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The major thread in this collection of short stories is the human struggle and will to survive under even the most adverse circumstances, whether those imposed by the harshness of nature or those visited upon us by the perfidious character of fellow men and women. When one engages in struggle it is not only the physical opposition but the companion emotional and psychological turmoil that afflict us. In either case it is conflict that ultimately determines and defines an individual's inner strength and ability to recognize, confront, and overcome one's own deficiencies and to face danger, injury, or even death with courage and dignity. Each of the stories contained in this collection portrays that courage and conflict as exemplified in different forms during three major historical periods and/or events: the exploration and settling of the western frontier, the Civil War, and finally World War II. Most stories are the invention of the author; however, several are based on seeds of truth per known experiences of individuals, obviously enhanced by authorial embellishment, while others have a foundation discovered among the skeletons of local legends.