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Welcome to

John R Scales

Author | Traveler | Military

Welcome to my Web page. The first thing you should notice is books—I’m an author. I’ve done a few other things, too: military, teaching, engineering, and traveling. They say I can’t keep a job! Please page your way through the site. I hope you enjoy it, and, who knows, maybe you’ll buy a book!

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General Forrest At War

Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the most intriguing characters to emerge during the American Civil War. There have been numerous books and articles concerning General Forrest, with themes ranging from hero worship based on his extraordinary successes to condemnation based on his association with Fort Pillow and the Ku Klux Klan. Rather than attempting to add to the list of biographies, this book is a narrative of the campaigns and battles. Someone desiring to follow the path General Forrest followed during the war and understand his actions will be able to do so. At the end of each chapter, I review the campaign just outlined an attempt to gauge how Forrest grew in ability and potential as a result of it. The book covers his entire Civil War career in almost 500 pages, with 109 maps.

Buy it on:  Amazon

'A Reluctant Hero's Footsteps'

In 2011 by chance I discovered the after action reports of the 329th Infantry Regiment, my father’s wartime unit, on the internet. An idea was born: use these to reconstruct my father’s path in World War II. I would take my three children, Richard, Mary, and Stephen, on a trip to retrace those footsteps. This book is about our travels, but it is much more. It documents the life of a man and his family, the history of a unit, and how we were able to piece together the story. In fitting all the records together with the trip itself, I discovered my father in new ways and built a memory for my children.

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'Sherman Invades Georgia'

The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 was one of the most important and interesting campaigns of the Civil War. At its beginning, the Confederate army in the West--the Army of Tennessee--was strong and capable even though outnumbered locally. By the end of the campaign, the Union army had occupied northern Georgia and Atlanta, the rail hub of the Confederacy. This book illustrates the choices General Sherman faced when he planned the campaign. A real difference between this book and most similar books is its concentration on campaign planning rather than on one or more battles. In military terms, the book concerns the "operational" level of war.

Buy it on:  Amazon