In the years following the Civil War, the U.S. Army underwent a professional decline. Soldiers served their enlistments at remote, nameless posts from Arizona to Alaska. Harsh weather, bad food and poor conditions were adversaries as dangerous as Indian raiders. Yet under these circumstances, men continued to enlist for $13 a month.
Drawing on soldiers’ narratives, personal letters and official records, the author explores the common soldier’s experience during the Reconstruction Era, the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and the Punitive Expedition into Mexico.