First edition. 8vo. Red cloth, titles stamped in black on the front cover and spine, , 85 pp., introduction, frontispiece (portrait of James Augustus Bennett), illustrated, map, footnotes, index. The folded map of the Territory of New Mexico, 1851, is housed in the rear pocket. A rare account of frontier soldiering in the pre-Civil War Southwest by an enlisted man. James A. Bennett joined the regular army in 1849 and was stationed in New Mexico for six years before he deserted to Mexico. Assigned to the First Dragoons, he visited most major New Mexico posts. Bennett served under future Civil War generals Edwin V. Sumner, Richard S. Ewell, and John W. Davidson. During his service, Bennett waged war on the Jicarilla, Mogollon, Mescalero, and Mimbres Apaches, the Navajos, and the Utes, suffering serious wounds at the Battle of Clenguilla. Bennett's diary tells of Indian fighting and many hardships. He also knew Kit Carson quite well. Rittenhouse 34 says "Bennett joined the 1st Dragoons in 1849 and describes his first trip over the SFT that year to Las Vegas." Former owner's bookplate on the front fly leaf else a near fine, bright copy in a price-clipped and lightly rubbed dust jacket with light wear to the spine ends and corners.
Inventory Number: 46208