By Douglas C. McChristian
During his 5 years within the military, inner most William Edward Matthews wrote a chain of enormously particular and interesting letters to his relations again domestic in Maryland describing his lifestyles within the Arizona and New Mexico Territories. Eddie Matthews's letters, released the following for the 1st time, supply an unheard of chronicle of 1 soldier's reports in garrison and within the box within the post-Civil warfare Southwest.
Eddie's letters checklist a vibrant chronicle of day by day lifestyles within the frontier regulars. incorporated are operational info in his corporation, candid observations of individuals and locations, intimate perspectives of frontier society, and private evaluations that most likely may were forgotten or moderated had he recorded his studies later in existence. extra refined are his beneficial references to the country of transportation and conversation within the Southwest in the course of the early 1870s. Matthews most likely didn't become aware of until eventually later years that he used to be not just a witness to the nation's quick westward growth, yet used to be himself a tiny cog within the equipment that made it possible.
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Extra info for Frontier Cavalry Trooper: The Letters of Private Eddie Matthews, 1869-1874
You must have them taken for me soon. Will have mine taken and send to you soon as get payed off, which will not be very long. I am just one week and three months in the service today. Will I suppose draw four months pay or perhaps more. ] Will send the most of it home. Will give you a little account of my trip [since I] last wrote to you from Fort Yuma, which I hope you have received ere this. We were separated at the above place, those that went to the First Cavy and one or two companys for the Eighth.
First Orderly for the Capt, then Clerking for him, then doing Guard duty. Fort Yuma, Lower California sunday, november 14, 1869 29th. Running along side of the Mexican Shore, grass looks green, reminds me of spring. Came into Cape St. , did not remain but short time. There is only two or three horses in sight. Suppose there is a Town inland some place near the Cape. 30th. M. Something on the order of a shower bath. All undressed and then had two men to turn the hose on us. Cleaned us up pretty well.
Eddie remembered his father’s advice to do whatever was asked of him and thereby gain advancement as quickly as possible. Consequently, he served as a clerk and quartermaster sergeant throughout most of his army career, thus avoiding much of the tedium of routine troop duty. 32 chapter one high out here. Merchandise of every kind is awful. Country produce such as Eggs and Butter are the same. Eggs one dollar and twenty five cents per doz. Butter one fifty per lb and very scarce at that. They have some very fine stores out here, but know how to charge.