Rifles for Watie

Rifles for Watie

Harold Keith

Jeff Bussey walked speedily up the rutted wagon street towards citadel Leavenworth on his approach to sign up for the Union volunteers. It used to be 1861 in Linn County, Kansas, and Jeff used to be elated on the prospect of scuffling with for the North at last.

In the Indian state south of Kansas there has been dread within the air; and the identify, Stand Watie, was once on each tongue. A hero to the insurgent, a satan to the Union guy, Stand Watie led the Cherokee Indian Na-tion fearlessly and effectively on savage raids at the back of the Union strains. Jeff got here to grasp the Watie males simply too well.

He used to be most likely the one soldier within the West to work out the Civil warfare from each side and dwell to inform approximately it. Amid the roar of cannon and the sleek of flying grape, Jeff realized what it intended to struggle in conflict. He discovered the way it felt by no means to have sufficient to consume, to forage for his nutrients or starve. He observed the golf green fields of Kansas and Okla-homa laid waste by way of Watie's raiding events, houses gutted, beneficial corn intentionally uprooted. He marched perpetually throughout parched, sizzling land, via dust and slash-ing rain, regularly hungry, continually soiled and dog-tired.

And, Jeff, plain-spoken and sincere, made pals and enemies. the chums have been robust males like Noah Babbitt, the itinerant printer who as soon as walked from Topeka to Galveston to work out the magnolias in bloom; boys like Jimmy Lear, too younger to hold a gun yet the right age to renounce his lifestyles at Cane Hill; grotesque, big-eared Heifer, who made the easiest sourdough biscuits within the Choctaw state; and lovely Lucy Washbourne, insurgent to the marrow and happy with it. The enemies have been males of an-other breed - hard-bitten Captain Clardy for one, a merciless officer with hatred for Jeff in his eyes and a dismal mystery on his soul.

This is a wealthy and sweeping novel-rich in its landscape of heritage; in its info so transparent that the reader by no means doubts for a second that he's there; in its dozens of alternative humans, every one absolutely learned and entirely recognizable. it's a tale of a lesser -- identified a part of the Civil battle, the Western crusade, a component diversified in its matters and its difficulties, and fought with a unique savagery. Inexorably it strikes to a dramat-ic climax, evoking an excellent photograph of a struggle and the boys of each side who fought in it.

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