'The Cursed Platoon'

Clint Lorance had been in charge of his platoon for only three days when he ordered his men to kill three Afghans stopped on a dirt road. A second-degree murder conviction and pardon followed. Today, Lorance is hailed as a hero by President Trump. His troops have suffered a very different fate.

Numbering the Dead

A hundred and fifty years ago, slightly more, a strange notion: the dead could be counted. In the Civil War, in the lush fields of the South, Americans first, as a culture, began to imagine death in numbers. Rosters of soldiers, as well as lists of war casualties, were not common practice in the mid-nineteenth century. Many officials feared responsibility for the dead by numbering or naming them, and military leaders felt an accurate count might embolden their enemies.