Class and Race in the Frontier Army: Military Life in the West, 1870-1890

Kent State historian Kevin Adams’s Class and Race in the Frontier Army: Military Life in the West, 1870-1890 is somewhat mistitled.  Almost all of it deals with class separation in the army, especially between officers and enlisted men. Adams intelligently shows how most frontier officers were focused on social status and not on military strategy. The everyday soldier was frequently detailed to common labor. As a result, the U.S. military was too often unprepared for the challenges of the West. That cost a lot of lives on both sides.

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