TO MY SON HARRY SUMMERHAYES
WHO SHARED THE VICISSITUDES OF MY LIFE IN ARIZONA,
THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
I have written this story of my army life at the urgent and
ceaseless request of my children.
For whenever I allude to those early days, and tell to them the
tales they have so often heard, they always say: "Now, mother,
will you write these stories for us? Please, mother, do; we must
never forget them."
Then, after an interval, "Mother, have you written those stories
of Arizona yet?" until finally, with the aid of some old letters
written from those very places (the letters having been
preserved, with other papers of mine, by an uncle in New England
long since dead), I have been able to give a fairly connected
I have not attempted to commemorate my husband's brave career in
the Civil War, as I was not married until some years after the
close of that war, nor to describe the many Indian campaigns in
which he took part, nor to write about the achievements of the
old Eighth Infantry. I leave all that to the historian. I have
given simply the impressions made upon the mind of a young New
England woman who left her comfortable home in the early
seventies, to follow a second lieutenant into the wildest
encampments of the American army.
Hoping the story may possess some interest for the younger women
of the army, and possibly for some of our old friends, both in
the army and in civil life, I venture to send it forth.
POSTCRIPT (second edition).
The appendix to this, the second edition of my book, will tell
something of the kind manner in which the first edition was
received by my friends and the public at large.
But as several people had expressed a wish that I should tell
more of my army experiences I have gone carefully over the entire
book, adding some detail and a few incidents which had come to my
I have also been able, with some difficulty and much patient
effort, to secure several photographs of exceptional interest,
which have been added to the illustrations.
I. GERMANY AND THE ARMY
II. I JOINED THE ARMY
III. ARMY HOUSE-KEEPING
IV. DOWN THE PACIFIC COAST
V. THE SLUE
VI. UP THE RIO COLORADO
VII. THE MOJAVE DESERT
VIII. LEARNING HOW TO SOLDIER
IX. ACROSS THE MOGOLLONS
X. A PERILOUS ADVENTURE
XI. CAMP APACHE
XII. LIFE AMONGST THE APACHES
XIII. A NEW RECRUIT
XIV. A MEMORABLE JOURNEY
XV. FORDING THE LITTLE COLORADO
XVI. STONEMAN'S LAKE
XVII. THE COLORADO DESERT
XVIII. EHRENBERG ON THE COLORADO
XIX. SUMMER AT EHRENBERG
XX. MY DELIVERER
XXI. WINTER IN EHRENBERG
XXII. RETURN TO THE STATES
XXIII. BACK TO ARIZONA
XXIV. UP THE VALLEY OF THE GILA
XXV. OLD CAMP MACDOWELL
XXVI. A SUDDEN ORDER
XXVII. THE EIGHTH FOOT LEAVES ARIZONA
XXVIII. CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA
XXIX. CHANGING STATION
XXX. FORT NIOBRARA
XXXI. SANTA FE
XXXIII. DAVID'S ISLAND
GERMANY AND THE ARMY
The stalwart men of the Prussian army, the Lancers, the Dragoons,
the Hussars, the clank of their sabres on the pavements, their
brilliant uniforms, all made an impression upon my romantic mind,
and I listened eagerly, in the quiet evenings, to tales of
Hanover under King George, to stories of battles lost, and the
entry of the Prussians into the old Residenz-stadt; the flight of
the King, and the sorrow and chagrin which prevailed.
For I was living in the family of General Weste, the former
stadt-commandant of Hanover, who had served fifty years in the
army and had accompanied King George on his exit from the city.
He was a gallant veteran, with the rank of General-Lieutenant,
ausser Dienst. A charming and dignified man, accepting
philosophically the fact that Hanover had become Prussian, but
loyal in his heart to his King and to old Hanover; pretending
great wrath when, on the King's birthday, he found yellow and
white sand strewn before his door, but unable to conceal the
joyful gleam in his eye when he spoke of it.
The General's wife was the daughter of a burgomaster and had been
brought up in a neighboring town. She was a dear, kind soul.
The house-keeping was simple, but stately and precise, as
befitted the rank of this officer. The General was addressed by
the servants as Excellenz and his wife as Frau Excellenz. A
charming unmarried daughter lived at home, making, with myself, a
family of four.
Life was spent quietly, and every evening, after our coffee
(served in the living-room in winter, and in the garden in
summer), Frau Generalin would amuse me with descriptions of life
in her old home, and of how girls were brought up in her day; how
industry was esteemed by her mother the greatest virtue, and
idleness was punished as the most beguiling sin. She was never
allowed, she said, to read, even on Sunday, without her
knitting-work in her hands; and she would often sigh, and say to
me, in German (for dear Frau Generalin spoke no other tongue),
"Ach, Martha, you American girls are so differently brought up";
and I would say, "But, Frau Generalin, which way do you think is
the better?" She would then look puzzled, shrug her shoulders,
and often say, "Ach! times are different I suppose, but my ideas
can never change."
Now the dear Frau Generalin did not speak a word of English, and
as I had had only a few lessons in German before I left America,
I had the utmost difficulty at first in comprehending what she
said. She spoke rapidly and I would listen with the closest
attention, only to give up in despair, and to say, "Gute Nacht,"
evening after evening, with my head buzzing and my mind a blank.