Mark Kellogg is best remembered as a being a good newspaper reporter. Born in Canada, his family moved to Wisconsin when he was a young man, and he became an American. He grew up there and worked for a time with a telecommunications company.
Later, Mark met and married a woman named Martha. The couple had two kids, daughters. But then, Mark’s wife became sick and passed away. Feeling understandably out of sorts, Mark left his children with an aunt, and he made his way across the American Midwest, working for different newspapers.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of an embedded reporter. Mark was one of the first. Working for the Associated Press, Mark wrangled a plum assignment with the US Army that was on patrol during the war. He soon shipped out with a mobilized regiment and left his desk at the newspaper.
The commander of the military detachment to which Mark was assigned was a noted general, a hero from the previous war. Mark was, understandably, somewhat starstruck by having access to the famous man. He was allowed several exclusive interviews with the general. Mark was captivated by the commander’s charisma. To Mark, this man was everything that was right with America. He began to lose his reporter’s objectivity. Later on, some people would say that this idol worship blinded him from seeing the risks involved in being on the front lines of a dangerous assignment during war time.
For Mark, just being in the great man‘s presence meant the world to him. In his dispatches back to his newspaper, Mark remarked on how he was willing to put his life on the line to follow his hero so that he could report on the great victories that were sure to come. He would spend several weeks with the detachment; he ate what the soldiers ate, he slept where they slept. He was truly embedded.
Sadly, Mark was killed during the war because of his proximity to both his hero and to the front lines. And he was not the only one who was killed. He was also not the only one to blindly follow this military leader into battle.
In fact, more than 200 other men lost their lives following George Custer into battle at the Little Bighorn.