Basil Gildersleeve

George Blaisdell maqhth at
Tue Jan 19 12:52:48 EST 1999

>From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at>
>Subject: Re: Basil Gildersleeve

>>And this thread has got me to wondering if Capt. Gildersleeve might 
>>be the historical person that Larry MacMurtrey had in mind when he
>>created the character of the 1st captain in the Texas Rangers in
>>Commanche Moon, who later went on to distinguish himself in the Civil
>>War in that novel.  [He was the one carving Homer in Greek on a rock
>>face to keep himself sane in tortuous captivity by a notorious
>>Commanche, noted some months back by Carl Conrad.]

>That hadn't occurred to me, but it's by no means unconceivable that
>MacMurtrey had him in mind; as I recall the Captain in Comanche Moon 
did go
>back to teaching at Harvard after his experiences; my recollection,
>however, is that although he knew Greek, he was more into Physics or 
one of
>the empirical sciences.

I would give it very close to a slam dunk, especially given the uncial 
rock carving.  

McMurtrey [Lisa corrected me on the spelling of his name] did give him a 
short-ended assessment concerning his military endeavors in Texas, 
calling him an 'adventurer' [meaning, I presume, that he had no Texas 
roots or loyalty], and that shortcoming in his character was one that 
Capt. Call made sure he did not have in HIS character.

McMurtrey, I'll betcha, had ol' Gildersleeve as ASSIGNED reading once...  
[:-)]  Or, given the range of his reading, he just might have read his 
bio on his own.  Short of ASKING him, how would one know, or even know 
if he was familiar with him at all?  Anybody on this list in contact 
with Larry McMurtrey??

[I guess this marginally qualifies as notational scribblings to our 
b-greek efforts here...?]


George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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