Ordered West: The Civil War Exploits of Charles A. Curtis

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Alan D. Gaff, Donald H. Gaff
University of North Texas Press, Jun 15, 2017 - History - 592 pages
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During the Civil War, Charles Curtis served in the 5th United States Infantry on the New Mexico and Arizona frontier. He spent his years from 1862 to 1865 on garrison duty, interacting with Native Americans, both hostile and friendly. Years after his service and while president of Norwich University, Curtis wrote an extensive memoir of his time in the Southwest. This memoir was serialized and published in a New England newspaper and so remained unknown, until now. 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.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Adventure Begins
21
Across the Plains
36
Along the Santa F Trail
50
Into New Mexico
62
Arrival in Santa F
73
Albuquerque and the Rio Grande
92
Arrival at Fort Craig
102
Headed for Fort Wingate
297
Inscription Rock
306
Sightseeing and a Captive Boy
316
Coues and Consequences
327
Colorado Chiquito and a Porcupine
336
Troubles with Coues and Indians
346
Arrival at Fort Whipple
358
Building a Fort
369

On the March
112
Encounter with Apaches
124
Las Cruces and Mesilla
131
New Mexico Stories
143
Across the Jornada Del Muerto
151
From Peralta to Fort Marcy
161
Quartermaster Duty
172
Romantic Entanglements
184
En Route to Conejos
193
No Potatoes But a New Assignment
205
Indian Attack at Los Valles Grandes
218
Pueblos and Navajos
227
Indians of New Mexico
239
Lost in the Wilderness
248
Winter Quarters
254
Return to Jemez
264
GoodBye to Los Valles Grandes
277
Departure from Albuquerque
289
The Missing Mail Carrier
378
Horse Flesh
384
A Bad Day Fishing
397
Cash and Carrying on
409
Life in Prescott
419
Fight at Red Rocks
431
Politics and Punishment
440
Into the Desert
450
Water in Several Forms
461
La Paz
468
Major Thompsons Scout
479
Last Days at Fort Whipple
493
Doctor Coues in Charge
506
A Change in Command
520
California and Home
535
Bibliography
546
Index
561
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Alan D. Gaff is an independent scholar and President of Historical Investigations. His previous books include Bayonets in the Wilderness, Blood in the Argonne, and On Many a Bloody Field. Donald H. Gaff is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern Iowa, and co-editor with Alan D. Gaff of A Corporal’s Story: Civil War Recollections of the Twelfth Massachusetts.

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