Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

Charleston, South Carolina, March 6, 2006
Drove over to the Citadel first thing and went straight to the archives attached to the library there.  I had made the appointment to look at Mark Clark’s papers some time before and very glad I was too.  It’s a bit of a sweat to go to Charleston, but Clark’s extensive collection was well worth the detour.  I think I’ve cleared up a couple of issues, including the debate over his decision to march on Rome.  He also had interesting things to say about the 92nd Buffalo Division, which makes it clear that he personally wanted it to do well and to succeed.  There were instructions from him ordering his subordinates to make sure they were generous with medals so as to improve morale and to give them confidence.  His insights into his fellow commanders, such as General Leese, were also really interesting, and I thought the letters he wrote back to his wife and daughter were also very revealing.  They showed him in a light much more in keeping with the character I had found whilst writing my North Africa book.  I think Clark will get better press from me than he has from a number of other writers.

Went straight to the airport only to discover my connecting flight to Washington had been delayed.  So I have been re-routed via Atlanta instead.  It means I’ll be back in London a little bit later than planned, but not much.  Feel its been a really good trip, though, and that I’m beginning to make good progress.

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