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Re: McClernand as a strategician

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  • William H Keene
    ... to ... if ... And I disagree with both your view of his mission and the threat posed by Arkansas Post. ... At the time, both shores of the Arkansas river
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 23, 2004
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose" <josepharose@y...>
      wrote:
      > ...
      > I think that McClernand's mission was set in broad enough terms
      > where he could ascend the tributaries of the Mississippi in order
      to
      > clear out the fort, and sink the ram, and disperse the CSA forces
      if
      > possible, all of which it would be foolish to leave behind the
      > expedition.

      And I disagree with both your view of his mission and the threat
      posed by Arkansas Post.


      > His expedition down the river was splitting the two departments. I
      > daresay he could have landed on either shore in the proper
      > performance of his duties.

      At the time, both shores of the Arkansas river where in Curtis's
      Department.


      > > This makes going after Little Rock a problem.
      >
      > In hindsight it certainly wouldn't have been a problem, as Grant
      > wasted months with no accomplishment.

      You are missing the point -- it wasn't the accomplishment that is at
      issue; it is the way the movement fits into the mission from HQ, the
      chain of command and structural arrangements of the army.


      > Grant, Porter, and Sherman never claimed, AKAIK, that it was "out
      of
      > Grant's Department."

      During the first week of Janaury 1863, was Arkansas part of Grant's
      department? I don't think it was.


      > ... The Mississippi is also more than a river; it
      > is a river system. Just as operations on the Yazoo or Lake
      > Providence worked toward a greater end, clearing out the Arkansas
      > would pay several important dividends; restoring the defeated
      troops
      > morale was just one of them.

      Both the Lake Providence and Yazoo operations were designed to
      advance toward the goal of capturing Vicksburg and/or opening
      navigation to the lower Mississippi. These objectives were what
      McClernand had been assigned to achieve. Clearing out the Arkansas
      did neither of these things.


      > > > Grant's behavior should be unseemly in anyone's eyes.
      > >
      > > You have yet to make a case that supports that conclusion.
      > > McClernand is the one misleading his superior officer yet you're
      > hung
      > > up about Grant.
      >
      > McC did not mislead Grant on this.

      He definitely did. I earlier referred to the discrepencey in his
      correspondence to Grant and Gorman on January 10 and in his
      correspondence to Grant and Curtis on January 8. He was misleading
      Grant about his intentions in operating in Arkansas.


      > ... Grant lied about McC's doings at
      > Post of Arkansas ...

      Again you make this accusation but have yet to substantiate it.


      > ... received Halleck's authority to replace him, and
      > then removed the president's hand-picked leader of the expedition
      > under these false pretences.

      What false pretences?


      > > > … He lied about
      > > > McClernand and then got and used permission to remove him as
      > > > commander of the expedition
      > >
      > > I have asked this several times: what lie are you referring to?
      > Thus
      > > far you have not showed where there was a lie by Grant.
      >
      > Attacking an enemy outpost a short distance up a tributary of a
      > river which an army wants to control is *not* a wild-goose chase.

      That may be your opinion. But I feel quite the opposite, as did Grant
      at the time, though he changed his tune after the fact. So was there
      a lie? Doesn't look like it.


      > If Grant had the integrity, he would have admitted that he was
      wrong
      > for rushing Sherman down the river with McC's expedition with such
      > tragic results.

      It was Halleck who set the time table. Why would Grant be wrong for
      following orders?


      > Do show me any evidence of Lincoln's changed feelings at the time.

      1. Halleck's message to Grant authorizing him to remove McClernand --
      do you think this would have gone out without Lincoln's knowledge?
      2. Lincoln's reaction to the situation.


      > > > I like McC's comment that people like Grant were more chagrined
      > at
      > > > McC's success than the CSA was by their loss.
      > >
      > > Of course you would. Seems like a boneheaded comment to me.
      >
      > It seems perfectly true. As Grant later did re: Lookout Mountain,
      > he deprecated the successes of generals he didn't like, instead of
      > having the integrity to offer his compliments and gratitude.

      Seems to me like wild theories that are not based in evidence.


      > Two points:
      >
      > Grant played favorites and held grudges far more than the average
      > commander on either side. It's patently obvious.

      This is not patently obvious at all.


      > I don't think that there is much evidence that Grant *really*
      > thought that McC was incompetent.

      And I think it is obvious that he really did. Grant several times
      stated that he did not find Mcclernand to be compentent.


      > ... He stated so in deprecation, but
      > he had seen McC on the field at Belmont and Shiloh (although Grant
      > didn't arrive in time to see him fight at Fort D).

      I see no reason why these battles would give Grant a postive
      perspective on McClernand. McClernand did a mediocre job at Belmont,
      a poor job at Fort D and was so-so at Shiloh.


      > ... He let McC cross
      > the river first, while Sherman demonstrated (hardly someting you
      > would do even if the troops' dispositions made it the obvious move,
      > if you really believed the leader is incompetent)

      I disagree with your conclusions. The reasons Dana gave for why Grant
      allowed McClernad to go first are quite logical. Its funny how you
      claim that Grant played politics with command, yet when it comes to
      what is to me the clearest example of him doing so you seem blind to
      it.

      > ... and he didn't even
      > station himself near McC at Champion's Hill or during the attacks
      at
      > Vicksburg. Did Grant really think McC was incompetent, but thought
      > that it was better for him to fight unwatched, with Grant posting
      > himself instead with the two commanders whom he supposedly trusted?

      Sure. Grant seemed to want to stay where he thought the action would
      be.

      -Will
    • William H Keene
      ... to ... if ... You wrote sink the ram . What ram? ... Volume ... And just how did a shore based detchament capture a boat on the river? ... And is every
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 24, 2004
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        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose" <josepharose@y...>
        wrote:
        > ...
        > I think that McClernand's mission was set in broad enough terms
        > where he could ascend the tributaries of the Mississippi in order
        to
        > clear out the fort, and sink the ram, and disperse the CSA forces
        if
        > possible, all of which it would be foolish to leave behind the
        > expedition.

        You wrote "sink the ram". What ram?


        > But Hurlbut was guessing. You haven't provided any quotes from
        > Porter, and all the other references to the Blue Wing in that
        Volume
        > refer to its capture as opposed to any perfidy as the cause.

        And just how did a shore based detchament capture a boat on the
        river?

        > Historians whom I've read don't mention disloyalty either, IIRC,

        And is every historian you read is right about everything?


        > after the war, this would be much easier to ascertain.

        How so?
      • josepharose
        ... ... Mr. Keene: I will answer these questions for you and provide my last comments, but I don t think that there is much need to continue
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 24, 2004
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          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
          <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose"
          <josepharose@y...>
          > wrote:


          Mr. Keene:

          I will answer these questions for you and provide my last comments,
          but I don't think that there is much need to continue this
          discussion as our perspectives and reasoning are diametrically
          opposed.

          > > ...
          > > I think that McClernand's mission was set in broad enough terms
          > > where he could ascend the tributaries of the Mississippi in
          order
          > to
          > > clear out the fort, and sink the ram, and disperse the CSA
          forces
          > if
          > > possible, all of which it would be foolish to leave behind the
          > > expedition.
          >
          > And I disagree with both your view of his mission and the threat
          > posed by Arkansas Post.

          You also seem to disagree with most of the major actors and
          historians.

          > > His expedition down the river was splitting the two
          departments. I
          > > daresay he could have landed on either shore in the proper
          > > performance of his duties.
          >
          > At the time, both shores of the Arkansas river where in Curtis's
          > Department.

          Both shores of the the *Mississippi* River . . .

          > > > This makes going after Little Rock a problem.
          > >
          > > In hindsight it certainly wouldn't have been a problem, as Grant
          > > wasted months with no accomplishment.
          >
          > You are missing the point -- it wasn't the accomplishment that is
          at
          > issue; it is the way the movement fits into the mission from HQ,
          the
          > chain of command and structural arrangements of the army.

          It defended the supply route and raised troop morale at a time when
          no movement on Vicksburg would provide likely results.

          > > Grant, Porter, and Sherman never claimed, AKAIK, that it
          was "out
          > of
          > > Grant's Department."
          >
          > During the first week of Janaury 1863, was Arkansas part of
          Grant's
          > department? I don't think it was.

          But this argument was not used by them against the movement.

          > > ... The Mississippi is also more than a river; it
          > > is a river system. Just as operations on the Yazoo or Lake
          > > Providence worked toward a greater end, clearing out the
          Arkansas
          > > would pay several important dividends; restoring the defeated
          > troops
          > > morale was just one of them.
          >
          > Both the Lake Providence and Yazoo operations were designed to
          > advance toward the goal of capturing Vicksburg and/or opening
          > navigation to the lower Mississippi. These objectives were what
          > McClernand had been assigned to achieve. Clearing out the
          Arkansas
          > did neither of these things.

          Clearing out Ark Post certainly did.

          > > > > Grant's behavior should be unseemly in anyone's eyes.
          > > >
          > > > You have yet to make a case that supports that conclusion.
          > > > McClernand is the one misleading his superior officer yet
          you're
          > > hung
          > > > up about Grant.
          > >
          > > McC did not mislead Grant on this.
          >
          > He definitely did. I earlier referred to the discrepencey in his
          > correspondence to Grant and Gorman on January 10 and in his
          > correspondence to Grant and Curtis on January 8. He was
          misleading
          > Grant about his intentions in operating in Arkansas.

          I thought that you had written that McC had failed to enlighten
          Grant. That would not be misleading. Also, if that is the case,
          remember that McC had command of an expedition, and not every such
          commander was mandated to keep superiors notified of every move at
          the earliest possible moment.

          > > ... Grant lied about McC's doings at
          > > Post of Arkansas ...
          >
          > Again you make this accusation but have yet to substantiate it.

          Okay. At the least, Grant himself admitted that what he told
          Halleck was wrong. You may think that Grant didn't intend to
          mislead Halleck or give him ammunition to displace McC.

          > > ... received Halleck's authority to replace him, and
          > > then removed the president's hand-picked leader of the
          expedition
          > > under these false pretences.
          >
          > What false pretences?

          Grant's failure to be truthful about what McC had done.

          > > > > … He lied about
          > > > > McClernand and then got and used permission to remove him as
          > > > > commander of the expedition
          > > >
          > > > I have asked this several times: what lie are you referring
          to?
          > > Thus
          > > > far you have not showed where there was a lie by Grant.
          > >
          > > Attacking an enemy outpost a short distance up a tributary of a
          > > river which an army wants to control is *not* a wild-goose
          chase.
          >
          > That may be your opinion. But I feel quite the opposite, as did
          Grant
          > at the time, though he changed his tune after the fact. So was
          there
          > a lie? Doesn't look like it.

          That may be your opinion

          > > If Grant had the integrity, he would have admitted that he was
          > wrong
          > > for rushing Sherman down the river with McC's expedition with
          such
          > > tragic results.
          >
          > It was Halleck who set the time table. Why would Grant be wrong
          for
          > following orders?

          Sorry, but I think that you're wrong.

          > > Do show me any evidence of Lincoln's changed feelings at the
          time.
          >
          > 1. Halleck's message to Grant authorizing him to remove
          McClernand --
          > do you think this would have gone out without Lincoln's knowledge?
          > 2. Lincoln's reaction to the situation.

          Neither of those show that Lincoln changed his feelings.

          > > > > I like McC's comment that people like Grant were more
          chagrined
          > > at
          > > > > McC's success than the CSA was by their loss.
          > > >
          > > > Of course you would. Seems like a boneheaded comment to me.
          > >
          > > It seems perfectly true. As Grant later did re: Lookout
          Mountain,
          > > he deprecated the successes of generals he didn't like, instead
          of
          > > having the integrity to offer his compliments and gratitude.
          >
          > Seems to me like wild theories that are not based in evidence.

          That's not a *theory*, wild or otherwise. It's an assertion . . .
          and one that is easily backed up with evidence.

          > > Two points:
          > >
          > > Grant played favorites and held grudges far more than the
          average
          > > commander on either side. It's patently obvious.
          >
          > This is not patently obvious at all.

          Even pro-Grant authors have admitted this.

          > > I don't think that there is much evidence that Grant *really*
          > > thought that McC was incompetent.
          >
          > And I think it is obvious that he really did. Grant several times
          > stated that he did not find Mcclernand to be compentent.

          We were talking about what Grant *thought*, not merely what he
          stated.

          > > ... He stated so in deprecation, but
          > > he had seen McC on the field at Belmont and Shiloh (although
          Grant
          > > didn't arrive in time to see him fight at Fort D).
          >
          > I see no reason why these battles would give Grant a postive
          > perspective on McClernand. McClernand did a mediocre job at
          Belmont,
          > a poor job at Fort D and was so-so at Shiloh.

          I fear that most historians would not agree with you.

          > > ... He let McC cross
          > > the river first, while Sherman demonstrated (hardly someting you
          > > would do even if the troops' dispositions made it the obvious
          move,
          > > if you really believed the leader is incompetent)
          >
          > I disagree with your conclusions. The reasons Dana gave for why
          Grant
          > allowed McClernad to go first are quite logical. Its funny how
          you
          > claim that Grant played politics with command, yet when it comes
          to
          > what is to me the clearest example of him doing so you seem blind
          to
          > it.

          Oh, it's "perfectly logical" to order an incompetent general to lead
          a hugely important river-crossing.

          > > ... and he didn't even
          > > station himself near McC at Champion's Hill or during the
          attacks
          > at
          > > Vicksburg. Did Grant really think McC was incompetent, but
          thought
          > > that it was better for him to fight unwatched, with Grant
          posting
          > > himself instead with the two commanders whom he supposedly
          trusted?
          >
          > Sure. Grant seemed to want to stay where he thought the action
          would
          > be.

          Then you apparently agree that there wouldn't be any significant
          action by McC at Champion Hill, although I can't imagine how you
          would feel that way concerning May 22.

          Joseph
        • William H Keene
          ... I knew that was what you meant, but we are discussing an expedition up the Arkansas River. ... I never said it was. Porter was not bound by the Army
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 25, 2004
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            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose" <josepharose@y...> wrote:
            > ...
            > > > His expedition down the river was splitting the two
            > departments. I
            > > > daresay he could have landed on either shore in the proper
            > > > performance of his duties.
            > >
            > > At the time, both shores of the Arkansas river where in Curtis's
            > > Department.
            >
            > Both shores of the the *Mississippi* River . . .

            I knew that was what you meant, but we are discussing an expedition up the Arkansas
            River.


            > > > Grant, Porter, and Sherman never claimed, AKAIK, that it
            > was "out
            > > of
            > > > Grant's Department."
            > >
            > > During the first week of Janaury 1863, was Arkansas part of
            > Grant's
            > > department? I don't think it was.
            >
            > But this argument was not used by them against the movement.

            I never said it was. Porter was not bound by the Army Department boundaries and neither
            Sherman nor McClernand seemed to care. But the area of operations was still outside of
            both the area in which they (Shermand and McClernand) were ordered to operate
            (Vicksburg) and the Department within which the command was contained (Department of
            the Tennessee).


            > > Both the Lake Providence and Yazoo operations were designed to
            > > advance toward the goal of capturing Vicksburg and/or opening
            > > navigation to the lower Mississippi. These objectives were what
            > > McClernand had been assigned to achieve. Clearing out the
            > Arkansas
            > > did neither of these things.
            >
            > Clearing out Ark Post certainly did.

            Are you really claiming that capturing Ark. Post helped capture Vicksburg and/or helped
            clear the lower Mississippi?


            > I thought that you had written that McC had failed to enlighten
            > Grant. That would not be misleading. Also, if that is the case,
            > remember that McC had command of an expedition, and not every such
            > commander was mandated to keep superiors notified of every move at
            > the earliest possible moment.

            He informed Gorman (not his commanding officer) that Grant had ordered him to return
            right away to the Mississippi but that he would not do so while on that same day he wrote
            to Grant that he would return immediately. This is misleading Grant. Earlier he informed
            Curtis (not his commanding officer) that he was going to go after Little Rock but did not
            tell Grant this in the message he wrote the same day. Again this is misleading Grant.



            > > > If Grant had the integrity, he would have admitted that he was
            > > wrong
            > > > for rushing Sherman down the river with McC's expedition with
            > such
            > > > tragic results.
            > >
            > > It was Halleck who set the time table. Why would Grant be wrong
            > for
            > > following orders?
            >
            > Sorry, but I think that you're wrong.

            About what? Can you be more specific?


            > > > Do show me any evidence of Lincoln's changed feelings at the
            > time.
            > >
            > > 1. Halleck's message to Grant authorizing him to remove
            > McClernand --
            > > do you think this would have gone out without Lincoln's knowledge?
            > > 2. Lincoln's reaction to the situation.
            >
            > Neither of those show that Lincoln changed his feelings.

            Really? There was an order expressing the President's desire that Grant have McClernand
            lead the river expedition. Then Halleck sends an order telling Grant he can remove
            McClernand if he wants. Seems a clear case of a change on Lincoln's part. Then
            McClernand whines about the situation to Lincoln and Lincon writes him a letter that is
            sympathetic yet does not take McClernand's side. Seems like straight forward evidence to
            me.


            > That's not a *theory*, wild or otherwise. It's an assertion . . .
            > and one that is easily backed up with evidence.

            Not that I have seen. What I have seen from you are wild theories based on
            unsubstantiated allegations.



            > > I see no reason why these battles would give Grant a postive
            > > perspective on McClernand. McClernand did a mediocre job at
            > Belmont,
            > > a poor job at Fort D and was so-so at Shiloh.
            >
            > I fear that most historians would not agree with you.

            I prefer to make my own judgements and not just follow whichever so called historian you
            think best. I thought you would understand that since you don't seem to just follow what
            historians say either. As it is, I don't think most historians have expressed a judgement
            on McClernand at Belmont, Fort Donelson or Shiloh. I started a thread earlier to talk
            about McClernand's battle performance. If anyone wants to launch a defense opf him at
            Fort Donelson or Belmont I would like to hear it.


            > > Sure. Grant seemed to want to stay where he thought the action
            > would
            > > be.
            >
            > Then you apparently agree that there wouldn't be any significant
            > action by McC at Champion Hill, although I can't imagine how you
            > would feel that way concerning May 22.

            Who or what am I agreeing with regarding Champion Hill? I was making a statment about
            what Grant thought. I also think Grant probably felt that McPherson and Sherman were
            better positioned and more capable for success against Vicksburg. Whats hard to imagine
            about that?

            ~Will
          • keeno2@aol.com
            In a message dated 7/13/2006 5:57:11 PM Central Daylight Time, josepharose@yahoo.com writes: The conventional history is that the Arkansas Post plan was
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 13, 2006
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              In a message dated 7/13/2006 5:57:11 PM Central Daylight Time, josepharose@... writes:
              The conventional history is that the Arkansas Post plan was hatched by
              Sherman, but I had never heard that it was to "get McClernand in
              trouble."  What is the citation for that?
              And yet another author will hold that Arkansas Post was Sherman's idea to snatch a little recompense for the defeat above Vicksburg -- give the boys a taste of victory while on retreat, as it were.
               
              It doesn't fit that Sherman would do it to get McClernand in trouble, and then go to Grant to explain that it was a good idea and would fit quite nicely into future operations.
              Ken
            • Ronald black
              Joseph: Sherman and Porter devised the plan and presented it to McClernand because McClernand was in command. It was presented to McC to give him a victory,
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 13, 2006
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                Joseph:
                Sherman and Porter devised the plan and presented it to McClernand because McClernand was in command.  It was presented to McC to give him a victory, or so it seemed to McC but the hidden plot was to divert efforts from Vicksburg.  McC didn't devise a plan against Arkansas Post until Sherman and Porter presented it.  Sherm And Porter knew Grant would not like this and this part of the plan became true later.  Grant was angry but had to stiffle it because of McC victory.  Grant calmly waited his opportunity and then acted. Source I think is Bearss.   
                Ron 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2006 6:39 PM
                Subject: [civilwarwest] Arkansas Post

                --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Ronald black" <rblack0981@ ...>
                wrote:

                [snip]

                > Your point concerning two river operations and forces seemed so but
                once McClernand arrived, he ranked Sherman and the two forces were
                merged. Now occurred the diversion by McClernand of troops to
                Arkansas Post. Actually, this was a plan hatched by Porter (navy) and
                Sherman to get McClernand in trouble. It worked. Grant was angry
                because the diversion took men and efforts away from Vicksburg. But
                sadly, the victory at Arkansas Post saved McClernand (for a while)
                > Ron

                Ron,

                The conventional history is that the Arkansas Post plan was hatched by
                Sherman, but I had never heard that it was to "get McClernand in
                trouble." What is the citation for that?

                I think that, in reality, McClernand had come to the same plan
                independently.

                Grant was angry as you state, but I don't think that this saved
                McClernand. In fact, Grant telegraphed this fact to Halleck who
                authorized Grant to take away McClernand's command of the expedition
                which Lincoln had given him.

                Joseph


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              • keeno2@aol.com
                In a message dated 7/13/2006 7:37:21 PM Central Daylight Time, rblack0981@wowway.com writes: It was presented to McC to give him a victory, or so it seemed to
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 13, 2006
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                  In a message dated 7/13/2006 7:37:21 PM Central Daylight Time, rblack0981@... writes:
                  It was presented to McC to give him a victory, or so it seemed to McC but the hidden plot was to divert efforts from Vicksburg.
                  Are you saying that Arkansas Post was taken to keep McC from taking another swing at Vicksburg? If so, would that be because Sherman and Porter considered it impossible? Or because Sherman and Porter didn't want to give him a chance to look good?
                  Ken
                • William H Keene
                  ... by ... idea to ... the boys a ... trouble, and ... quite nicely ... I agree. Ron s explanation doesnt make sense.
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 13, 2006
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                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@... wrote:
                    >
                    > In a message dated 7/13/2006 5:57:11 PM Central Daylight Time,
                    > josepharose@... writes:
                    > The conventional history is that the Arkansas Post plan was hatched
                    by
                    > Sherman, but I had never heard that it was to "get McClernand in
                    > trouble." What is the citation for that?
                    > And yet another author will hold that Arkansas Post was Sherman's
                    idea to
                    > snatch a little recompense for the defeat above Vicksburg -- give
                    the boys a
                    > taste of victory while on retreat, as it were.
                    >
                    > It doesn't fit that Sherman would do it to get McClernand in
                    trouble, and
                    > then go to Grant to explain that it was a good idea and would fit
                    quite nicely
                    > into future operations.
                    > Ken

                    I agree. Ron's explanation doesnt make sense.
                  • Tony Gunter
                    ... I think I m starting to see a pattern here ... one of these days I ll have to break down and read Bearss and highlight out all the assertions that I
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 14, 2006
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                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Ronald black" <rblack0981@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Joseph:
                      > Source I think is Bearss.
                      > Ron

                      I think I'm starting to see a pattern here ... one of these days I'll
                      have to break down and read Bearss and highlight out all the assertions
                      that I disagree with.

                      I have a feeling that there will be so much yellow in the book, it'll
                      glow in the dark.
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