What was it really like to be a soldier in the nineteenth-century American West?
Their heads filled with images of glory and battle, most young men joined the frontier army only to endure a life of tedious drills, bad meals, uncomfortable quarters, and ill-fitting uniforms. Working hard seven days a week and in all weather, soldiers frequently found themselves lonely and bored, with little opportunity for advancement but many ways to be punished--all for $13 a month.
Focusing on the Indian Wars period of the 1840s through the 1890s, Life of a Soldier on the Western Frontier captures the daily challenges faced by the typical enlisted man and explores the role soldiers played in the conquering of the American frontier. In addition to describing the nitty-gritty details of a soldier's daily life, this fascinating study explores the Indian Wars from the perspective of both the military and the Indians and examines all aspects of the post Civil War army, including its organization, its weapons, and its personnel. The book also contains two appendices, one summarizing significant battles and the other listing selected western forts. Both include site locations and information for visitors. Dozens of photos and several maps add to the reader's understanding and enjoyment. Life of a Soldier on the Western Frontier is more than a convenient reference book, it's also a gripping and affecting story.