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An Accurate Depiction Of Army Life In The 19th Century West In Army Letters From An Officer's Wife
While the wives of army officers and their letters and accounts have long been neglected and ignored, Frances M. A. Roe's account of the West plains and army life in Army Letters From An Officer's Wife has recently received great praise from the critics and the audience.
It has been accepted that women were actually keen on analyzing and depicting army life better than the ones involved directly. Frances Roe married in 1871 to Fayette Washington Roe, an army officer just fresh out of West Point. He was sent to Fort Lyon in Colorado and his wife agreed to join him. What follows is a series of campaigns in the shadow of the Rockies and in Indian territory.
Frances Roe sent many letters back home, describing what she saw there, the army protocols, the officer's right to boot someone out of their homes, the Indian chief visits and their ceremonies and many more. These were collected and published in the form of the book in 1909.
Roe is also the first person to describe black soldiers of that time as Buffalo Soldiers. She depicts them as brave men who are eager to fight the Indians when they are called and that they are more capable in many respects than white men who are recruited during times of peace.
Frances manages to spend time on the front from 1871 to 1878, when her husband receives a desk job in the city. She also describes her difficulties in adapting to city life, her inability to make connections with "people of culture", to use the parasols or to go shopping.
Army Letters From An Officer's Wife is a highly recommended lecture from someone who saw and depicted the Wild West as it was back then, before the railway brought an end to the wilderness and to the Indian tribes.
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