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"Stories from history that capture the imagination."


About the Author

James H. Kelly is a native of Rhode Island and served with the Department of Defense for 45 years. His active military service spans 27 years with the United States Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1998. Upon leaving active duty, he served as an Air and Cruise Missile Defense Analyst and Program Manager, Department Manager, and Division Manager for CAS, Incorporated then joined Computer Sciences Corporation, supporting both the Joint Staff and the Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Organization. 

James entered Government Service in 2004 serving in a series of assignments: first, as a Deputy Division Chief on the staff of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; second, serving as the Deputy Director, Competitive Strategies Group, for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), Office of the Secretary of Defense, leading both cultural and technical red teaming efforts to counter IED; and finally, in 2010, he formed the Director’s Strategy Group, senior adviser support to the Director, JIEDDO. 

Writing for senior executive service leaders and general officers throughout his career included extensive concepts, plans, studies, position papers and academic papers on a broad range of multi-service topics. Among his varied staff assignments, he served as editor of the Air-Land-Sea Bulletin with distribution across the Department of Defense and Joint Community. 

James retired from the Department of Defense in 2014 to begin a new career in writing.  

His military education spans an entire career and includes the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College (Distinguished Graduate), the Army War College Defense Strategy Course, and the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from William Peterson University, Wayne, New Jersey; a Master of Science Degree in Administration and Management from Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan; and a Masters of Science degree in National Resource Strategy, from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, in Washington, D.C.. 


He and his lovely wife, Linda, reside in Venice, Florida.

"I am a Soldier, First and Always"

The Distinguished Career of Winfield Scott Hancock

"I am a Soldier, First and Always" is a novel of historical fiction in two volumes. Known persons and events appear throughout this work and are included to tell Hancock's story. They are not intended to change the fictional nature of this book. In all other respects, any resemblance to persons living living or dead is entirely coincidental. 

Volume I: Rebellion

     Volume I chronicles Winfield Hancock's life from childhood through West Point and the first half of his military career. Initially assigned to the "frontier," the Mexican War provides the opportunity for Army officers to experience combat. Winfield distinguishes himself and, when the War of Rebellion breaks out McClellan promotes him from Captain to Brigadier General in the Army of the Potomac.

     Volume I captures the actions from Williamsburg, through Antietam, Fredericksburg , and finally Chancellorsville. The Army is now at the doorstep of Gettysburg and a "Turning Point" for the Union. 

Overland Campaign with General Grant

Volume II: Turning Point 

     Volume II begins with Gettysburg where Hancock is at the center of the fight all three days. Severely wounded, he refuses to leave the field until the battle is decided. With the Union success at Gettysburg a "turning point" for Lincoln and the Army of the Potomac is finally achieved. Grant takes command and his Overland Campaign relies heavily on Hancock and his Second Corps, finally forcing the surrender of Lee and the collapse of the Confederacy. 

     Hancock is assigned to the Plains facing Cherokee, Sioux and Kiowa under Sherman. He finds fighting Indians is vastly different than fighting an army like the Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. 

28 May 2020

Rebellion and Turning Point are the OnLine Book  Club's Choice

Book of the Day

The first book of the "I am a Soldier, First and Always" series, "Rebellion" was selected by the OnLine Book Club as the Book of the Day on 24 May. Amazing response with nearly 500 people downloading the free ebook during the day. There were upwards of 600 comments provided across all the social media outlets. If you have chosen to read Hancock's story, all that I request is you take a minute to leave a review on Amazon.


The companion book, "Turning Point" completes the Hancock saga and did quite well in its Book of the Day selection in March. The two books were rated 4 out of 4 stars (excellent) and I am humbled by the tremendous reviews.  The books are both available on Amazon. It is a great story.

I'm driving ahead with the next novel in the series. It involves two men, one cavalryman and one Lakota Indian and their lives on the Great Plains in the 1870's. The research is going well -- so much material. I plan to visit Wyoming and Montana in the early fall to see the ground for myself and capture the setting for book as accurately as possible. If you have any tips on research of Sioux Indian tribes send it along at the address below. Thanks and I'll see you soon.

"Lakota Dawn"

"Lakota Dawn"

Well, I'm driving ahead with the next project. I've borrowed a character from the Hancock novel and continued the military historical fiction theme. Twist will be the story…

"Volume I: Rebellion"

"I am a Soldier, First and Always" Volume I: Rebellion results are in from the OnLine Book Club professional reviewer.  It has received a 4 out of 4 Stars rating like its…

The Online Book Club:  Book of the Day

I mentioned that "I am a Soldier, First and Always" Volume II: Turning Point received a rating of 4 out of 4 by an independent reviewer. The result was a designation as the "Book…

The Importance of Reviews

Great News!!!  I submitted "Turning Point," the second volume of "I am a Soldier, First and Always," to the Online Book CLub for a professional review. The book received a 4 of 4…

A New Year and New Challenges

The holidays are behind us and 2020 is here. The learning process for a new author continues and at a faster pace. I am always impressed by local authors who continue to tell…

Creating the "Buzz"

Marketing, marketing, and marketing are the watchwords today. It is interesting developing and executing a plan to get your book "out there" and create interest. I am actively…


Gettysburg National Battlefield
Confederate line at Spotsylvania
Hancock sweeps around the Confederate left during the Peninsula Campaign. McClellan calls  him "Hancock the Superb."
Hancock monument Cemetery Hill. Gettysburg National Battlefield.
Fredericksburg Battlefield
Gettysburg National Battlefield


You may contact me at my email address. I welcome your questions and comments and will do my best to answer your query.