Synopses & Reviews
When Martha Summerhayes (1844and#8211;1926) came as a bride to Fort Russell in Wyoming Territory in 1874, she and#8220;saw not much in those first few days besides bright buttons, blue uniforms, and shining swords,and#8221; but soon enough the hard facts of army life began to intrude. Remonstrating with her husband, Jack Wyder Summerhayes, that she had only three rooms and a kitchen instead of and#8220;a whole house,and#8221; she was informed that and#8220;women are not reckoned in at all in the War Department.and#8221;and#160;
and#160;Although Martha Summerhayesand#8217;s recollections span a quarter of a century and recount life at a dozen army posts, the heart of this book concerns her experiences during the 1870s in Arizona, where the harsh climate, rattlesnakes, cactus thorns, white desperadoes, and other inconveniences all made for a less-than-desirable posting for the Summerhayeses.
and#160;First printed in 1908, Vanished Arizona is Summerhayesand#8217;s memoir of her years as a military wife as her husbandand#8217;s Eighth Regiment conducted Gen. George Crookand#8217;s expedition against the Apaches. It was so well received that she became an instant celebrity and the book a timeless classic. The book retains its place securely among the essential primary records of the frontier-military West because of the narrative skill of the author and her delight in life.
and#8220;Written by the wife of an Army officer stationed in Arizona from 1874 to 1878, Vanished Arizona
provides a clear picture of life on the frontier and the hardships faced by both the men and the women.and#8221;and#8212;True West
andquot;Vanished Arizona is a classic and highly recommended to all those readersandmdash;even those keeping drug storesandmdash;who want to learn more about the distaff side of Army life during the late nineteenth century.andquot;andmdash;Roger D. Cunningham, Journal of Americaand#39;s Military Past
About the Author
Louise Barnett is a professor of American studies at Rutgers University and the author of a number of books, including Touched by Fire: The Life, Death, and Mythic Afterlife of George Armstrong Custer
, available in a Bison Books edition.