Robert M. Utley, editor and annotator of An Army Doctor on the Western Frontier: Journals and Letters of John Vance Lauderdale, 1864-1890 (University of New Mexico Press, $29.95), has created a superb, primary resource on frontier life.
For 25 years, Dr. Lauderdale kept a journal and wrote countless letters to his sister in upstate New York. His detailed notes emphasize life on officer’s row, and the daily events and discussions with the visitors to the Army post he served as medical doctor. He wrote about many prominent historical figures he met, including Gen. William T. Sherman at Fort Wingate in 1878. His observations were revealing and insightful, especially his criticism of soldiers and officers who were drunkards.
—Edwin Sweeney, editor of Cochise: Firsthand Accounts of the Chiricahua Apache Chief