First published in 1893 and unavailable for nearly a decade, Lane's narrative manifests a dry wit that lends humor to events that range from the uncomfortable to the terrifying. Through her eyes we see the close-knit social life of an army post, the western frontier's divided response to the American Civil War (including the Confederate invasion of the Mesilla Valley), and the cultures and peoples of the West. As Darlis Miller makes clear in her Introduction, Lane's courage, her sense of humor, her powers of observation, and her obvious love for the western landscape make her an unforgettable narrator, a valuable historian, and a bold exemplar of strength under pressure.
Of privations she has much to write but she also notes:
"The truth is, all army women, from the wife of the commanding general down to the wife of a second lieutenant, are treated with so much courtesy and politeness by army officers that they do not like anything that has the least appearance of a slight or an infringement of their rights. They never grow old in a garrison, and always receive attentions to which no woman in citizen life is accustomed when no longer young."
Through births, deaths, and seemingly endless travels to new posts, Lydia followed her husband to the end of his long life as a soldier.
She remembers one incident of a death where the burial services were read by Lieutenant Joseph Wheeler, later a major-general in the Confederacy.
For the first time, this long-out-of-print book is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones.
Be sure to LOOK INSIDE or download a sample.