Five Years a Dragoon ('49 to '54): And Other Adventures on the Great Plains

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F. Hudson Publishing Company, 1906 - West (U.S.) - 417 pages

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My review of this book stems from an interest due to my GG-Grandfather serving in a sister company about the same time as Percival Lowe. I found that reading Lowe's account allowed me to see the life and experiences that my GG-Grandfather must have shared. The training, the travel, the bitter weather, the food, the friends ( the enemies) and most of all the scenery. Lowe's details of the plains and mountains are exquisite. The hunting expeditions they went on, encounters with famous mountain men, encampments with bands of Indians ( especially the Snakes) really made an impression. His meeting with dozens of famous future Civil War leaders is probably unparalleled in any history of the pre-Civil War US Army. I was especially amazed at what a good writer he was. I highly recommend this writer. A book you will come back to often. 


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Page 284 - Lowe's Route Avoiding Ash Hollow Hill." 14th. In the evening one mule left the herd and ran down the road, followed by Assistant Wagonmaster Stanley and two teamsters. They soon returned and reported that they saw Indians on the north side of the river. Messrs. Patrick, Cecil and I went in pursuit as far as Nine Mile Tree, where we found Captain Van Vliet, quartermaster of the Utah army, camped.
Page 269 - Arrived at Ash Hollow at ten o'clock and camped. Storm subsided and left a bright, sunny day. After lunch mounted my horse, and with "Billy" Daniels for a companion, went in search of a road out of Ash Hollow to avoid the one already in use, which is altogether impracticable for us with our heavy loads — 3,500 pounds in each wagon. The teams could no more than pull up the empty wagons, and we should have to double teams and haul up a little at a time, straining mules and breaking chains. We found...
Page 190 - Sawyer tried to keep men at work, and a few did work, without stopping. I have no idea how many men were sick, but much of the illness was caused by mental anxiety. The slightest indisposition was attributed to cholera, and often resulted in bringing it on. All sorts of wild reports were afloat, and a stranger coming in would think half the garrison in a dying condition, everything was so exaggerated. Sawyer and Hopkins, the chief clerk, gave special attention to Major Ogden. Martin, whose business...
Page 78 - Bridger, the interpreter, had reported to headquarters the approach of the Snakes, and he had been directed to lead them down near to our camp. All the head men of the Sioux and Cheyennes had given assurance that they should not be molested, so down they came, moving very slowly and cautiously, the chief alone a short distance in advance. They were dressed in their best, riding fine war horses, and made a grandly savage appearance. In the absence of Major Chilton down at the post, seeing all this...
Page 137 - We camped on high ground a little east of Diamond Springs, on the south side of the road. We had been very careful of fire all the way in, and here we were especially careful on account of the dense growth of grass and consequent danger of burning the camp. We had finished dinner, about two hours before sunset when, as if by one act, fire broke out in a circle all around us not more than a mile from camp. A stiff gale was blowing from the south, and when we noticed it the fire in the tall grass was...
Page 186 - July a kiln of brick, lime, and charcoal had been burned, and one two-story stone building finished, except hanging the doors and putting in the windows, and a number of others well under way. This completed building was taken possession of for offices, and two iron safes containing the funds for paying the men were put in the front room.
Page 203 - ... the hospital. The dead were being coffined and carried out, while others took their places. Heroic efforts were being made to keep the hospital and bedding clean. Mr. Sawyer had made the best arrangements possible, under the circumstances, for nursing, washing, cleaning quarters, etc., and it was a surprise to me how well the attendants did. To change bedding and attend to the necessities of a long room full of men in the agonies of the fatal disease required attentive and intelligent work. Burial...
Page 80 - er got their backs up, and there wouldn't have been room to camp 'round here for dead Sioux. You dragoons acted nice, but you wouldn't have had no show if the fight had commenced— no making peace then. And I tell you another thing: the Sioux ain't goin
Page 192 - Thus the morning of the 3d opened. An ambulance had gone after Major Armistead. Reverend Mr. Clarkson, the post chaplain, with his wife and niece, were the only nurses for Mrs. Wood and her two children and Mrs. Armistead. I never saw braver or more devoted nurses and friends than the Clarksons. They took Mrs. Armistead's two children home, and did everything that could be done for the others. But Mrs. Wood and her two children and Mrs. Armistead died during the day.
Page 194 - ... leader inside, while all sorts, drunk and sober, looked on. We could hear plainly most that was said, and they meant that we should hear; and, if carried out, it looked serious. A committee headed by this fellow had waited upon Sawyer before they broke into the sutler's store and demanded the pay they claimed was due them. Sawyer was a man of good courage, but of quiet disposition, and not a very strong man. Seeing the apparent determination of the fellow and his following, Sawyer parleyed a...

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