Alson Ostrander went out west to the frontier, where he had occasions to meet General of the Army, Ulysses S. Grant, General William Tecumseh Sherman (with whom he shared a smoke), General George Thomas, and even famed scout, Jim Bridger.

Throughout this wonderful memoir, Ostrander heaps unsparing, self-deprecating humor onto his young self as he tells of crossing territory full of hostile bands of Indians, climbing Scott’s Bluff, and in general not knowing quite what soldiering was all about.

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