Tough as leather

“The 45th was a National Guard division, among eighteen that had been federalized early in the war. Some Regular Army officers sneered that ‘NG’ stood for ‘no good,’ and most of the Guard’s senior officers had been purged by the War Department for age or incompetence. But the Pentagon considered the 45th—known as the Thunderbirds—‘better prepared than any division that had left our control to date.’ They were westerners, with one regiment derived from Colorado mining camp militias like the Wolftown Guards and the Queen’s Emerald Rifles. Two other regiments hailed from Oklahoma, and their ranks included nearly two thousand Indians from fifty-two tribes, including Cherokee, Apache, Kiowa, Comanche, and Navajo.” – Rick Atkinson, The Day of Battle

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