The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Book Reviews

in her writing as a bright, chatty, cheerful, optimistic girl. Her diary
(from the manuscript collection of the Bancroft Library and never be-
fore published) is full of wit and charm and is interesting for its picture
of the routine rather than big events. Eveline enjoyed riding and hunt-
ing and found camp life far more acceptable than most army wives. She
was struck by the beauty of the western landscape, entered it with a
sense of adventure, and adapted to her new surroundings with relative
ease. She was interested in the problems of the Indians, especially the
Navajos, and wrote fairly extensively about Negro troops, although her
views by today's standards seem narrow.
Eveline Alexander's report chronicles no great historical events nor
any major military battles. She did meet General William T. Sherman
and Kit Carson, but her diary is more important for its observations on
everyday life. Educated and well-read though she was, Eveline was still
a Victorian woman. She was disturbed by "the frightful profanity" of
the men and distressed to find the Sabbath so little regarded in the
army. She discusses the hardships of travel, occasional shortages of ra-
tions and water, the necessity of guarding against grass fires, and the
discomforts of camp life during heavy rains. On the prairie there was a
constant lookout for buffalo and one officer was temporarily lost; in Co-
manche country a human scalp was found on a pole on top of a butte.
Since the diary ends abruptly with the January 17, 1867, entry, the nar-
rative is rounded out with letters from the Booher Collection. In one of
these Mrs. Alexander concludes, "I don't share your desire to make my
home west of the Mississippi River. It is an interesting country to visit,
but a hard one to settle in" (p. 122).
Sandra Myres has done an excellent job of making the text readable,
without losing the diarist's style and individuality, and has provided ex-
tensive notes of explanation. Cavalry Wife is a fascinating, human ac-
count, expertly refurbished and supplemented.
Southern Methodist University RONALD L. DAVIS
Hamlin Garland's Observations on the American Indian, 1895-1905.
Edited by Lonnie E. Underhill and Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr. (Tuc-
son: University of Arizona Press, 1977. Pp. viii+214. Preface, il-
lustrations, maps, references, bibliography, index. $9.95.)
Between 1895 and 1905 Hamlin Garland visited many of the Indian
reservations in the Plains and western states. His discovery of the Far
West was a major event in his career as a writer, and he incorporated

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101205/. Accessed July 24, 2014.