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The Little General



The Little General
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.94

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    brigade, brigadier, tavern, senate, politics, unpopular, slavery, unsuccessful, lieutenant, instrumental, victory, term, re-elected, engineer, lines, railway
     content words:    William Mahone, Fielding Jordan, Martha Drew Mahone, Fort Monroe, When William, Virginia Military Institute, Rappahannock Military Academy, Petersburg Railroad, Civil War, Confederate Army


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The Little General
By Tammy Scarbrough
  

1     William Mahone was born on December 1, 1826, in Fort Monroe, Virginia. His father owned a tavern and gambled at times. When William was a teen, his father, after losing almost all of his money, decided to give his last few dollars to young William, out of disgust with himself. William not only won all of his father's money back for him that night, but he also won the other gambler's money, horse, and carriage. His father told William to give him all of the money, to which he replied, "Here is what you lost. I am going to keep my winnings and educate myself."
 
2     At 17 years old, William joined the Virginia Military Institute. He graduated three years later, at age 21, a lot smarter, but not a lot taller. He was still only a little over 5 feet tall. The name "Little William" stuck with him for many years.
 
3     William taught at a military academy in Virginia for a short time. Then he became a civil engineer for ten years. He became the chief engineer of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. Later he became the railroad's president. When the Civil War broke out, Mahone offered his services to Virginia. He began his military career as a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army. After only a few months, he was promoted to brigadier general.

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