Get this from a library! My confession. [Samuel E Chamberlain]. , English, Book, Illustrated edition: My confession: recollections of a rogue / Samuel Chamberlain ; edited by William H. Goetzmann. Chamberlain, Samuel. My Confession book. Read 19 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Samuel Chamberlain's My Confession is a classic, ribald tale of ninet.
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Posts about My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue written by much of its materiality to Samuel Chamberlain's My Confession: The. Samuel Chamberlain is for the most part an obscure footnote in the history of the American West, but his story garnered some attention in the. A subreddit for the esoteric American author and playwright Cormac McCarthy, author of The Road, Blood Meridian, Suttree, and the Border Trilogy. I knew Glanton and Sam Chamberlain were real people, but other than that, I assumed McCarthy basically made everyone else up.
No descriptions found. Perhaps the best written account of a soldier's adventures and misadventures in the Mexican War and its aftermath, this unexpurgated edition is now available for the first time, complete with over of Chamberlain's wonderful textual illustrations reproduced in full color. If you enjoyed the Chamberlain paintings assembled in Sam Chamberlain's Mexican War:The San Jacinto Museum of History Paintings, you will be fascinated by the tale in My Confession that goes with it and beyond it into Chamberlain's adventures with the scalp-hunting Glanton Gang the story that Cormac McCarthy used as the basis for his celebrated novel Blood Meridian. My Confession is the story of Samuel Chamberlain, a Boston boy who hoped to be a theological student but could not control his amorous and pugilistic inclinations and so left for the West. According to his "Confession," he seduced countless women in the U.
And yet the narrative overall tends toward this buoyant, devil-may-care tone. And so I tend to attribute the tone — which seems weirder and weirder as the tale progresses and the events become distinctly less heroic and more upsetting — to the conventions of the genre Chamberlain imagined himself to be writing within.
Mercifully one night a mysterious lone rider, who has been following the train, cuts him down; a fellow known as Crying Tom Hitchcock, a truly intriguing character who speaks a mishmash of languages, mimics an array of animal calls and, as his nickname implies, frequently cries copious and unexplained tears. And so Sam deserts the army and follows Tom, who turns out to be a recruiter for John Glanton.
It is possible Chamberlain was called away from the task of writing his narrative by the Civil War. Given that he lived a relatively long life and never picked the task back up, I could also easily be persuaded that he abandoned the project out of disaffection. As the events become more dire and less heroic, the adventurous tone of the narrative attenuates and grows brittle.
Writing this narrative was an act of memory for Chamberlain. Remembering war exploits is one thing; war is violent and horrifying but it is also societally-sanctioned and there is a long history of literature valorizing appalling deeds, and the people who committed them, when done in the name of war.
Chamberlain gives a good portrait of what the war was like for an average foot soldier, both in the action and between. He writes about the landscape, the people they encounter, the daily activities of the soldiers, his escapades with women and, of course, his frequent fights.
So Glanton headed west. As he begins to travel with the gang, he notices that Glanton frequently wanders out of camp at night and returns in the morning with scalps. Around this time, Glanton signed a deal with the governor of Sonora in Mexico working for his old enemy to help fight the Apaches.
But they soon realized that all scalps looked basically the same, so any scalp could fetch the bounty.
The incentive to genocide became incentive to indiscriminate murder. He writes with a colorful, melodramatic tone, maybe drawing on the tradition of historical romances of the frontier. Urrea- the man who would eventually employ Glanton as a scalp hunter. During the Range Wars, Glanton took no side but simply assassinated individuals who had crossed him.
He was banished, to no avail, by Gen. Sam Houston and fought as a "free Ranger" in the war against Mexico. Local rumor had it that Glanton always "raised the hair" of the Indians he killed and that he had a "mule load of these barbarous trophies, smoke-dried" in his hut even before he turned professional.
When Chamberlain first encountered "Crying Tom" Hitchcock one of Glanton's scalp hunters near Tucson, the former supposedly had been tied up in the sun as punishment by a commanding officer for defying orders and sketching the Mission of San Xavier del Bac.
Hitchcock cut him down and for his efforts was similarly punished.
The pair set off towards Frontreras, and on the way Chamberlain got his first taste of his new life. They encountered an Apache war party which began to charge; according to Chamberlain he "drew a bead on a big chap and fired. Apparently, Chamberlain's shot had also dispersed the rest of the party since he makes no other mention of them; at any rate the pair soon reached the rest of the hunting party.
Judge Holden Glanton's gang consisted of "Sonorans, Cherokee and Delaware Indians, French Canadians, Texans, Irishmen, a Negro and a full-blooded Comanche," and when Chamberlain joined them they had gathered thirty-seven scalps and considerable losses from two recent raids Chamberlain implies that they had just begun their careers as scalp hunters but other sources suggest that they had been engaged in the trade for sometime- regardless there is little specific documentation of their prior activities.
Second in command to Glanton was a Texan- Judge Holden.
In describing him, Chamberlain claimed, "a cooler blooded villain never went unhung;" Holden was well over six feet, "had a fleshy frame, [and] a dull tallow colored face destitute of hair and all expression" and was well educated in geology and mineralogy, fluent in native dialects, a good musician, and "plum centre" with a firearm.
Chamberlain saw him also as a coward who would avoid equal combat if possible but would not hesitate to kill Indians or Mexicans if he had the advantage. Rumors also abounded about atrocities committed in Texas and the Cherokee nation by him under a different name.
Before the gang left Frontreras, Chamberlain claims that a ten year old girl was found "foully violated and murdered" with "the mark of a large hand on her throat," but no one ever directly accused Holden.
Indian Warfare The day after Chamberlain arrived, Glanton and several others left Frontreras to cash in the scalps; on the way they encountered a camp of Sonorans. The desperadoes disguised themselves as Apaches and raided the camp for supplies.
Three Mexicans were killed and scalped to be redeemed by their government ; five women were "collected"- three of whom were scalped for the same purpose because they were old and ugly.