The Indians call them Buffalo Soldiers

  Camp Supply, Indian Territory, May 1872: There are more troops here than at Fort Lyon, and of course the post is very much larger. There are two troops of colored cavalry, one of white cavalry, and three companies of infantry. […] The officers say that the negroes make good soldiers and fight like fiends[…] The Indians call them “buffalo…

Read More→

“Where’s Frances?” Arlington National Cemetery Update

“It is the feeling of loneliness I mind here—of being lost and no one to search for me.”    Frances M.A. Roe.  Army Letters from an Officer’s Wife, 1871-1888. Soon after returning from Arlington National Cemetery, I couldn’t help but wonder “where’s Frances?” I dug out the Roe file which includes both Frances and Fayette’s Last Will and Testament (LW&T)….

Read More→

In search of Frances Roe at Arlington

The Constance Fenimore Woolson Society biennial conference in Washington D.C. was coming up and Joan- a colleague asked if I’d be interested (Woolson was a prolific 19th century writer. And yes, her great uncle was James Fenimore Cooper, author of the Leatherstocking Tales). Of course I jumped on board since Frances is buried at Arlington in the Roe family plot. I headed…

Read More→

Mrs. Rae’s Indians

Camp Supply, Indian Territory, May 1872 – January 1873 This place is quite dreadful as it has been represented to us. There are more troops here than at Fort Lyon, and of course the post is very much larger. There are two troops of colored cavalry, one of white cavalry, and three companies of infantry[…] Camp Supply is certainly in…

Read More→

We are in the Heart of Indian Country

Cimarron Redoubt, Kansas, January 1873. Two or three days ago Powder-Face came to make a formal call upon the “White Chief.” […] He is an Indian of striking personality—is rather tall, with square, broad shoulders, and the poise of his head tells one at once that he is not an ordinary savage.   We must have found favor with him,…

Read More→

Sandbag Castle on the Plains

Cimarron Redoubt, Kansas, January 1873. As soon as I heard of the order I announced that I was coming, but it was necessary to obtain the commanding officer’s permission first. This seemed rather hopeless for a time, the general declaring I would “die in such a hole,” where I could have no comforts, but he did not say I should not…

Read More→

Book review; It is the Feminine Quality…

Too often, we overlook the marketing and advertisement of books while excavating authors and pondering the literary significance of their words. While digging away in the archives, I uncovered  the Army Letters… book review in “Literary Digest”:   Book Review 1909; $2.00.  Camp life from the point of view of an army officer is a not unusual theme; the same experiences…

Read More→

Fort Lyon – Colorado Territory

October 1871 After months of anticipation and days of weary travel we have at last got to our army home! The day was glorious, and the atmosphere so clear, we could see miles and miles in every direction. But there was not one object to be seen on the vast rolling plains–not a tree nor a house. The post is not…

Read More→

Tweet