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Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay: The Enlisted Soldier Fighting the Indian Wars

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Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay: The Enlisted Soldier Fighting the Indian Wars Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The enlisted men in the United States Army during the Indian Wars (1866-91) need no longer be mere shadows behind their historically well-documented commanding officers.

As member of the regular army, these men formed an important segment of our usually slighted national military continuum and, through their labors, combats, and endurance, created the framework of law and order within which settlement and development become possible. We should know more about the common soldier in our military past, and here he is.

The rank and file regular, then as now, was psychologically as well as physically isolated from most of his fellow Americans. The people were tired of the military and its connotations after four years of civil war. They arrayed their army between themselves and the Indians, paid its soldiers their pittance, and went about the business of mushrooming the nations economy.

Because few enlisted men were literarily inclined, many barely able to scribble their names, most previous writings about them have been what officers and others had to say. To find out what the average soldier of the post-Civil War frontier thought, Don Rickey, Jr., asked over three hundred living veterans to supply information about their army experiences by answering questionnaires and writing personal accounts. Many of them who had survived to the mid-1950s contributed much more through additional correspondence and personal interviews.

Whether the soldier is speaking for himself or through the author in his role as commentator-historian, this is the first documented account of the mass personality of the rank and file during the Indian Wars, and is only incidentally a history of those campaigns.

Review:

"Don Rickey, Jr. has turned the spotlight upon the enlisted man of the regular army during Indian Wars in the West from 1865 to the 1890's. In addition to examining the manuscript and printed diaries, government records, and newspapers, the author was able to consult over 30 living veterans of the Indian Wars, and to obtain information from them by questionnaires and personal interviews. These unique sources have contributed to the composite view of the regular enlisted man who by securing the West during this frenzied period of expansion made a significant contribution to the development of the nations....This view of the enlisted man adds a new and worthwhile chapter to the history of the West." History News

Review:

"The author has a talent for bolstering interpretations and generalizations with specific facts and examples....His research is meticulous. Although he makes the most of his sources, he does not distort them. As a result, the common soldier of the Indian wars emerges as an individual and not as a stereotype....This volume most certainly helps to reveal both the nature and the character of those who participated in the last Indian wars of the trans-Mississippi West. As such, it is a substantial addition not only to American military history in general but also a contribution to the literature of the western frontier." American Historical Review

Review:

"One is struck by the author's diligent research and by the bulk of material he has gathered about the everyday life of these soldiers." Francis Paul Prucha

Review:

"Highly informative, engrossing reading." Robert M. Utley

Synopsis:

The enlisted men in the United States Army during the Indian Wars (1866-91) need no longer be mere shadows behind their historically well-documented commanding officers.

As member of the regular army, these men formed an important segment of our usually slighted national military continuum and, through their labors, combats, and endurance, created the framework of law and order within which settlement and development become possible. We should know more about the common soldier in our military past, and here he is.

About the Author

Don Rickey, Jr., who holds the Ph.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma, is park interpretive planner, National Park Service, Midwest Region, in Omaha, and an authority on the military history of the American West.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780806111131
Author:
Rickey, Don
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Location:
Norman
Subject:
Military - General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Indians of north america
Subject:
United States - 19th Century/Old West
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life
Subject:
United States - State & Local
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
US History-19th Century
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series Volume:
75-3
Publication Date:
19731231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 bandw illus., 3 maps
Pages:
394
Dimensions:
8 x 5.5 x 0.8 in 1.01 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Americana » Western States
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Indian Wars
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century

Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay: The Enlisted Soldier Fighting the Indian Wars New Trade Paper
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$19.95 In Stock
Product details 394 pages University of Oklahoma Press - English 9780806111131 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Don Rickey, Jr. has turned the spotlight upon the enlisted man of the regular army during Indian Wars in the West from 1865 to the 1890's. In addition to examining the manuscript and printed diaries, government records, and newspapers, the author was able to consult over 30 living veterans of the Indian Wars, and to obtain information from them by questionnaires and personal interviews. These unique sources have contributed to the composite view of the regular enlisted man who by securing the West during this frenzied period of expansion made a significant contribution to the development of the nations....This view of the enlisted man adds a new and worthwhile chapter to the history of the West."
"Review" by , "The author has a talent for bolstering interpretations and generalizations with specific facts and examples....His research is meticulous. Although he makes the most of his sources, he does not distort them. As a result, the common soldier of the Indian wars emerges as an individual and not as a stereotype....This volume most certainly helps to reveal both the nature and the character of those who participated in the last Indian wars of the trans-Mississippi West. As such, it is a substantial addition not only to American military history in general but also a contribution to the literature of the western frontier."
"Review" by , "One is struck by the author's diligent research and by the bulk of material he has gathered about the everyday life of these soldiers."
"Review" by , "Highly informative, engrossing reading."
"Synopsis" by ,

The enlisted men in the United States Army during the Indian Wars (1866-91) need no longer be mere shadows behind their historically well-documented commanding officers.

As member of the regular army, these men formed an important segment of our usually slighted national military continuum and, through their labors, combats, and endurance, created the framework of law and order within which settlement and development become possible. We should know more about the common soldier in our military past, and here he is.

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