PERHAPS it is not necessary to say that the events mentioned in the
letters are not imaginary - perhaps the letters themselves tell that!
They are truthful accounts of experiences that came into my own life
with the Army in the far West, whether they be about Indians,
desperadoes, or hunting - not one little thing has been stolen. They
are of a life that has passed - as has passed the buffalo and the
antelope - yes, and the log and adobe quarters for the Army. All
flowery descriptions have been omitted, as it seemed that a simple,
concise narration of events as they actually occurred, was more in
keeping with the life, and that which came into it.
FRANCES M. A. ROE.
ARMY LETTERS FROM AN OFFICER'S WIFE
KIT CARSON, COLORADO TERRITORY,
IT is late, so this can be only a note - to tell you that we arrived
here safely, and will take the stage for Fort Lyon to-morrow morning
at six o'clock. I am thankful enough that our stay is short at this
terrible place, where one feels there is danger of being murdered any
minute. Not one woman have I seen here, but there are men - any number
of dreadful-looking men - each one armed with big pistols, and leather
belts full of cartridges. But the houses we saw as we came from the
station were worse even than the men. They looked, in the moonlight,
like huge cakes of clay, where spooks and creepy things might be
found. The hotel is much like the houses, and appears to have been
made of dirt, and a few drygoods boxes. Even the low roof is of dirt.
The whole place is horrible, and dismal beyond description, and just
why anyone lives here I cannot understand.
I am all upset! Faye has just been in to say that only one of my
trunks can be taken on the stage with us, and of course I had to
select one that has all sorts of things in it, and consequently leave
my pretty dresses here, to be sent for - all but the Japanese silk
which happens to be in that trunk. But imagine my mortification in
having to go with Faye to his regiment, with only two dresses. And
then, to make my shortcomings the more vexatious, Faye will be simply
fine all the time, in his brand new uniform!
Perhaps I can send a long letter soon - if I live to reach that army
post that still seems so far away.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY,
AFTER months of anticipation and days of weary travel we have at last
got to our army home! As you know, Fort Lyon is fifty miles from Kit
Carson, and we came all that distance in a funny looking stage coach
called a "jerkey," and a good name for it, too, for at times it
seesawed back and forth and then sideways, in an awful breakneck way.
The day was glorious, and the atmosphere so clear, we could see miles
and miles in every direction.