The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983 Page: 50
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In the course of the journey, Emily Andrews kept a detailed diary
written in the form of a letter to her father. In this diary, Mrs. An-
drews described many of the experiences common to military wives on
the southwestern, and indeed the western, frontier in the post-Civil
War period. Although army wives looked forward to arriving at a new
post and getting settled in their quarters, most, like Emily Andrews,
enjoyed being "on the march" and the opportunity to "camp out" for
a few weeks. A number of the army wives kept journals of their experi-
ences, and, like Mrs. Andrews, they described the strange new plants
and animals they saw and the sights and natural curiosities along the
way. Most commented on the spectacular sunsets, the terrible storms
and "northers," and other weather phenomena. They discussed their
encounters with Indians, Mexicans, and other frontier dwellers and
related small incidents of camp and garrison life. The army wives
viewed the frontier through the eyes of middle-class eastern-raised
women, and their accounts provide an interesting picture of the late
The Andrews diary, clearly and firmly written on forty-three 6/4 x
81/4-inch pages in what appears to have been a composition book, is in
the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas, Austin.
Purchased during the 1940s or 1950os with monies from the Littlefield
Fund, the diary is in excellent condition. I have retained Mrs. An-
drews's spelling, punctuation, and grammar, with only sparing use of
the annotation sic. The diary is typical in writing style of those kept by
many women during the nineteenth century, and it helps to enlarge
and illuminate our views of women's lives in Texas during the period.
McKavett, Texas, in 1871. May Callan Tansill Collection (Eugene C. Barker Texas History
Center, University of Texas, Austin).
The escort, under the command of Lieutenant Henry H. Landon, was detailed from
Fort Davis on July 13, 1874, to deliver a prisoner, Robert D. Chase, to the authorities at
Austin for transportation to Huntsville and to escort the Andrews party back to Fort
Davis. In addition to Landon, two noncommissioned officers, and ten troopers, the escort
had three six-mule teams, four mules for the "private ambulance of Colonel Andrews;
and the necessary camp equipage." Special Orders, No. 65, Fort Davis, Texas, July 13,
1874, Adjutant General's Office, Orders, Vol. 626, RG 94, NA.
BOther accounts by army wives in Texas during the nineteenth century include: Ellen
McGowan Biddle, Reminiscences of a Soldier's Wife (Philadelphia, 19o7); Elizabeth
Bacon Custer, Tenting on the Plains; or, General Custer in Kansas and Texas (3 vols.;
Norman, 1971); Lydia Spencer Lane, I Married a Soldier; or, Old Days in the Old Army
(Albuquerque, 1964); and [Teresa] Vield, "Following the Drum": A Glimpse of Frontier
Life (1858; reprint ed., Austin, 1968). Also see Sandra L. Myres, "The Ladies of the
Army-Views of Western Life," The American Military on the Frontier: Proceedings of
the Seventh Military History Symposium, United States Air Force Academy 30 Septem-
ber-i October 1976 (Washington, D.C., 1978), 135-154; and Patricia Y. Stallard, Glitter-
ing Misery: Dependents of the Indian Fighting Army (San Rafael, Calif., 1978), 11-52.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983, periodical, 1982/1983; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/m1/70/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.