...a fresh story [that makes] you care about the people involved. Sort of a "Band of Brothers" circa 1900.-Robert Fulton, Author of Moroland
1999, the 100th anniversary of the VFW, was the year I first took an interest in the Philippine-American War. On the cover of the February issue of the Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine that year was a remarkable painting of the conflict in the Philippines and inside were several articles which discussed the 100-year connection between this little-known piece of American history and the creation of the VFW.
My intrigue was piqued again in 2002 when Richard Kolb, editor of VFW magazine, published "Blaze in the Boondocks," featuring more on the Philippine War and the 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry. I was amazed to learn that ten of these soldiers received the Medal of Honor, our nation's highest award for valor, in this conflict. My personal connection to North Dakota led me on a search to discover more about these men and their role in this all-but-forgotten war.
For the next ten years, I sifted through articles, photographs, and historical documents, compiling research for this book. Along the way, I made connections with other historians, researchers, and archivists, without whose help I would not have been able to tell this story properly.
Never Subdued tells the story of a pivotal point in American history, a fact-based and documented account of the brave North Dakotan soldiers who embarked on a turbulent adventure at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century in Asia. More than just an academic account, though, the book conveys the passionate love stories, political intrigue, violent murders, and dramatic battle scenes that occurred during this three and a half year period.- author Franklin Hook
Captain James Franklin Bell
"I'm told we have trouble," said Bell somewhat out of breath.
"Yes sir," Galt replied pointing to the flood waters easily visible from their position, but not well seen by the rest of the troops. Colonel Bell took a long time looking from the approaching flood to the raging river in front of them.
"Who is the best swimmer of the Scouts?" Bell asked Artificer, soon-to-be Sergeant Galt.
"I'm as good as any, better than most, sir," Archie replied.
"I need a good swimming volunteer to get a guide rope to the other side."
"I'll do it," said Archie.
"It's dangerous, son, you'll be under fire and that water is treacherous!"
"I'm your man, Colonel," Archie said, not as confident as he sounded. The other Scouts started to arrive. The first to carry a coil of rope was Mike Glassley.
"How far across do you think that river is?" Colonel Bell asked him.
"From that tree near the bank, at least 100 yards, may be more," replied Mike.
"Those are 100 foot coils, are they not?" asked Bell.
"Yes, Sir," replied Mike.
"Do we have enough?"
"Each platoon has three," answered Glassley.
"Good. We have enough. Get half a dozen coils over here and anchor the tether at that tree you pointed out. Feed Artificer Galt additional rope as he needs it but don't add to the weight he has to pull until the last minute as the rope plays out."
"The rest of you sharpshooters get in a good shooting position and give Galt some cover. You know what to do!" ordered Bell.
"Archie," Bell addressed Galt by his common name, which surprised the young soldier, "when you get to the other side, just find a good tree and tie a good knot. We have the muscle to stretch it taught on this side. You'll be tired so don't waste your strength. As soon as you catch your breath give us a signal and then find someplace where you can hide. You won't have a weapon until we can get one to you."
"Yes, Sir," Galt said with some trepidation.