Love and War
“I then imagined what Sallie looked like and suddenly everything came into view. Sallie would have been blonde, just like the figure in my picture. She would have been 17 in 1861. She would have been beautiful, articulate and intelligent. He would have watched her growing up. Her father, Randolph, who liked a good time and was a little bit fond of the drink, had thrown very expensive parties ever since his father had died in 1851. Baillie had attended those parties, it had been very much part of his social life and calendar. They would have in fact been the most wonderful times he ever had and all the time the young Sarah Sallie Spalding would have been growing up. She would have attended the parties as a young girl and the parties and then suddenly in 1860 she would have changed into a beautiful young woman. Baillie was absolutely smitten. He was totally shot away with love for Sarah Sallie Spalding.”
Except from Rebel Spirit published 2001
A Mirror Image
The Marine Lieutenant Bill Erhart mirrors my own memories of the American Civil War especially the last part about the girl he left behind.
He even has the haircut and glasses as me!
More than Just Toys
The next piece of memory art takes the form of a sculpture. I've always played Wargames since the age of 9 and converted countless toy soldiers to that end. The tally is now over some 600 converted Britains Deetail 54mm figures mainly collected from boot fairs in the late 80s early 90s.
I love Britains...
Britains plastic is a perfect sculpting media. Hard, durable and flexible it can be shaped, sanded, cut with a craft knife and melted for hot wire implants etc. In addition I use epoxy resin glue, plastic wood filler, paper clips , cardboard, bits of copper and tin plate sheet, wire coat hangers and wooden pegs to create beards, moustaches, limbs and equipment.
Some figures have been repaired several times due to being wounded in action and they just gain more character and become cherished items. They are literally bomb proof and I have shot at them with miniature paper black powder cannon that I invented!
Countless members of my Wargames club over the years have used them continuously. There is nothing worse than a toy not played with.
Contrary to popular belief that Wargames encourage and glorify war I have found it to be the opposite. As H G Wells so aptly put it in his Wargames masterpiece Little Wars published in 1913 just before the advent of the Big War to end all wars,
"-and so I offer my game, for a particular as well as a general end; and let us put this prancing monarch and that silly scare-mon- ger, and these excitable â€œpatriots,â€ and those adventurers, and all the practitioners of Welt Politik, into one vast Temple of War, with cork carpets everywhere, and plenty of little trees and little houses to knock down, and cities and fortresses, and unlimited soldiers and tons, cellars full and let them lead their own lives there away from us."
War games teach people not to be stupid enough to fight. The Generals grow fat and old whilst the fit young men suffer and die in their millions - that is the lesson you learn.
The most affective argument to stopping people smoking came from my English teacher in 1968, "Go ahead and smoke as much as you like, I don't care, you are paying my taxes! If you don't then I will have to pay more."
Vignette from the Mind
Back to the matter in hand I made this little vignette back in 1991. The Surgical saw wielding American Civil War surgeon shouting, "Next!" And the attentive Clara Barton type nurse both covered in blood and bandages.
On the stretcher or gurney as they say Stateside lies a wounded Confederate Infantry Officer. He is very specifically shot in both shoulders with a gash to his knee. Two confederate infantrymen bring him in for patching up, literally kill or cure.
I thought nothing more of this until in 1999 I discovered my past life as Alexander Baillie Kell 1828-1912. For amongst my revelation discoveries it was revealed that his fiancÃ©e Sarah "Sallie" Spalding. Had been a nurse in Milledgeville, GA near Atlanta during 1863. There she had met 1st Lt Archibald Campbell McKinley of the 57th Georgia Infantry. He had been severely wounded by being shot in both shoulders at the Battle of Baker's Creek near Vicksburg in 1863. Of the 36 members of his company only 5 escaped unharmed. McKinley was just 19 years of age. He was then surrendered with the rest of the Confederate forces at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 and the prisoners were exchanged soon after.
Officers of Baldwin County's Company H of the 57th Georgia Regiment. L- R 1st Lt Archibald C McKinley, Capt. John R Bonner, mcKinley's servant, Scott and 2nd Lt William S Stetson. Photo taken in 1863.
The love that was never to be, for Baillie was 35 at the time of McKinley's wounding he was only 19. Baillie had hoped to marry Sallie after the war in fact the whole reason for his expensive portrait photograph was that she might remember him.
However by a twist of fate Sallie met McKinley and nursed him. After the war Baillie's own Company Captain and good friend Alexander Campbell Wylly who was a cousin of McKinley introduced him to Sallie and her Mother Elizabeth Bass Spalding. He was the ideal match. Only two years older, an officer and he had kept his money.
The end was inevitable. Sallie married McKinley in 1867 and that broke Baillie's heart. Readers can read the whole story by downloading Rebel Spirit free from our download page @
I then realised that the surgeon was a self portrait! I disliked McKinley and was only to happy to operate on him :)
I have always wanted to be a Doctor and would have been a good General surgeon.
Sallie, McKinley and myself immortalised in toy soldiers. My subconscious made manifest without conscious knowledge until now!
Further Revelations and Forgiveness
Knowledge leads to understanding, understanding leads to forgiveness. In 2013 I discovered that before existing physically as Baillie Kell I had been Colonel Robert Magaw of the 5th Pennsylvania Battalion 1738 - 1790.
I had had a life that was the opposite yet symmetrical to my Civil War life. I had married Marritje van Brunt from Gravesend, Brooklyn, NYC whilst I spent 4 years as a prisoner being looked after by her father Colonel van Brunt after the Battle of Fort Washington. My brother Dr William Magaw was a battlefield surgeon for General George Washington and the Continental Army. William served seven years and had more than his fair share of horrors and hardships to endure. He is alive right now, a good friend and still my brother in arms.
So I was trying to relive the life previously but the universe reversed everything so that I might learn.
I never became an Officer, I never married, I never had money.
It was the exact opposite of the life before. So not only are chronological lives often the opposite to the one before but we meet the same people again and again in a complex dance of experience through time.
So on reflection. I like McKinley. He stole my life but that's what the lesson was. He was a brave young boy, did his duty and was a fellow brother in arms that served the duration.
He was also younger than me and better looking! Lol :D
Another lesson I have learned is that any life without ones Soul Twin is no life at all. It is just a chance to learn other lessons whilst you are physically separated. The whole saga was therefore just going through the motions to learn other things towards ones personal spiritual development.
There is only one Soul Twin and when you find them you will definitely know.