Benjamin Franklin Taylor (1819-1887) won renown as a war correspondent for Chicago newspapers during the Civil War. In peacetime he became a freelance writer best known as a poet. Between the gates (1878) is an account of Taylor's journey by train from Chicago to San Francisco in the 1870s and his summer in California. The trip west is covered in great detail as is his lengthy stay in San Francisco, with its Chinatown. From there, he journeys by rail to the Sonoma Valley, on to the geysers and petrified forest, the Russian River and Mammoth Cave, continuing by horseback through the San Joaquín Valley to the Yosemite. Briefer attention is given to his rail trip to Southern California with stops at Tehachapi, the Mojave Desert, Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel mission.