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From Belmont to Bagdad

Posted Friday, November 11, 2011, at 10:08 PM

For many years I have held the service of my great-grandfather, Pierre Ernest Alcide Roussel-Dupre, during our Civil War, under the command of General McClernand and General Grant in something approaching familial awe.

In November of 1861, he rode into action with an Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, under McClernand, at Belmont, Missouri, just a "few" miles east, over in Mississippi County, Missouri. A small hamlet, directly across the River from one of the largest Confederate concentrations of artillery of the War, was Grant's opportunity to exercise his command and further the progress of the Mississippi campaign. He darned near got his arse handed to him by the Rebs!!!!!

To wit, G-G-pa was wounded while arresting a Confederate prisoner, and spent the next year recovering from his injuries. Granted that he had not been in this country a bare seven years, having emigrated from the French West Indies island of Guadeloupe, where he was born in 1846.

He "re-upped" as a saddler at Camp Cairo in 1863, and was mustered out in New Orleans in June of 1865, bountied out at $200, and come back north to southeast Missouri.

Fast Forward, to February, 1942, my Dad was drafted and enlisted in the United States Army, and went to Basic at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and completing training at the heavy equipment school in Peoria, Illinois at the Caterpiller Co. as a Combat Engineer/Operator/Driver, serving through Europe,the Rhineland Campaign, the "Bulge" driving relief to Bastogne following Patton's tanks, crossing the Rhine, and coming home in October, 1945 to a relieved Mom and Dad, and family in Bernie......

Fast Forward, once more, to the modern era, Iraqi Freedom, and the follow-on actions, my brother's oldest son, Robbie, was in action as a Combat Medic, 1st Armor Div. in Baghdad, Iraq, for two tours, serving his unit, not losing a single buddy, and returning home to a grateful family in Arizona...

There can be no greater honor than that of serving one's Nation, there can be no greater debt owed by that Nation than that due our Veterans, of whatever era, of whatever service, of whatever origin, and we, every one of us, must commit our faith and true allegiance to that Nation for which these few, and these many, have committed their lives to the preservation of that Nation, and to the preservation of that Union to which so much has been offered and spent, and for which that Ultimate Offering has been placed into the moments of history which we celebrate and prayerfully give thanks for on this day.....molater, kkr



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Gravel Pit Bytes and Other Bits
Kenneth Roussel
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Graduated Dexter High, Class of 1965, grew up in southeast Missouri, born in Cape, lived in Bernie through sophomore year of school, acquired a taste for BBQ, skiing on the lake, and living in the real world, and have grown to love my corner of the world. Attended SEMO State, participated in caving, conservation activities, while studying agriculture and political science at Cape State......married twice, three grandchildren, and retired after 20+ years in Quality Assurance in aerospace electronics, tactical weapons quality systems, and national security electronics systems, weapons, surveillance, satellite systems and correlated products. Hobbies include, caving, archaeology, paleontology, birding, water skiing, squirrel hunting, duck calling, and general raising of consciousness, politically, Goldwater Republican/moderate, spiritually centered, and liable to tweak a few ears at one time or another, further deponent saith not!!! I choose to blog on such subjects as current media, current events, times we've seen, places we've been, and why we are the way we are now.....