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Old 07-26-2013, 01:03 AM
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Default You military history buffs... I need some help

I see in another thread that there are some exceedingly knowledgeable people here. I'm trying to figure out an obscure person in history who's story was written up in Smithsonian magazine about 20(?) years ago. I remember the article well but can't place the person's name.

I think sometime after the American Civil War a guy came along that from his childhood, decided that he wanted to become a great general. He trained himself to weather all kinds of exposure and hardships and of course studied all the great generals and strategies in history. The odd thing about him (besides his ambitions) was that his head was placed off to one side, nearly over his shoulder by some form of scoliosis. He reached adulthood and married and decided that he was ready to lead, but he needed 1) a war and 2) people that would accept him as a leader. He wrote in his diary that all of his work was in vain unless he had a chance to prove himself in battle. At this time there was some rebellion in China and somehow he managed to convince the leaders of one of the factions that he was the man that would take their troops to victory. To make a long story short, he was preparing to lead the army when the opposing Chinese general made a forced march, caught him by surprise and routed him. I'm not sure where his story ends, but suffice to say he never became a great general.

Can anybody recall anything about this?
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:15 AM
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Homer Lea, I believe is who you're thinking of.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:20 AM
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General Tso ...
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:19 AM
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Homer Lea, I believe is who you're thinking of.
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Yup, Homer Lea. His deformity was due to a childhood injury that left him a hunchback.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:46 PM
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He was no chicken, that's fer sure.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:48 PM
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So RW, I'm not the only person here who has read (and presumably, also subscribed to) Smithsonian Magazine, eh?

I must have missed the issue that you're talking about, but I did read the magazine rather religiously during that period.

The current version is a sorry shadow of its former self, unfortunately.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:15 PM
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Default That's the one.......THANKS!

I thought you guys would come through. Thanks, that has been puzzling me for a long time. I've studied some military history and had this guy in the back of my mind, but it's puzzled me for years. I kept all my 'good' magazines for a long time but had to give them up.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:17 PM
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Default You gotta hand it to him.....

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He was no chicken, that's fer sure.
He certainly wasn't short on pluck and may have been pretty successful in a more accessible field than 'great general'.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:23 PM
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So RW, I'm not the only person here who has read (and presumably, also subscribed to) Smithsonian Magazine, eh?

I must have missed the issue that you're talking about, but I did read the magazine rather religiously during that period.

The current version is a sorry shadow of its former self, unfortunately.
Smithsonian WAS a great rag and you right, it is pathetic now. I liked what they were doing with 'Discover' magazine about that same time until I noticed that all of the covers started alternating every month between 'Dark Energy' and 'String theory'. It really got old after a while.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:40 PM
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Homer Lea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I read his book "The Valor of Ignorance" detailing an invasion of the US by Japan years back. Different.
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