Fantasy Subgenres Definitions and Examples - All Whether set on our familiar Earth past or presentor in a vast parallel world, or some dreamlike realm where everything is different, fantasy tales allow our imaginations free rein. Even so its relationships, and use of magic, must be internally consistent.
A good example of that simple truth was that survival hinged more on the vagaries of chance than on the pre-planned design of some unseen God that had an end-game in mind when he started the whole human experiment. Witnessing the sprinkling of brain Weaknesses of subway thrown out in every direction, including right on my spotlessly clean tunic, from the young lad beside me was enough to convince me that fate was indeed a fickle finger and you never knew when your number was up.
I didn't have time to even reflect on the accuracy of some distant Confederate sniper and my good fortune to be standing one meter to his side. It was unfortunate that we did not have many sharpshooters in our units, but that was the result of recruiting young men from the streets of the large cities rather than scouring the countryside for rifle qualified marksmen.
I didn't consider it a huge error in judgement because in this war, as in other wars, where I had seen combat up close and personal, the name of the game was "firepower" and the ability to concentrate forces at the enemy's weakest point for a sure victory. The thing that bothered me was the fact that my side, the Union forces, were inclined to be much too cautious in their tactical movements.
It was completely the opposite of their strategic brilliance in planning the complete destruction of the Confederate side's ability to function either as a fighting force of Weaknesses of subway merit or as a governing power in their own territory of seceding States.
I had the advantage of knowing their weaknesses including their inability to even feed their own civilian populace without assistance from European powers. Their labor force was depleted by the defection of the Weaknesses of subway to the north and the conscription of males into the armies under command of General Lee.
Of course, Lee was a product of West Point as well as most of the Union Generals but the south had no true industrial base to call upon to re-supply their troops with the instruments of way leading them to depend on other countries to come to their logistical aid.
This movement into Chattanooga was a perfect example of the strategic superiority of the North's planning circles because it opened up the entrance into Georgia and the spoils of Atlanta.
They had the perfect commanding officer for the job in General Sherman who was not afraid to be as loathsome and crude to the civilians as well as the uniformed fighters for the south on the field of battle. I knew enough about General Grant and General Sherman to understand they were different personalities and had their individual flaw and special skills.
The true test of this struggle was how long the civilian populace could withstand the rigors of constant danger and loss of friends and neighbors and the slow destruction of their way of life. The fight was more about the incompatibility of two different cultures more than the concept of "States Rights" or the "freeing of the slaves".
The new arrivals in New York Harbor of immigrants from Europe swelled the ranks of the Union Army and they also had the advantage of pushing the escaped Negros into military service to provide additional logistical and field support assets needed by large armies in the midst of battle.
My low rank precluded me from making too many intuitive suggestions to the lower ranking officers in charge but I did do it in the manner of commenting and "thinking out loud" that was merely taken by those officers around me as their original thoughts not really knowing where the thought had actually come from.
It was a strange quirk of human nature to do so and I took full advantage of it not wanting to stand out as an odd enlisted man who knew more than he should have known.
My company loaded up on some doubtful looking barges on the wide river and we headed down into enemy territory shortly after the battle at Chickamauga was concluded.
It was put down as a Confederate victory but the victory was bittersweet for they had lost far too many young men that could not be replaced as easily as the Union low ranking members.
In fact, it was starting to look like the Johnny Rebs were overstocked with officers ready to give orders and relatively few enlisted men to carry them out.
I knew that was a recipe for defeat and it was only a matter of time before the Confederate High Command and President Jefferson Davis saw the handwriting on the wall. When our barge started to settle lower into the water, we were pulled into shallow water so the horses could jump into the sandy bottomed water and we made it to solid ground by the grace of God.
The other dozen or so barges continued their movement south and I didn't blame them at all because this area was just swarming with Confederate sympathizers ready to string any Yankee up on the nearest tree if they were able to overwhelm him and disarm him without too much difficulty.
It was unlikely we would face such a problem because we numbered more than sixty field experienced fighters and our horses gave us mobility that the foot-soldiers did not have. All we had to do was find plenty of grain and water for our horses and our transportation problems were non-existent.
The Captain had an ink map that was probably traced from an original and I looked over his shoulder reading the supposed Rebel positions showing that we were almost completely surrounded on every side.
If we had been able to stay with the river barges we could have bypassed the blocking force in front of us and been safely on our way to link up with our southern units sweeping up to link with us in splitting the Confederacy in two.
I recognized Lookout Mountain and remembered that a battle took place there right about this time that resulted in a Union victory that forced the Rebels to move quickly south to avoid being surrounded and captured by the Union forces.
Of course, the Captain had no way to communicate and had virtually no intelligence to warn him of dangers and opportunities so I took it upon myself to point out that the area next to Lookout Mountain seemed advantageous to our linking up with our forces from the south.
Our commanding officer looked at the map and saw the wisdom of that cautious move and sent word to his officers to "mount up and move out". It looked like we were heading south again and this time wouldn't stop until we were linked up in Union territory once more.
We struck out in two columns leap-frogging to prevent being ambushed by the enemy around us. Several times an errant round would come whizzing past our heads but the civilian populace was wise enough to keep far away from a full company of mounted Yankees.
The Captain had given orders we should not fire back unless absolutely necessary. It was not because he wanted to avoid civilian casualties but because most of our spare ammunition had gone down with the barge into the murky waters of the rain-swollen river. I was fortunate to have a large amount of extra rounds secreted on my person so did not have that problem but some of the other troops only had the rounds in their carbine and about ten to twenty spares in their ammo case.
That certainly reduced our "firepower" superiority in a face-to-face confrontation and we were conscious of the need to make every bullet count.
I was sent by the sergeant major to make a flanking sweep on the river side of the column to make certain we were not riding into a trap. It was unlikely that we would be hit on the inland side because there were far too many open fields producing food for the enemy and sturdy fences to keep in the animals that one found on every farm.
I didn't see a single horse but that was because horses were at a premium and they were already conscripted for military duty by the Confederate forces fighting in different places.
There were a chattering group of small children sitting on a rock wall pretending to throw small rocks at us as we passed but they were doing it half-heartedly because they were all excited to see the soldiers on the war-horses and the sight of the familiar American flags reminded them that they were still part of a country that existed before the final step of secession and the initial victory at Bull Run that gave the south such hope.
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Fantasy Subgenres (Definitions and Examples - All) Whether set on our familiar Earth (past or present), or in a vast parallel world, or some dreamlike realm where everything is different, fantasy tales allow our imaginations free rein.
Even so its relationships, and use of magic, must be internally consistent.
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