Southern soldiers served, died, and won Medals of Honor in numbers that appreciably exceeded Dixie’s share of the nation’s population. This chapter examines their motives for service, their wartime experiences, and their reflections on the war. This examination includes whites, blacks, Chicanos, men, and women. It also highlights the role of General William Westmoreland, the US commanding general from 1964 to 1968; the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore at the battle of Ia Drang; the experience of the Bardstown, Kentucky, National Guard unit, one of the very few units activated during the war; the experience of Lieutenant William Calley and Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, key participants during the My Lai Massacre; and the stories of two marines, Jim Webb and Gustav Hasford, both of whom wrote acclaimed novels based on their Vietnam service.
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