Michael Pound
Fictional Character
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): Blood and Iron
In at the Death
Type of Appearance: Direct (POV from Drive to the East onward)
Nationality: United States
Religion: Atheist
Date of Birth: Late 19th century
Occupation: Soldier, barrel-gunner, barrel commander
Military Branch: United States Army (Second Great War)

Michael Pound was a sergeant in the United States Army who served under Irving Morrell's command on several occasions, first at the Barrel Works and later during the Second Great War. Originally an artillery sergeant, he used his time with Morrell to become an armor specialist. He was especially known for his skill at barrel gunnery. In addition, he was assertive, confident, and quite outspoken. This was shown by his uncharitable attitude toward fools and incompetents. Oddly enough, these qualities endeared him to then-Colonel Morrell. After the Barrel Works was shut down in the early 1920s, he returned to the Field Artillery until the reopening of the Barrel Works. From there, he followed Irving Morrell to Ohio, serving as the gunner of Morrell's command barrel.

During the fight for Ohio, he continued to show his talents at barrel gunnery. When Morrell was shot by a Confederate sniper in 1941, Pound literally carried Morrell on his back to safety. However, with Morrell in hospital, Pound was transferred to another unit and a new barrel. He was rash, loud and outspoken toward senior officers, but an effective mentor to junior officers and barrel crewmen who served with him. He initially intimidated officers assigned to his barrel with his attitude, but they soon learned from the experienced barrelman. He saw action in Ohio, losing a Mark II barrel and his lieutenant to enemy fire. Later on, he fought in the Battle of Pittsburgh, cementing his reputation as an effective gunner with many enemy kills to his name in an upgraded Mark II barrel. When his barrel commander, Second Lieutenant Don Griffiths was wounded by a Confederate machine gun in Ohio, Pound fought the barrel well enough to earn him the Silver Star and a battlefield commission.

Pound commanded a platoon of Mark III barrels on Morrell's 1943 campaign through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia. He was responsible for the successful seizure of a bridge over the Green River at Calhoun through the use of guile and subterfuge, having masqueraded as a reinforcing Confederate barrel platoon. It is unclear if he was decorated for that action. Michael Pound proved to be an effective barrel platoon commander, always at the forefront of any advance. He grew to enjoy his work as platoon leader, though he occasionally wished that he was still a gunner, able to use the new 90mm tube to best advantage.

Pound and his crew traveled through Georgia and into Alabama, participating the destruction of the Confederacy's industrial capacity. Outside of Birmingham, where Confederate General George Patton was making his last stand, Pound's barrel was destroyed by a stovepipe. Pound and his gunner Mel Scullard were able to get out. Pound was burned, but he was not permanently disabled.

After recuperating in a hospital in occupied Chattanooga (and receiving a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and a promotion to First Lieutenant), Pound requested permission to return to duty. He was placed in command of a company and sent to Tallahassee, Florida. Here he met Vice President-elect Harry Truman, who visited Florida to emphasize the newly elected Dewey Administration's policy of reintegrating the C.S. into the U.S. Pound was able to exchange a few words with Truman, and went so far as to suggest that the U.S. would be better off genociding the Confederate population, an idea that Truman rejected. Pound realized he'd potentially damaged his career, but didn't really care.

Literary comment[]

Harry Turtledove's friend S.M. Stirling has suggested that Michael Pound is based on him. Both are stocky in appearance, Stirling's middle name is Michael, and "pound sterling" is a traditional British currency unit.