At the conclusion of most conflicts, generals and politicians put pen to paper and often, in rather
immodest terms, describe their role in the struggle and how their individual contribution secured an
inevitable and glorious victory. Such versions of history by these “great men” are then viewed as some
of the most important personal contributions on the respective topics. This article is an attempt to bring
to the fore the experiences of but two men of much lesser importance. Through an analysis of some
surviving correspondence and reminiscences of relatives, the author hopes to show that the stories of the
ordinary are indeed the building blocks of greater works.