Forts and Forays: A Dragoon in New Mexico, 1850-1856

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University of New Mexico Press, 1948 - History - 85 pages
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This is a rare account of frontier soldiering in the pre-Civil War Southwest by an enlisted man. James A. Bennett joined the regular army in 1849 and was stationed in New Mexico for six years before he deserted to Mexico. Assigned to the First Dragoons, he visited major New Mexico posts such as Forts Union, Craig and Fillmore. During his service, Bennett waged war on the Kicarilla, Mogollon, Mescalero, and Mimbres Apaches, the Navajos, and the Utes, suffering serious wounds at the Battle of Cienguilla. This is a unique glimpse into the routine duties and terrifying ordeals of soldiering in the antebellum Southwest.

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