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Book Talk with Adolfo Ovies–The Boy Generals: George Custer, Wesley Merritt, and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac

August 26, 2021 @ 6:30 pm 7:30 pm

Custer was a hussar—a firm believer in the shock power of the mounted saber charge—while Wesley Merritt his immediate superior was a dragoon, with a belief that troopers should fight dismounted with their carbines. Discover how the diametrically opposed styles of these two men led to a steadily deteriorating relationship that affected events in the field.

Adolfo Ovies migrated to the United States from Cuba in June of 1960, making his new home with his grandmother in Connecticut. He was immersed in the New England Yankee culture and flourished as a young historian while attending Fairfield Jesuit Prep School. With Gettysburg just a hop, skip and jump away, Adolfo, at just 10 years old, made his first trip to the battlefield. It turned out to be one of the most impactful moments of his young life. Adolfo was particularly struck by the series of photographs of a dead Confederate sharpshooter lying behind his stone wall, in William Frassanito’s book, Gettysburg: A Journey in Time. It was in the middle of his first tour that Adolfo came upon the same stone wall. He felt the spirit of that Confederate sharpshooter like nothing he had ever felt before. The American Civil War bug had bitten him deeply. The roguish Errol Flynn’s mesmerizing portrayal of Custer in the movie, They Died with Their Boots On, not only captured the elusive nature of Custer’s flamboyant personality but provided Adolfo with an intriguing hero. In spite of the historical inaccuracies in the movie, Flynn’s larger than life characterization merited a more in-depth study of this young general. Adolfo’s book, The Boy Generals: George Custer, Wesley Merritt and the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, springs from his life-time passion for the Civil War, and Custer’s role in particular. Adolfo currently resides in Miami, Florida.