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Culture & Literature
MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

Autumn 2020

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History takes you on an exciting journey to the world's greatest battles and campaigns over the last 5,000 years, from ancient warfare through modern battles. Written by distinguished authors and historians who bring the world of history alive, the magazine covers in vivid detail the soldiers, leaders, tactics, and weapons throughout military history, and delivers it in an exquisitely illustrated, premium quality edition.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
HistoryNet
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
opening round

One day in the 1930s, as Wilbur C. Bedall wandered through the peach orchard on the farm that his father managed in Burkeville, Virginia, he happened on some old lead bullets from the Civil War. From then on he was hooked. Many afternoons Bedall would fill his pockets with so many lead bullets he’d found in the orchard that he’d have to hold up his pants with his hands as he headed home. Bedall soon expanded his territory by seeking permission to search private property, and for more than 60 years he kept hunting relics, continually honing his skills, reading histories, studying maps of Civil War battles, and carefully documenting every find. In the 1980s a friend showed Bedall how to use a metal detector, and his first discovery with it—a…

1 min.
flashback

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, MAY 1890 Hoisted in pieces and assembled atop a 40-foot pedestal, a 13-ton bronze statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee riding his horse is readied for its unveiling on May 29. TODAY: Virginia governor Ralph Northam announces plans to have the 21-foot statue removed from its pedestal and put in storage until a new home for it can be found. BATTLE OF THE TAGUS, SPAIN, 220 BCE Carthaginian general Hannibal leads his 25,000-man army to a resounding victory over a force of 100,000 Iberians from the Carpetani, Vettone, and Olcade tribes. TODAY: Archaeologists announce that they have found the long-elusive site of Hannibal’s first major victory on the banks of the Tagus River between Driebes and Illana. PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII, DECEMBER 7, 1941 The USS Nevada, the only battleship to get underway during the…

4 min.
offense and defense

Coca in the Cola In “Quench Warfare” [MHQ, Spring 2020], Peter Andreas writes that cocaine was removed from Coca-Cola in 1903 but then states that during World War II, “the company faced constant threats of shortages of both vanilla extract…and the coca leaf and cola nut extract referred to as Merchandise No. 5.” Is this an error, or was coca extract again added to Coca-Cola during the war? Thomas Beach Gaylord, Michigan FROM THE EDITOR No, Peter Andreas had it right. Coca-Cola removed cocaine from its product in 1903—11 years before the narcotic became illegal in the United States—and added more sugar and caffeine. In 1929, the New Jersey–based Maywood Chemical Company perfected a process for removing all psychoactive elements from coca leaf extract and named its new product Merchandise No. 5, which was then…

13 min.
a scot at cerro gordo

By the time George Ballentine, a handloom weaver and British Army veteran in Paisley, Scotland, decided to emigrate to the United States in the summer of 1845, his country had fallen on hard times. The widespread adoption of power looms throughout Great Britain had put his profession on the path to extinction, and, like many of his countrymen, Ballentine could earn only starvation wages. He hoped to find work as a weaver when he arrived in New York, but almost immediately he found his prospects there to be nearly as dismal. One day, on hearing that he could earn more than $100 a year as an American soldier (in addition to having his basic needs met), Ballentine walked into a U.S. Army recruiting office in lower Manhattan and offered to…

12 min.
the education of winfield scott

It was the sort of message no soldier ever wants to receive, particularly not an untried 26-year-old U.S. Army officer leading his men as they confronted a disciplined and heavily reinforced British opponent. On the afternoon of October 13, 1812, Lieutenant Colonel Winfield Scott opened the note from his commanding officer, Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer. “I have passed through my camp,” Van Rensselaer advised him. “Not a regiment, not a company is willing to join you. Save yourself by a retreat, if you can.” Just a few hours earlier Scott had crossed the 250-yard-wide Niagara River to take charge of a ragtag force of regulars and militia on the heights overlooking the Canadian hamlet of Queenston, Ontario. Shortly after he arrived, Scott realized that the British force spread out before…

10 min.
war and peaceniks

Noah Worcester In the spring of 1775, with the redcoats storming Boston, 16-year-old Noah Worcester joined his father’s company of New Hampshire militiamen on their trek south to team up with the patriot army assembling in nearby Cambridge. Weeks later, as the Siege of Boston continued, Worcester served as a fifer at the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he narrowly escaped capture by British forces, and went on to complete 11 months of service in the Revolutionary War. He rejoined the patriot army for a two-month stint as a fife major in the summer of 1777 and took part in the victory at the Battle of Bennington. Its deadly aftermath spurred him to embrace pacifism and, in the process, kindle the American peace movement. Worcester went on to become a liberal…