A Marine Called Gabe

The Life and Legend of John Archer Lejeune (luh jern)

Marine Called Gabe Cover“. . . The heavy rain continued to fall in the early morning darkness, splattering in muddy droplets mixed with falling leaves from small, rough oak-like trees and thick underbrush. He remembered rain like this around the Old Hickory Plantation back home. Very often, in fact. He recalled stories his father told him about Union soldiers marching into New Roads in Louisiana, in a blinding rainstorm like this, in January, 1865. He remembered his sister Augustine, riding horseback with him, going to church in the winter when the land was flooded; they would follow the top of the levee to the church some four miles away, and always, always, their mother was there to greet them. They knew that they had better be there. Sometimes, they would be required to ride across rain-infested, muddy soil to access the levee. No matter what, they had to complete their mission. He now lay on similar soft, soggy soil, being pelted by sweeps of wind-driven rain, shifting from a heavy downpour to soft droplets and back again to soaking downpours, thinking about those long ago events, told to him by his dad and his own ancient memories. Suddenly, Spanish voices, mixed with laughter, were heard in the distance, down the slope, to the rear of the sailors and Marines lying on the flooded ground. He froze, listening. The noise and voices were getting louder. They were coming toward him. In hushed, whispered relays, he signaled his men to be quiet and still. . . .”


These are the words from the historical novel “A Marine Called Gabe,” the life and legend of John Archer Lejeune, written by Major Ralph Stoney Bates Sr., USMC (Ret).


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