Lewis Burwell Puller is a Marine Corps legend and American hero. Nicknamed “Chesty” for his burly physique, he was one of the most combat-hardened leaders in military history and saw action in Haiti, Nicaragua, WWII, and Korea. The winner of five Navy Crosses and many other medals, he will always be remembered as a fierce warrior and proud patriot.
One area of Chesty’s life that deserves more scholarly research is his southern heritage. He was born in Virginia in 1898 and was raised on stories of the Confederacy. His grandfather, John Puller, was killed while riding under Jeb Stuart at the battle of Kellys Ford in 1863. Local veterans told young Chesty about his grandfather’s bravery, as John had stayed atop his saddle long after having his midsection torn apart by a cannon. After his grandfather’s death, federals burned the Puller home and his grandmother was forced to walk ten miles, through a sleet storm, for help.
Puller was proud of his ancestry, and his southern roots ran much deeper than The War Between the States (his term of choice for the “Civil War”).
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