Read My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearney Massacre by Frances C. Carrington Online

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No army post on the nineteenth-century Trans-Mississippi frontier has been the focus of as much attention as Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. Built in 1866 as one of three outposts along the Bozeman Trail, Fort Phil Kearny's brief two-year existence was marred by tragedy and controversy arising from two of the most famous and debated Indian fights in western history: the FettermNo army post on the nineteenth-century Trans-Mississippi frontier has been the focus of as much attention as Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. Built in 1866 as one of three outposts along the Bozeman Trail, Fort Phil Kearny's brief two-year existence was marred by tragedy and controversy arising from two of the most famous and debated Indian fights in western history: the Fetterman disaster and the Wagon Box Fight. The short-lived fort is also noteworthy for the wealth of lore left by its residents concerning life at an army post. One of those to write of her experience was a young woman, Frances Grummond Carrington, whose first husband, Lieutenant George W. Grummond, lost his life in the Fetterman fight. Four years later Frances married Colonel Henry B. Carrington, Fort Phil Kearny's founder and commanding officer, whose first wife, Margaret, had died in 1870. She too had written about life at Fort Kearny. In My Army Life, (originally published as Army Life On The Plains), Frances Grummond Carrington shares with us the experience of traveling north along the Bozeman Trail; the building of Fort Phil Kearny and what life was like for a young bride at this remote military station in the West. The last third of the book describes the Carringtons' life after leaving Fort Phil Kearny: how Frances and Henry renewed their acquaintance with one another following Margaret's death; their subsequent marriage, and their return to the Sheridan, Wyoming, area to help dedicate a Fetterman memorial....

Title : My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearney Massacre
Author :
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ISBN : 9780871087980
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 317 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearney Massacre Reviews

  • booklady
    2019-03-07 16:05

    My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearney Massacre was recommended by our British (yes, I do mean British) tour guide at Ft. Phil Kearney as a good ‘gossipy’ read about Fetterman Fight or the Fetterman Massacre. Only the Battle of the Little Big Horn (ten years later) was a worse defeat for the United States Army and a greater victory for the Plains Indians. On December 21, 1866, Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors staged an ambush some three miles from Fort Phil Kearny. Sent to rescue a besieged wood-wagon train, Captain William J. Fetterman and 80 men were decoyed over Lodge Trail Ridge by a small number of Indians led by the young Lakota Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse, into a trap where over 1000 warriors waited in hiding. Fetterman's pursuit over the ridge, in violation of his superior officer's orders, led to the death of the entire command.The shooting started about noon, and was over in only 30 minutes but the controversies surrounding exactly what happened during that time continue to this day. Why did Captain Fetterman, an officer with an impeccable Civil War record, disobey a direct order of his superior officer? Did Colonel Carrington actually give the order he and his wife claim he gave? Or was Captain Fetterman really the arrogant, insubordinate and inexperienced officer Colonel Carrington says he was? And what about Lt. Grummond and the cavalry? Did Grummond lead his cavalry far in advance of Fetterman, chasing the Indian decoys, in direct opposition to his orders from Col. Carrington to stay with Fetterman during the operation, as has been alleged? (Grummond also had a distinguished Civil War record as a combat officer, but he had been court martialed for drunkenness and abuse of civilians, and he was a bigamist. He had been reckless and possibly disobeyed orders during the December 6 fight.) And last but not least, was Captain Ten Eck negligent when—sent in relief of Captain Fetterman—his response was deemed too slow but could he and his troops have done anything to prevent the massacre regardless of how or why he responded as he did? Was his claim that he was ‘keeping to higher ground’ justifiable on the grounds of military prudence? Later when he was accused of cowardice and drunkenness, one can’t help wondering if anyone asked him what his reaction was to the sight he beheld that December afternoon of the mutilated corpses of his fellow officers and men. It has been said the brutality of this attack was a direct response to the viciousness of the Sand Creek Massacre two years earlier, which considering numbers and that it was directed against a sleeping village of unarmed women and children was actually far worse. So given all this background, how was Mrs. Carrington’s book? It was a fair read. Our guide was right in his assessment and yet I still enjoyed it. However, when I consider what Frances endured and saw in her years, I don’t envy her a thing and I have to admit to high admiration for her and all women of that generation. What they went through! She had quite a life, growing up in the South in a family divided between the Union and the Confederate. Then she traveled west in a wagon in danger, dirt, and discomfort to a fort under constant threat of Indian attack, living in fear for her own life and that of her husband. (The standing order was if the fort was taken, there was someone designated to shoot all the women and children rather than let them be taken by the Indians.) Then after her husband was in fact killed*—she travels back east in the middle of a freezing blizzard while she was 6-8 months pregnant. The storm was so bad that most of the men lost fingers and/or toes, at least and more than a few died. There’s so much more, but then you wouldn’t read the book. Now I just want to go on to read the other books our guide recommended about Fetterman. We have visited Ft. Phil Kearney twice now, in 2001 and again in 2014. If you are ever in Wyoming, I highly recommend it! *The reason Frances has the same last name as the Colonel is because after his first wife died, Frances wrote a letter of sympathy to Colonel Carrington, he replied and a correspondence sprung up leading to marriage. Thus Mrs. Grummond of earlier years became Mrs. Carrington until her death many years later.

  • Rcw70
    2019-03-10 10:55

    This is a great story - well know to those interested in Western history. simply Stated the author was a young bride traveling to the far west with her husband an army Lt - They were assigned to a new fort in the black Hills. The husband went out with a patrol of some 80 men and the whole patrol was massacred in what was the biggest loss in the army's history excepting Custer and little big horn. The wife - now widow - stayed with the Base commander - Col Carrington and his wife - several weeks until they were able to leave the fort - (which was later abandoned. Some time later the Col's wife died and the widow the author of this book married her former host.As I said it is a great story - but it is poorly written here, a painful read.Any one interested in the army life of the 1870- 1880s would do better to read The "Vanished Arizona: Recollections of My Army Life" by Martha Summerhayes or "Army Letters from an Officers Wife" by Antoinette Mack Roe