Monday, December 19, 2016

Ordered West

It seems like it's been a long while since an edited letter collection/diary/memoir written by a soldier that fought in the Desert Southwest during the Civil War has been published. An upcoming volume from University of North Texas Press, Ordered West: The Civil War Exploits of Charles A. Curtis (June, 2017), sounds very interesting. Curtis served in New Mexico and Arizona, and his wartime experiences between 1862 and 1865 were recounted at length in a memoir originally published as a newspaper serial.

From the description:
"In addition to his keen observations of daily life as a soldier serving in the American Southwest, Curtis’s reminiscences include extensive descriptions of Arizona and New Mexico and detail his encounters with Indians, notable military figures, eccentrics, and other characters from the Old West. Among these many stories readers will find Curtis’s accounts of meeting Kit Carson, the construction of Fort Whipple, and expeditions against the Navajo and Apache."

"In Ordered West, editors Alan D. Gaff and Donald H. Gaff have pulled together the pieces of Curtis’s story and assembled them into a single narrative. Annotated with footnotes identifying people, places, and events, the text is lavishly illustrated throughout with pictures of key figures and maps. A detailed biographical overview of Curtis and how his story came to print is also included."
The book will apparently run over 700 pages so the description of Curtis's writing as "extensive" might be an understatement.

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