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William P. Robertson: News


In this second book of stories culled from William P. Robertson's childhood, the author struggles to make sense of adolescence. These are coming of age tales in every sense of the word. Teen dating, teen drinking, and outdoor adventures create many memorable scenes in which nerves are rubbed raw. Fun with friends like "Beany" and "Pie Man" often goes awry and turns sinister. Robertson's perverse father, Paul, also adds to his distress. Things were simpler growing up in a rural suburb in the 1950's and '60's, but the desires and temptations of youth ran as rampant as they do today.


MISDEEDS AND MISADVENTURES is William P. Roberton's tribute to Ernest Hemingway. Featuring twenty-two stories for men, the book sizzles with nonstop action. The collection begins with two grim tales from the Civil War. One is about an ambushed Union gold shipment while the other describes Lincoln's assassination in gristly detail. There are also scary fishing trips and hunting adventures with startling twists. Factory life adds gritty realism to a couple of the tales. College high jinks brings comic relief to two others. Gangsters commit coldblooded murder as does a World War I flying ace. Like Hemingway, the author uses personal experience as a springboard for his fiction. The stories are told in everyday language and have believable settings filled with sensory details. MISDEEDS is available from Infinity Publishing at or at

Robertson Releases a Humorous Autobiography - May 10, 2015

STORIES FROM THE OLDEN DAYS takes the reader on a nostalgic ride back to the baby boom era of the 1950s and '60s. William P. Robertson describes the book as a combination of MAD MAGAZINE and CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN. With humor being the main focus, each story is arranged like a Spike Jones parody record. It starts with a sentimental memory from Robertson's childhood and ends with a funny punchline. Some of the topics covered are Little League Baseball, sled riding, tree houses, and childhood mischief. The author also discusses fights at school, good and bad teachers, and not so happy romance. Along the way, he reveals the incidents and people who influenced him to become a writer. Come join in the games, jokes, and fun from a time uninfected by political correctness. An old-fashioned horselaugh provides the appropriate soundtrack. STORIES FROM THE OLDEN DAYS is available as a paperback and as Kindle, iPad, and Nook ebooks.


A book trailer for the Alleghenies novels designed by Comcast Spotlight aired during Pittsburgh Pirate games on Root Sports during June.  Now, it is available on You Tube.  Follow this link to see it: or just go to the Links page.


Creating a board game can be a battle in itself. Author William P. Robertson and artist David Cox discuss the trials of developing "A Bucktail Civil War Game: Escape from the Peninsula" on this episode of CONVERSATIONS, Mansfield University's TV talk show hosted by Dennis Miller.  The creators discuss the history behind the game, how the game is played, and the problems they encountered bringing the project to life.  To view the program, visit

Bucktailsandbroomsticks Goes Viral - November 8, 2013

I just received word that over the past year received a million hits.  Many thanks to the fans, friends, and Bucktail enthusiasts who visited!  Going viral is VERY special for a guy from small town Pennsylvania like me.

Best wishes,

William P. Robertson




Editor: What was the inspiration for your new Bucktail game?

Robertson: I co-wrote seven novels about the famous 13th Pennsylvania Reserve Civil War Regiment and was looking for a unique way to promote the series. After much brainstorming, my co-authors and I struck upon the idea of doing a board game that would be fun and educational for our readers and us, too.

Editor: Is the game based on all your books or just one?

Robertson: We wanted to include all the battles the Bucktails fought, but there were just too many. We finally settled upon using those featured in THE BUCKTAILS: PERILS ON THE PENINSULA. The 13th Pennsylvania was involved from start to finish in General George McClellan's seven-day retreat from his lines near Richmond to the safety of the Union base located on the James River at Harrison's Landing. Because the regiment saw plenty of action in this June-July operation of 1862, the history itself added to the suspense of the game.

Editor: Weren't the Bucktails known as skirmishers?

Robertson: Yes, that's what got them into trouble right away when they were ordered to scout the area west of Mechanicsville, Virginia, to look for Robert E. Lee's advancing Confederate army. The Bucktails met the Rebs near Meadow Bridge and had to fight their way back to the Union lines along Beaver Dam Creek. That's the reason Meadow Bridge is the starting point for our game.

Editor: What else happened to the Bucktails during McClellan's retreat?

Robertson: First of all, the regiment was ordered to fight a delaying action, so the rest of the Yankees could safely retreat down the Chickahominy River. This got Company K surrounded and captured. To keep the Rebels from seizing the 13th's flag, the Bucktails hid their prized banner in a swamp.

Editor: Sounds interesting! What happened next?

Robertson: The Bucktails who escaped fought gallantly during the Battle of Gaines' Mill. They used their sharpshooting prowess to silence a Rebel battery while the bulk of McClellan's army continued to retreat south. Then, at the Battle of New Market Crossroads, the 13th again helped the Pennsylvania Reserves thwart another Rebel attack that kept Lee's forces from cutting the fleeing Union army in half. Falling back to Malvern Hill, the Bucktails added their rifles to the firepower of the Union artillery that stopped Lee in his tracks. This battle enabled McClellan to complete his escape.

Editor: How do you get this history across in your game?

Robertson: We have the battles marked on the board with cannons, Union and Confederate flags, and the names of the generals who commanded the troops there. We also have question cards that a player must answer if he lands on a question space. The cards include information about the battles, Bucktail regimental history, and Civil War trivia. The questions are true and false to level the field for younger players.

Editor: What are the Sore Feet cards for?

Robertson: We included Sore Feet cards to add realism to the game. They highlight the dangers and trials the individual soldiers faced during the campaign. For example, "Get Virginia Quickstep, Lose 1 Turn" accents the terrible cases of diarrhea that soldiers got from drinking swamp water. Conversely, "Go Blackberry Picking, Lose 1 Turn" tells what scared soldiers did rather than go into battle.

Editor: What happens if a player lands on a Skull & Crossbones space?

Robertson: The player gets to roll the die. If he rolls a 1, 2, or 3, he is "wounded in the trousers" and continues play. If he rolls a 4, 5, or 6, he is killed and out of the game. This demonstrates the part fate plays in warfare and lends an element of dark humor to the realism of combat. When an artillery shell exploded amidst a company of soldiers, a man's comrades could be blown to bits while he only gets his pants blown off. This happened several times to actual Bucktails.

Editor: I see that David Cox is listed as one of the inventors of your game. What contribution did he make?

Robertson: After we put the nuts and bolts of the game together, we gave our artist friend, David Cox, a crude sketch of the board. He's the one who brought the whole thing to life for us. He made the board colorful, created the icons, added in the Bucktail related photos and drawings, and designed the box top. His artistic talent made him an integral part of our team.

Editor: If someone wishes to order a copy of your game, where is it available?

Robertson: The game is for sale online at Thank you for your interest!


Robyl Press has just released BUCKTAIL TALES, a 43 minute audio book of battle scenes, folklore, and rough humor culled from the Bucktail novel series by William P. Robertson and David Rimer. Read by Robertson, the excerpts capture the escapades and heroics of the famed Civil War sharpshooters who served in the 42nd and 149th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry units. The CD traces the history of the marksmen from the birth of the original Bucktail Regiment in April 1861 through the deadly battles of Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness. Interspersed with this action are accounts of grueling marches, a deadly duel, and off-hours fun playing games and visiting Washington. One dramatic passage takes the listener inside the skull of a wounded private at Antietam, while another details the dangers experienced by the New Bucktails guarding Elmira Prison Camp. There's also an encounter with a woman disguised as a Union soldier that's both educational and entertaining.

BUCKTAIL TALES was recorded in Duke Center, Pennsylvania at a studio owned and operated by A.J. Curtis, who served as engineer and producer. David Cox of Bradford, PA designed the distinctive artwork that features Bucktail reenactor, Jefferson Dedrick, on the front cover. Autographed copies of the CD may be ordered for $12 each (postpaid) from William P. Robertson, P.O. Box 293, Duke Center, PA 16729. Make checks payable to Bill Robertson.

149th Bucktail Series Now Complete - May 16, 2012

With publication of THE BUCKTAIL BROTHERS: BRAVE MEN'S BLOOD by Infinity Publishing on May 1st, the historical fiction novel series about the 149th Pennsylvania Volunteers by William P. Robertson and David Rimer is now complete.  Robertson was forced to finish this book alone after Rimer, his long-time writing partner, decided to retire after they penned THE BUCKTAIL BROTHERS OF THE FIGHTING 149TH.

The new book picks up the action after the Battle of Gettysburg where the "New Bucktails" lost 80% of their fighting force in a little over two hours on the first day near McPherson's barn.  The adventures of the Cole Brothers of Company A from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania continue through the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Bethesda Church, and Petersburg Campaigns. The combat is described in a no-holds-barred, realistic fashion, which is the trademark of the Bucktail series.


If you would like to read the first 38 pages of ATTACK IN THE ALLEGHENIES for free, visit


PRESS RELEASE: ATTACK IN THE ALLEGHENIES After the regional success of AMBUSH IN THE ALLEGHENIES, William P. Robertson and David Rimer return with a second novel featuring the freewheeling mountain men, Lightnin' Jack Hawkins, Bearbite Bob Winslow, Will Big Cat Cutler, and Alexander MacDonald. Much of the action of this new adventure revolves around the Delaware village of Kit-Han-Ne (modern-day Kittanning) from where chiefs Shingas and Captain Jacobs led their warriors on a reign of terror across Western Pennsylvania. The Indian rampage had devastating effects for Hawkins and his trapper buddies, too, for they soon found themselves out of work and near starvation. ATTACK IN THE ALLEGHENIES is also built upon a series of ironic situations. Will Cutler married an Iroquois princess to start a family but soon finds his wife cold and distant. Hawkins, on the other hand, values his freedom above all else only to fall madly in love with the Delaware maiden, Little Mink, who helps him escape from the clutches of her own bloodthirsty people. Then, there are the villainous Miller brothers who capture Jack to sell him for beaver pelts at Kit-Han-Ne. Instead, they barely escape with their own lives when Shingas decides to adopt Hawkins into the Delaware tribe instead. The weak become strong and the strong become weak during the course of this face-paced novel set on the Pennsylvania frontier during the second year of the French and Indian War. After Delaware and French forces burn Fort Granville on August 1, 1756, Jack and his pals join Colonel John Armstrong's colonial army and participate in the raid against Kittanning. Unfortunately, the destruction of the Indian terrorist base showed Jack that the white men were no less cruel than the Indians in exacting their revenge. During the terrible battle, he sees his loving Indian mother gunned down and her scalp brutally ripped from her head and then must save the life of his little brother, Red Hawk. The authors gleaned a wealth of information from primary sources before starting work on their novel. Carefully depicted battle scenes, actual remarks by the original officers and chiefs, and graphic details of Indian torture enliven the action for modern readers. Stark photos of Native American reenactors and Pennsylvania forest scenes also add a touch of authenticity. The culture of the Eastern woodland tribes becomes another integral aspect of the book as Robertson and Rimer recreate Delaware dances, Iroquois burial rites, and Indian fishing and farming techniques. ATTACK IN THE ALLEGHENIES is available directly from Infinity Publishing online at or by phoning (887)BUYBOOK.


PRESS RELEASE: AMBUSH IN THE ALLEGHENIES William P. Robertson and David Rimer spent fifteen years creating their critically acclaimed seven-novel series about the famous Civil War rifle regiment--the Bucktails. Now, the authors are back with a new adventure set in the primordial wilderness of colonial Pennsylvania. AMBUSH IN THE ALLEGHENIES details the exploits of Lightnin' Jack Hawkins, Bearbite Bob Winslow, Will Big Cat Cutler, and Alexander MacDonald, four freewheeling mountain men struggling to survive their savage environment and even fiercer enemies. The opening phases of the French and Indian War provide the backdrop for the book. Historically, it begins with George Washington's spy mission to Pennsylvania and ends two years later after British General Edward Braddock's defeat near Fort Duquesne. The protagonists, beaver trappers by trade, are dragged into this conflict when the French invade their trapping territory and effectively put them out of business. Robertson and Rimer take great pains to report the everyday life of Eastern mountain men. Their dress, food, weapons, trapping techniques, and rough humor are all realistically depicted. Some myth-making is involved here, too, with each frontiersman possessing a special power that enables him to thwart the machinations of Bold Wolf, the evil Ottawa chief. Lightnin' Jack, for example, uses his speed to beat the chief's gauntlet, while Will Cutler has an extraordinary skill with weapons. The novel also includes an element of romance as young Cutler tries to win the heart of the Iroquois princess, Bright Star. After escaping capture by the Ottawa tribe, Will already knows plenty about the Indian way of life that he ultimately chooses over his English upbringing. The authors add a wealth of information about Native American culture as they relate Will's journey to manhood. AMBUSH IN THE ALLEGHENIES is now available from Infinity Publishing. Order copies online at Phone orders can also be made at (887)BUYBOOK.

NEW NOVEL ON ITS WAY - March 30, 2008

David Rimer and I have just completed our new French and Indian War novel, AMBUSH IN THE ALLEGHENIES, and have sent it off to the publisher. This adventure is set in the primordial wilderness of colonial Pennsylvania. It details the exploits of Lightnin' Jack Hawkins, Bearbite Bob Winslow, Will Big Cat Cutler, and Alexander MacDonald, four freewheeling mountain men struggling to survive their savage environment. Dangers lurked everywhere here in the form of ferocious cougars, scalp-stealing savages, and white water rivers of immense fury. The woodsmen's worst nemesis, though, was Bold Wolf, the vicious Ottawa chief who brutally murdered Cutler's father and wanted to kill all the English like one pigeon. If that failed, the ruthless villain was more than willing to torture his enemies in the gauntlet or burn them at the stake. It was only through Bold Wof's demise that Cutler could achieve inner peace. But would the resourceful lad be brave enough to meet the challenge when his cruel foe ambushed him in the dense hemlocks of the Alleghenies? AMBUSH IN THE ALLEGHENIES will be released later this summer by Infinity Publishing. Stay tuned for more updates.

MP3 Download - March 9, 2008

Hi folks, just a note to let everyone know that my poetry audio book, UNTIL DEATH DO IMPART, is now available as an MP3 download for only $8. To order now, go to

THE BUCKTAILS AT THE DEVIL'S DEN Wins Award - November 3, 2007

THE BUCKTAILS AT THE DEVIL'S DEN has placed as a "Finalist" in the Best Books 2007 Awards sponsored by DEVIL'S DEN was entered in the "Fiction & Literature: Young Adult Fiction" category.

Bucktail Book Special - July 23, 2007

I'm currently running a Christmas special on the Bucktail novels. I'll send you all 7 books for $75 postpaid. That's HAYFOOT, STRAWFOOT: THE BUCKTAIL RECRUITS, THE BUCKTAILS' SHENANDOAH MARCH, THE BUCKTAILS: PERILS ON THE PENINSULA, THE BUCKTAILS' ANTIETAM TRIALS, THE BATTLING BUCKTAILS AT FREDERICKSBURG, THE BUCKTAILS AT THE DEVIL'S DEN, and THE BUCKTAILS' LAST CALL for just 75 bucks. That's a smokin' deal! To purchase your autographed Bucktail book set, send a check or money order made out to Bill Robertson to P.O. Box 293, Duke Center, PA 16729. I again wanted to remind everyone that I do book talks and presentations. For more information check the July 11th entry below.

Don't Give Up! - July 22, 2007

If you want to be a writer, perseverance is the name of the game. I started freelancing poetry in the early 1970's and got so many rejection slips from magazines that I could have wallpapered my living room with them! It got so bad that one close relative told me to quit because my stuff wasn't good enough to publish. He must have forgotten that our family motto is "fierce when roused." His comment got me so fired up that I submitted even more poems than before. Finally, my big break came in June of 1979 when I won first prize in a poetry contest sponsored by Realities Library of San Jose, CA. That got my name out to other small press editors, and soon my work appeared regularly in such little magazines as VEGA, GUTS & GRACE, and EREHWON. I also had an article about the rock band, the Doors, published in THE VINYL EDITION of Buffalo, NY. I started writing about what I knew well and targeting markets that wanted that material. I also joined the National Writers' Club that had a newsletter full of good market information. That led to a job reviewing records for ROCKINGCHAIR magazine. Experimenting with haiku gained me acceptance in BROKEN STREETS and TIOTIS. I also had some success entering lyrics in The American Song Festival competition. Finally, in 1984, I broke into the foreign market with the acceptance of my horror story, "The Weight," by THE GLASGOW MAGAZINE in Scotland. That was followed shortly after by poems in London's LABEL MAGAZINE and another eerie story in the English zine, STRIDE. So began my foray into serious horror writing that lasted the rest of the decade. To gain success, then, I learned the markets, wrote about subjects I knew well, and entered my work in contests. Being persistent was the key, though. That's true for every budding author.

How Rimer & Robertson Collaborate - July 15, 2007

A question I'm often asked is how David Rimer and I collaborate when writing our Bucktail novels. First, I need to emphasis that research and historical accuracy are very important to both of us. We always have the history drive the plot, not vice versa. Before we started each book, we spent months reading actual Civil War accounts of the campaign we were focusing on. Then, I would come up with a list of events I would like in the book, and Dave did likewise. After that, I handled the majority of the creative writing of the first draft. When I was finished, I gave the book to my partner for editing. He would correct grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. He would also plug in holes in the plot and check for historical accuracy and the logical sequence of events. After all that was done, I got back the book to add in his suggestions. Usually, I found a bunch more errors that both of us missed. The book would go back and forth at least a half-dozen times before we were happy with it. Both of us were idea men for the project. Dave suggested some neat characters like the female soldier in THE BATTLING BUCKTAILS AT FREDERICKSBURG, while I was pretty handy at thinking up villains like Whalen. Dave also contributed a lot of ancedotes and personages from Civil War times that he gleaned from his reading. I added most of the humor and tall tales associated with hunters. HAYFOOT, STRAWFOOT: THE BUCKTAIL RECRUITS took us a couple of years to write, being that we started from scratch. Once our main characters were developed and we bought our core research books, we could knock out a novel in five months. Of course, we worked on it five to six hours a day, seven days a week just like it was a job!

My First Poems - July 14, 2007

As a lad I attended the Bradford Area School District in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and had some excellent teachers who encouraged my creative side. In 9th grade, Mrs. Mary Ann Johnston raved so much about my "Frank Luke" poem that I started writing verse on a regular basis. Then, in senior high, Mrs. Elzear Schoch always gave two grades for each composition. One was for the creative ideas and the other for grammar. That gave an imaginative person (like me) a real chance to succeed despite his average language skills. Also in high school I had Mr. Duane Pletcher for journalism. He taught me how to structure my ideas and stressed the value of professionalism in writing. The good instruction continued at Mansfield State College where Mr. Joe David Bellamy gave a lot of individual attention to those of us who cared about poetry. Following are two poems that got me noticed by my teachers. "Frank Luke" describes the heroism of an American World War I flying ace, who specialized in shooting down German observation balloons. Mr. Bellamy thought "Three-Mile" could have been written by one of the English Romantic poets. What a kudo that was! FRANK LUKE//Frank Luke,/A braggard of a man,/Took off at dawn/In his Spad.//Wehner, the only/Friend he had,/Helped him/With his daring plan.//Diving at that balloon/Was like playing poker./He asked his friend/To watch for Fokkers.//Luke finally signaled/That he was ready,/Pulled down the throttle/With a hand that was steady.//He dove straight down/With never a thought/As lead and shrapnel/Whizzed by./He fired his machine guns/Until they got hot/And blew the gas bag/From the sky.//He landed back/At his home base,/And pride shone on/His ruddy face.//His first victory/He made that morn/And the "Balloon Buster"/That day was born.////THREE-MILE//Wandering lonely lost in love/I followed paths of woe/Until I came to meadows soft/Alive with moon-fire's glow.//I sat me down upon the moor/And smelled the withered flowers/That grew with thistles brown and bent /About a ruined tower.//Foundations filled the sacred spot,/Irregular they stand/Where Swedish farms once neatly stood/Above an old mill dam.//Their stones were round and smooth and cold/And scattered on the plain/Fruit trees that once adorned the grounds/Now lie in soft decay.//A rusty cross-cut's broken blade/Lies stranded void of power/Near three miles of tainted stream/An unmarked grave turns sour... Hey, ya gotta start somewhere!

I Do Presentations - July 11, 2007

Hi Everyone, I wanted to mention that I'm still doing presentations for schools, library groups, historical societies, scouting groups, and clubs. I do book talks, talks about the history of the Bucktails, talks about freelance writing, and ghost story readings for Halloween. I only ask a small payment for gas mileage. Also, I would like an opportunity to sell books at the function. My e-mail address is: I may also be reached by phone at 814-966-3372. Here are some of the speaking engagements I've made: TV appearances on Time-Warner Cable "Crossroads" show on Channel 13, Channel 6 "Yada, Yada, Yada" show, and Channel 3 WPSX "Take Note" show. Presentations for the Dushore and Mansfield, PA Cub Scouts; Civil War Days at St. Marys, Kane, and Brockway, PA Middle Schools; Otto-Eldred High School, Duke Center, PA; Horseheads, NY High School; Zonta Club and Women's Literary Club of Bradford, PA; Curwensville, PA Public Library; Bucktail Educational Conference, Shippensburg University; McKean County Historical Society, Smethport, PA; WESB Radio show, Bradford, PA; Armed Forces Day, Driftwood, PA; the Masons Lodge, Duke Center, PA; St. Francis Over 50 Club, Bradford, PA.

Thanks to Local Merchants - July 7, 2007

I wanted to take a minute to thank the local merchants who sold books written by David Rimer and me before anyone ever heard of us. Our books are still available at these fine outlets: the Mansfield University Bookstore in Mansfield, PA; From My Shelf Books in Wellsboro, PA; the Allegheny Crossroads Store at Lantz Corners, PA; the McKean County Historical Society in Smethport, PA; the Linger Longer Cafe in Allegany, NY; the Center Bookstore in Olean, NY; Pathway Books in Ellicottville, NY; and in Bradford, PA at the Main Street Mercantile Store, Tina's Hallmark Store, and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Bookstore. Thanks again!!

Welcome to Author William P. Robertson's Website - July 4, 2007

July 4, 2007 Thank you for tuning in to my new website where Bucktails battle and waters boil bloody. I began writing in the 1960's, pouring out my feelings in rhymed verse meant to impress my teenage friends and woo reticent coeds. From there, I wrote song lyrics for a local rock band before seriously pursuing a career as a freelance writer. I spent most of the 80's writing horror when I found that 80% of my spooky stuff got accepted by magazines, while only 10% of my other work found its way into print. Being that my partner, David Rimer, and I spent the last fifteen years finishing seven historical fiction novels about the famous Civil War sharpshooters, the Bucktails, I thought I should end my first News Entry by telling you about some of the main characters you will meet in our books: Bucky Culp is thirteen years old when he enlists in the Bucktails after his half-breed father was killed by wolves. He endures a lot of prejudice due to his Indian heritage. His bravery gets him promoted to sergeant, and by sixteen he is wed to Sarah Pfaff, who Bucky meets after the bloody Battle of Antietam. Jimmy Jewett is a sissy preacher's son who lives in Smethport, PA, birthplace of the Bucktail Regiment. His stint as a drummer boy ends after he captures Reb prisoners at the Battle of Dranesville. He is also a very caring, religious individual and Bucky's best friend. Hosea Curtis is a hulking sergeant who would just as soon brawl with his own squad as the Rebels. He is a big drinker and gets in trouble with the brass for his brash, rebellious nature. Boone Crossmire is a fun-loving private who is forever bragging about his shooting ability. His yarns and talltales add a touch of humor to the grim business of war. Frank Crandall is a serious, cool-headed soldier who acts like a big brother to the others in his squad. He meets a gruesome death at Fredericksburg. Colonel Thomas Leiper Kane founded the Bucktail Regiment in April of 1861. He was the first Pennsylvanian to answer President Lincoln's call for volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil War. Although Kane was described as "jockey-sized", his bravery and patriotic fire win the respect of his men. Adjutant Ross Hartshorne is an excellent Bucktail officer who becomes their commanding officer in 1863. His personality conflict with Bucky Culp adds tension to the novel series. Sarah Pfaff is a young German farm girl Bucky saves from a Bucktail deserter named Whalen. This spirited girl becomes the love of Culp's life.

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