  3. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan wrote
    Larry Kart, Col., I had thought I was the only one who swore not to read DPH until I had the third book was under my elbow. It sat in it’s box at the bottom of the stack too. However, I would characterize my reason for doing so a bit differently. I had become so intensely worried about Claudes state of mind at the end of TBC, that I was just a bit cross at having it end right there. It isn’t a feeling of dread at finishing the series for me, not at all. Took me awhile to figure out how that was done. I tip my hat. I can’t even imagine attempting to transmit the numbness of a broken heart in such a way. I re-read TBC a couple of times afterwards. I really enjoy the way it puts me back in the time. A very pleasant feeling, one like being in a very interesting place, yet with the leisure to let ones eyes wander, and pause on, whatever they will. If that makes any sense. Thanks.

  4. About to order DOWN THE SKY!
    Note for the record classical Greece involved slavery.

  5. Will says:

    hot damn. just snagged “down the sky” Kindle from Amazon for $3.99. i love the cheap old kindle b/c it has text to speech feature. on long drives, i just let it read books to me on the truck radio.
    i didn’t see the first two books there, tho.

  6. turcopolier says:

    They are all on Kindle. Read them sequentislly. pl

  7. Will says:

    i found another one, b/ no butcher’s cleaver
    Kindle Store ›
    “w. patrick lang”
    Down the Sky: Volume Three of the “Strike The Tent” Trilogy by W. Patrick Lang (Kindle Edition – Mar 7, 2012) – Kindle eBook
    Buy: $3.99
    Auto-delivered wirelessly
    Death Piled Hard: A Tale of the Confederate Secret Services by W. Patrick Lang (Kindle Edition – Apr 2, 2009) – Kindle eBook
    Buy: $7.96
    Auto-delivered wirele….

  8. Harper says:

    The measure of a great classical symphony, like those of Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms, is the way that the separate movements all strike a common theme, and then resolve in the most spectacular way in the final movement. This quality of thorough composition is also the hallmark of Col. Lang’s trilogy. Volume one established the complex characters and the setting of Civil War Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Volume two brought the reader into the front lines of some of the most important battles of the Civil War, providing an incredible sense of the “fog of war” while never losing the theme of character development and building tragedy. The third volume brought together the critical themes developed during the first two volume with a degree of suspense and drama that frankly caught me completely by surprise.
    For those who are fixed on the great American drama that was the Civil War, this is a walk through history that is not to be missed. For those who wish to understand the psychological complexities and the trade craft of the espionage business, this is a primer of the first order.
    While each of the three volumes of the trilogy are self-standing as great works of historical fiction, the whole is far greater than the individual parts. Once you have read volume one, you will not want to stop. Col. Lang has given us a wonderful gift, that should not be missed.

  9. Brooke C. Stoddard says:

    You’ve never seen the Civil War like this and probably won’t again. Combat veteran, VMI graduate, Special Forces-trained, intelligence expert and deeply knowledgeable about the Civil War, Pat Lang presents both sides of the conflict in a unique way. Down the Sky mainly follows July 1864 to April 1865 as the South desperately tries to find any formula for thwarting a Union strategy of massing materiel and men until the Confederate armies are crushed. Claude Devereaux, lover, spy, and kin to the slaves his father set free, moves between both sides. Lincoln befriends him and circumstances require that on occasion Claude even takes up arms in Union uniform. But Claude Devereaux is only a portion; this rich volume also holds splendid and unusual portraits of George Custer, Jubal Early, Phil Sheridan and John McCausland, the Rebel destroyer of Chambersburg, Pa. You’ve never read the Battle of Cedar Creek like this, nor the assault on Fort Fisher. Unusual for a novel, Down the Sky intersperses the text with photographs of historical persons in the novel as well as a couple of maps of the battles. All in all a unique and rewarding thread through the final year of America’s tragic war with itself.

  10. Larry Kart says:

    Am finally reading “Death Piled Hard” (with great pleasure — what a character Balthazar is!) and will move on directly to “Down the Sky.” It’s much clearer to me now that Claude has more than few screws loose psychologically, but why should he be that different from the rest of us? Will have more to say after I’ve read “Down the Sky,” but these are remarkable books. I particularly admire — in literary and emotional terms — the pauses, the moments of near stillness, that the Colonel can bring to a narrative where the temptation might be to cram events in or to rush onwards to the next battle or crisis that we already know about. But even the best-informed men and women involved don’t know what’s going to happen next — though of course it’s Claude’s business to attempt to find out — and the Colonel’s awareness of what might be called the “fog of life” principle adds a great deal to the books. No doubt he has this in part because he himself grappled with the fog of life, often with great urgency, in the field and as a Defense Department intelligence officer, but that’s only in part.

  11. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart wrote:
    Finished “Down the Sky” today on a United Airlines flight from Newark to Chicago and am sending some thoughts by email because they may run a bit long for a blog post. If they don’t run too long, feel free to post them there if you wish and to eliminate any of plot-killing details I might mention.
    The final resolution was not quite what I had envisioned but very satisfying and just; I wouldn’t have wished it otherwise. Claude was too compromised in virtually every way — by his family heritage and his personal emotional history, by his historical place and his placement in the flow of events by others, by the flavor and intensity of his need for women and the flavor and intensity of their need for him, by the anger that so many aspects of his nature and identity inspired in other men — for him to ever get out of this in one piece; nor was it possible, I now see, for him to have engineered the assassination of Lincoln, which was what at one point I had thought was going to happen.
    A few quibbles now: I don’t recall that in “Death Piled Hard” there any passages (or if there were, they weren’t as noticeable as they are in “Down the Sky”) where the narrative flow pauses as the reader is brought up to speed on what happened in the past (which of course means the prior volumes, and maybe it’s that pointing to the books as books that is a bit troubling, because up to those moments one doesn’t quite feel that these are books are quite books anymore) . Can’t say for sure, but I doubt whether any of explanatory passages is really necessary. If someone has read that far, he or she is almost certainly with you; and if the reader encounters something that at first glance might seem for the moment to be a bit elliptical, I think that one’s almost inevitable desire (and resulting ability) to fill in such blanks can be an aesthetic pleasure in itself. One then participates in the life of the book, becomes a bit of a map reader and measures what one thinks the map says against the actual revealed terrain of what happens next.
    Second quibble — and again I don’t recall this from “The Butcher’s Cleaver” or “Death Piled Hard” — the inverted quotes that are placed around so many ordinary metaphors or even what are in effect non-metaphors. Annoyingly, I left my carry-on bag at the airport, with my copy of “Down the Sky” inside, so I can’t cite that many examples, but why are told, for example that Hope’s face “shines” at IIRC that 1864 Christmas party? That is, “shines” is placed within inverted quotes so that — what? — we don’t think that her face shines as literally as a waxed table top does? Who, reading that her face shines, would think that it meant anything other than that her was relatively radiant, aglow with excitement, intensity, etc. Likewise with Balthazar’s men often being referred to as “ruffians” in inverted quotes. Having read along as we have, we know in just what sense they were literally ruffians or close to ruffians at one time and now are ruffians no longer, even though others may still think them so at times. In virtually all these cases, the explanatory pointing of the inverted quotes stops the flow and either explains (actually, here it would be fitting to say “explains”) something that we already know or don’t want or need to be told. If you agree and there is a second edition of the book (and there should be), getting rid of almost all those inverted quotes should be an easy fix.
    I may have said this before, but speaking of what happens next, I can think of very few modern novels of the top rank where what be called the “poetic” element of the book lies as much in the unfolding what happens next as is the case in the “Strike the Tent” trilogy. I suspect this has something to do with your having been a soldier, because it reminds me of the work of the marvelous (albeit little known in the English speaking world) Austrian novelist Alexander Lernet-Holenia (1897-1976):
    who served as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War I and briefly in the Wehrmacht in World War II. I particularly recommend his “Baron Bagge” and “Mars in Aries.” Claude Deveraux could fit right into Lernet-Holenia’s world, and his characters could fit into Claude’s. In fact, thinking of Balathazar and Farinelli, that marvelous pair who are not really a pair, and the crucial, almost eerie, role that the latter eventually plays in the course of things…
    Again, if I haven’t said it outright, your novels are works of the imagination of the top rank. They stay with the reader (or at least this reader) in a way that few books do. They’re nexcessarily very bracing, or bracing in part, but they also necessarily very sad.
    Best, Larry Kart

  12. turcopolier says:

    Larry Kart
    Thank you for this. I think this is valid criticism. The punctuation thing is something I have puzzled over and will correct in a second edition which seems likely. I am less certain as to what to do about the expository material in the second and third book. You are the first to mention this. Firstly, I am mindful of the need to make these books readable separately. Secondly, I am impressed with the lack of historical matter in people’s heads and the shortage of people with enough span of attention to hold this long story in their heads. Thirdly, many people seem to read these in short passages squeezed into a few moments here and there. Thanks again. pl

  13. I would like to see how I could grab your rss feed to stay updated of any changes on your website, but I cant find it, where is the link for it?

  14. turcopolier says:

    I don’t know. I just asked Typepad. pl

  15. . I think this is valid criticism. The punctuation thing is something I have puzzled over and will correct in a second edition which seems likely. I am less certain as to what to do about the expository material in the second and third book. You are the first to mention this. Firstly, I am mindful of the need to make these books readable separately. Secondly, I am impressed with the lack of historical matter in people’s heads and the shortage of people with enough span of attention to hold this long story in their heads. Thirdly, many people seem to read these in short passages squeezed into a few moments here and there.

  16. Al Spafford says:

    I just came across and article re Confederate spy Belle Boyd, who was captured by the Union on this date. Reports have it that she “beguiled” an Union officer to obtain advanced word on troop movements before the First Battle of Bull Run. In the North she became known as “La Belle Rebelle”.
    Col Land, a character to work into your future writings?

  17. turcopolier says:

    Al Spofford
    Ieveral have suggested her. it seems a bit like shootinh ducks n a barrel. BTW it is “Lang,” not “Land.” pl

  18. Al Spafford says:

    Hit the wrong key-that “D” is too close to the “G” for these old and stubby fingers! Lesson to proof read!

  19. Al Spafford says:

    And, lol, it is “Spafford” not “Spofford”–but that might have just been your intend. I accept the payback if so!

  20. turcopolier says:

    Al Spafford
    sorry. pl

  21. WP says:

    I have now finished reading all three books. While the reading alone was a great experience, over this summer, I drove the Shenandoah valley end to end several times and visited many of the other areas of the battles. My visits to these places increased my appreciation to Col. Lang’s work. It accurately captures the essence of the confict and spins a great story at the same time.
    Thank you for the great read!
    One question. Are there any remaining records of the CSA Signal Corp’s intelligence operations or any good histories of their activities? The books have whetted my curiosity for the subject.

  22. turcopolier says:

    The best thing on this is “Come Retribution” by William Tidwell et al. The Signal Corps of the Confederate Army
    and the civilian intelligence service run by the Confederate State Department were separate services. There seems to have been the usual competitiveness between these services. I tried to make that clear in the trilogy. The Confederates did their best to destroy their intelligence records at the end even as they surrendered a vast amoiunt of their other records. Samuel Cooper surrendered the records. He was Adjutant General of the CSA. Those records are now in the US National archives. Tidwell did a great job of piecing together what was left with an intelligence offcier’s sensibilities rather than those of a historian. General Cooper lived here in Alexandria both before and after the war. He lived on Quaker Lane. His great grandson, Samuel Cooper Dawson, who still lived at the same place, told me 25 years ago that at some point in the 20s or 30′ he watched his father (SC’s grandson) drag two large leather bound trunks out of an outbuilding and then burn the contents; papers and ledger books on a bonfire in the back garden of the house. Dawson asked what his father was doing. His father said that some things must never be known. IMO and that of Dawson, these were the essential records of the Confederate Army Signal Corps which Samuel Cooper had headed as Adjutant General among many other functions. IMO the essential truth of the Confederate Secret Services’ role in the death of Lincoln was too clear from those records for them to survive. IMO the Confederate effort to kill or capture Lincoln was a legitimate operation of war. He was the enemy commander in chief and acted as such. The evidence made clear recently by the Smithsonian Institution of Union attempts to kill Jefferson Davis is a reflection of the pressure that ultimately drove Richmond to act against Lincoln. pl

  23. Don says:

    “Strike the tent” would be an order to take down or disassemble the tent. It would seem that Lee was being metaphorical at the time, since he was about to die …

  24. It would seem that Lee was being metaphorical at the time, since he was about to die …

  25. turcopolier says:

    I think he was leaving on his last journey and ordered his camp “struck.” pl

  26. cb says:

    Is it odd that Paula Broadwell is only a major as a West Point grad with 22 years in uniform? I’d like to see her OERs.

  27. Fred says:

    Most of her time was not active duty.

  28. cloned_poster says:

    you want time travel

  29. Stuart R. Wood says:

    Col Lang,
    I would appreciate your views on the following article about Sherman’s March to the Sea which started 150 years ago this month.
    Stuart R. Wood

  30. turcopolier says:

    Stuart R. Wood
    I decline the opportunity to debate the rightness or wrongness of various peoples’ actions in the WBS. You are an anti-Southern bigot and it would be a waste of my time. I have deleted your longer diatribe as I do not wish to provide you a platform. pl

  31. Timothy B Horn says:

    Just bought the trilogy and started on The Butcher’s Cleaver. At 71 my memory isn’t what it used to be. And my familiarity with the East Coast is limited to Hunter Airfield, Ft. Stuart, & Ft. Jackson with a slight detour to SE Asia between 1969-1972. I’m trying to visually orient myself while reading. I’ve tried Virginia maps on Google which isn’t that helpful. I did find numerous Civil War maps especially at http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/gilmer/id/131/rec/1 which can be expanded. It’s typography is tough as it took a modern map to find Alexandria then back to the civl war map where Alexandria is kind of buried in the text and lines. But that should do until Mr. Alzheimers grabs me (my mother died of Alzheimers but my father is 99 and still going fairly strong.)
    So has anyone provided a simplied map of the action for your trilogy? Just thought I’d ask. Thanks for the fantastic website and wonderful commentary. It’s a daily must do. tbh

  32. turcopolier says:

    TBC was my first novel. Readers asked for maps and so there are maps in DPH and DTS. sorry. pl

  33. Marilyn says:

    Hello from Typepad

  34. Will says:

    Book No. 1 is still not in Kindle form and probably never will be. There are used copies of the book in paperback for about $8 or so. Typically $2 for the book and $5 for shipping. Wow, the book came out in 2007- how time flies!
    At the risk of my review being taken as criticism, I make these points about the trilogy. Organized well, with lots of foreshadowing, starts a certain way & ends the same way. A lot of forethought and planning went into the books. My favorite character is Johnny Quick, an Irishman loyal to his friends but not necessarily their cause.
    Reading spy material can be challenging b/c yo are trying to keep track of the same person in parallel lives. Good thing he wasn’t a double agent- that would have made it more difficult to keep track. The “glossary” of characters at the end is very helpful in keeping a huge list of characters straight.
    Good reading

  35. turcopolier says:

    Thanks for the review. Lots of characters. Yes. Life is like that. “War and Peace?” pl

  36. Emil Pulsifer says:

    …”preserved in amber”. Reminds me of Copeland’s Lincoln Portrait:
    The dogmas of the past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.
    . . . As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.

  37. cynic says:

    I wonder whether Claude Devereux is notionally a descendant of the Earls of Essex?

  38. turcopolier says:

    The Devereuxs of my acquaintance were very Catholic so I doubt the connection.
    If it is any consolation I am descended from the 3rd Earl of Salisbury. pl

  39. cynic says:

    Interesting, Colonel. Along with a martial disposition, did you perhaps inherit any of William Longsword’s estates, or his Arms; which according to Wiki, seem to have been an Azure field bearing six golden lions rampant?
    Would the US military have allowed you to bear them?

  40. turcopolier says:

    Sadly no on both counts. That line descends to me though several centuries of daughters, bastards and younger sons until the Puritan gentry got on the boats in the early 17th Century on their way to New England. The immigrant in that case was a minister, educated at Cambridge. pl

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