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Friday, July 9, 2010

Guest Blogger: Victoria Gray

Calling the Cavalry!

Call in the cavalry! My new release, Destiny, features a cavalry officer tasked with a most unusual mission. When I plotted the story, I needed a hero capable of undertaking an unorthodox assignment – he had to be able to think on his feet, possess reconnaissance ability, know his way around a variety of weapons, and he had to be a skilled horseman. It seemed only natural to make my hero a cavalry officer.

A common image of nineteenth century warfare is that of soldiers charging into war on horseback, hooves pounding, sabers at the ready. This is the legacy of the cavalry. The U.S. Cavalry was a branch of Army service known for their skill as horsemen and soldiers. Cavalry soldiers played many important roles in warfare throughout this country’s history. During the Civil War, cavalry officers on both sides of the conflict assumed key roles on and off the battlefield.

In earlier conflicts, cavalry soldiers were used for offensive actions. Massive cavalry charges were used to overwhelm infantry formations. As weapons became more accurate at longer ranges, the effectiveness of cavalry charges diminished. A horse and rider were easy targets for rifles accurate to 300 yards or more. The cavalry’s role in offensive actions shifted from cavalry against infantry offenses to the type of cavalry against cavalry action seen during the first Battle of Bull Run.

Cavalry soldiers were often tasked with defensive actions to delay offensive attacks and to carry out long-distance raids. Famed Confederate cavalry officer J. E .B. Stuart’s raids against the Union Army of the Potomac in 1862 during the Peninsula Campaign and the Maryland Campaign brought him renown in the South, while Union General Benjamin Grierson’s long-range raid in Mississippi offered strategic support to Grant’s army in Vicksburg.

During the Civil War, cavalry soldiers assumed a key role in reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance. With their mobility and speed, the cavalry served as the eyes and ears of Union and Confederate generals. They were also utilized to raid enemy lines of communication, supply storehouses, railroads, and to conduct guerilla warfare.

Destiny’s hero, Major Jack Travis, is a cavalry officer tasked with an extremely unusual mission: protect the runaway daughter of a Northern senator by beating her would-be abductors to the punch. Jack Travis is an expert horseman, a crack shot, and an experienced raider who’s none too happy about his new roles: captor and bodyguard. He should be in the field, not stealing a runaway bride from a train to keep her out of the hands of her father’s enemies. The by-the-book officer finds his captive is anything but the plain, mousy woman he’d been told to expect. Emma Davenport is beautiful, intelligent, feisty – and forbidden. He’ll risk his neck to protect her, but how can he protect her from himself?

The real-life soldiers of the United States Cavalry were my inspiration for Destinys hero and his partner, Steve Dunham – who finds his own heart on the line in the sequel to Destiny, Angel in My Arms, due to be released in November by The Wild Rose Press. Cavalry officers fought valiantly, provided crucial intelligence, and were often viewed as a first line of defense against opposing forces…all of this, while exposed to enemy fire on horseback. These brave men were real American heroes, regardless of whether they wore blue or gray.

www.victoriagrayromance.com

19 comments:

  1. Victoria, Thanks so much for sharing all this great information on the cavalry. Your hero sounds fascinating.

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  2. Oh, I love this era! This story sounds very intriguing, too. Great information!

    ~Phyllis~

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  3. Victoria, we're so glad to have you here today. I loved all the information about calvary officers. And your story sounds delightful.

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  4. Very interesting! I can't wait to read both of your books.

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  5. Thanks for stopping by with us Victoria, I love the era and the book sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it! My husband is a retired calvary officer and the men of today's calvary have the same wonderful ideals as they did then. They may not ride in on horses anymore but they're definitely still heroic. Excellent post, loved it!

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  6. Cavalry officers are often pictured as dashing soldiers - and they were (and still am). Melissa made an excellent point - the cavalry today is still filled with men of honor and ideals!

    I love the Civil War era in history - the men and women of that time were truly dedicated to their ideals. I also love American-set historical romances of all eras. I devoured Julie Garwood's "For the Roses" and Jude Devereaux's Montgomery series.

    Thanks for having me : )

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful book. I wish more was out there about American history. I think the strenght and ingenuity of our ancestors makes for wonderful reading.

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  8. Victoria,

    You're story sounds wonderful. I really like the premise a lot. I haven't read anything set during the Civil War for a while now, and this definitely catches my interest.

    Thanks for being a guest on Lady Scribes. :)

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  9. Victoria, your books sound wonderful. Best of luck with the GH.

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  10. Great post, Victoria! I love Civil War romances!! Wish you all the best with both of your books!

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  11. Thanks, everyone. I've learned so much about the Civil War since I started researching Destiny and its sequels. There was so much more involved than "blue vs. gray".

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  12. Victoria
    this book sounds very interesting. I can't wait to read it.

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  13. Victoria, thanks for stopping by with us, and I'm sorry I'm so late to comment. I LOVE reading anything set in the Civil War. It's such a fascinating part of our history, and there are so many things involved outside of simply North vs. South, slave vs. free. It's a truly intriguing era, filled with conflict. I have to admit, I don't know all that much about the American cavalry, but I have been recently researching the British cavalry for an upcoming project. Very intriguing!

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  14. Victoria, it's so great to have you with us today! Thank you for sharing all this great info! I love the Civil War era and there just aren't enough stories set in that time period, so I'm excited to hear about your book. I really look forward to reading it!

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  15. Thanks, I agree about the dearth of stories set during the Civil War. I hoping that era comes back into vogue soon. Hope you enjoy the story!

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  16. Hi Victoria. My Wolverines tangled lots with JEB Stuart and then with Mosby's Rangers. Love that there are more writers out there like me that love the Civil War cavalry :)

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  17. This sounds very interesting, I can't wait to pick it up!

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  18. I love the Civil War era from a romance point of view. Men in those days had such a strong sense of honor. Of course, our fighting men now still have this sense of honor.

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  19. Coffee and a Book Chick-
    Love the Name! Thanks for the kind words :) Hope you enjoy the story.

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