Books are available
Accordion War
A Fortune Teller's Blessing
I Walk Toward the Sound of My Days: Poems of John Allen Adams
The German Spy

Massacre Valley
USMC Rifle Company H-3-7 at Massacre Valley - March 1951

Autographed copies of print books can be obtained post-paid from the author by sending a check or money order for $20 for one or $15 each for two or more to:

Charles Hughes
PO Box 1112
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
(870) 246 8557

Or buy Now:

ebooks and printed books are available at Amazon and other online vendors.  

Autographed post-paid copies of print books are available from the author—Accordion War and Fortune Teller’s Blessing $20 or $15 for two or more copies (either or both books); Wild or Sound of Days $10 or $8 when ordered with any of the other books. Lower prices will apply in all multiple orders in any combination.

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Accordion War: Korea 1951—Life and Death in a Marine Rifle Company

At a time when North Korea has dramatically burst into the news once more as a belligerent nuclear power, Charles Hughes has published a historical memoir of his experiences as a hospital corpsman in a Marine rifle company during the Korean War.  Accordion War: Korea 1951-Life and Death in a Marine Rifle Company  is a detailed personal account of combat in the Korean War during its most violent “blitzkrieg” phase, the first third of the three-year war.  While the descriptions of battles are up close and graphic, the conflict is also viewed from the perspective of the 21st century, from a keen awareness of the wars since—Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror.  Interwoven into the narrative is a meditation on life, death and war—on the question of why men spend so much treasure and blood fighting one another. 
Hughes’ experiences came six years after those of another corpsman, Jack “Doc” Bradley, whose story was depicted recently in a best-selling book and popular movie, Flags of Our Fathers, which tell the story of the five Marines and one corpsman who were immortalized in Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima.  But the men in Korea who fought in what the historian Clay Blair called a war, “often surpassing the toughest battles of any war in American history,” would not be so remembered.  Theirs was a conflict destined to be known as “The Forgotten War.”

Massacre Valley

Amazing color film clips of my rifle
company H-3-7 and an attached weapons unit in action against the Chinese forces
that ambushed the U.S. Army Support Force 21 convoy at Massacre Valley:

The German Spy
Mystery/Crime Short Story

It’s 1943. The Allies have just landed in Sicily intent on destroying the German war machine and stopping Hitler’s evil design to conquer the world and inaugurate a thousand year reign of the Nazi Third Reich. On the home front in Dallas, Texas, three misguided boys decide to contribute to the struggle against Nazi evil by undertaking a secret mission of their own. In doing so they violate the inner sanctum of an eccentric old man with a mysterious past and learn that evil is not always epic in scope; that it is often close around us, inviting us in.

H Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Regiment, 1st Marine Division

A memorial honoring Hughes’ rifle company, H Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Regiment, 1st Marine Division was dedicated at the Marine base at Quantico on the campus of the Marine Corps University October 2007 and can be viewed at

Wild: Man Against Nature -- Moby Dick and The Bear

Two of the greatest hunting stories in American Literature, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and William Faulkner’s “The Bear,” written not quite a hundred years apart, reflect two different stages in man’s struggle against nature in the New World. In Melville’s novel nature, incarnate in the shape of a great albino whale, is invincible and believed to be immortal just as wild nature was believed to be inexhaustible in America at the middle of the nineteenth century.

In Faulkner’s story Old Ben, the legendary Mississippi black bear, also symbolizes nature, but, unlike Melville’s white whale, the bear is mortal. What had seemed inconceivable to many at the middle of the nineteenth century had become all too clear by the middle of the twentieth: Man with his increased numbers, insatiable appetites and technological power had gained the ability to destroy wild nature.

These stories by two great American writers are fiction, but they confront the reader with a tragic reality: From the moment Columbus’ three small ships sighted the island of San Salvador in the Caribbean wild nature in America was doomed. The mad captain Ahab’s battle with Moby Dick was only an episode in the epic struggle that followed; the death of Old Ben with the knife of a wild man in his heart was the finale.

In this his latest book, "Wild: Man Against Nature—Moby Dick and 'The Bear,'” Hughes returns to the subject of his 1971 doctoral dissertation which he has revised and updated, expanding further upon the critical issue of the 21st century--the impact of humanity on the earth, on nature and its wilderness areas and on our fellow creatures. He explores this theme by drawing a detailed comparison and contrast between Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and William Faulkner’s “The Bear,” and showing how these masterworks foreshadowed the global environmental crises we are facing today.

A Fortune Teller’s Blessing

During the depths of the Great Depression a handsome and gifted seventeen-year-old high school athlete saw his future shattered when his neck was broken in a football game. Few at the time thought the honor student, Eagle Scout, editor of his school paper, and president of his class every year since the seventh grade would survive. But John Allen Adams, son of a carnival fortune teller, did survive and was able to adapt to his severe handicap and go on to lead a remarkably successful life. Though left a quadriplegic, he proved to be a man of extraordinary inner resources, one who found freedom while bound to a wheelchair and independence while almost totally dependent on those around him. 

Woven from important strands of Arkansas and American history, his story reaches far beyond his small hometown, but his family’s dramatic and distinguished past cannot account for the strength and amazing spiritual gifts of the man who inspired love from so many people. John Allen Adams was a skilled poet and a courageous worker for world peace, a man who triumphed over tragedy by finding within himself the resources to build a life that made a difference, a difference reflected in the testimonies and memories of those whose lives he touched.

I Walk Toward the Sound of My Days: Poems of John Allen Adams

Strength of character is not a necessary qualification for an artist but it’s not likely to detract from the reader’s pleasure to learn that the author of I Walk Toward the Sound of My Days was a man of remarkable intellectual and moral strength. Living as a quadriplegic from a football injury suffered when he was seventeen did not keep John Allen Adams from experiencing a full and creative life nor stop him from becoming a force for good in the world. That force is evident in the poems in this book, poems which reveal not only the poet’s skill with words but also his humanity, his love of life, and his dedication to opposing war and protecting the earth. Like his hero Henry David Thoreau John Allen looked at the world squarely and spoke plainly. No poet was ever more intimate with nature than Thoreau, and John Allen shared that love for the natural world.And like Thoreau he also was sickened by man’s fratricidal tendencies. If the focus in some of these poems seems grim we need to remember the decades in which they were written, the era of the Cold War, the carnage of the Vietnam War with its daily body counts, and the ever-present threat of mutually assured destruction, MAD. Those threats may seem muted today because the Cold War and the war in Vietnam are behind us, but John Allen’s concerns have not disappeared. In fact the daily news reveals to us that the challenges we face today are the very ones he confronted in his poems—caring for our small blue planet and controlling man’s fratricidal impulses. Thankfully John Allen’s love for people, for nature and the earth provide a welcome counterpoint to the darkness in his poetry and pierce the somber clouds sometimes found there with bright and joyful beams of light.
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