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Here's to the Ladies

Stories of the Frontier Army

Carla Kelly

Publication Year: 2013

Carla Kelly wants to tell the truth, to discard myths about the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars. This collection of nine stories set in the era of the frontier army gives an entertaining and educational glimpse into a world not often explored in fiction.

“Kathleen Flaherty’s Long Winter” weaves a tale of an Irish woman who has no choice but to marry a man she barely knows after the death of her husband leaves her penniless. She struggles with isolation and the cruelty of the others in the fort because of her rapid marriage. In the end, hers is a story of loss, love, and survival.

But these are not all love stories. In “Mary Murphy” one soldier reflects about the hard life of a laundress. “A Season for Heroes” tells of a buffalo soldier named Ezra Freeman, a true hero to one officer’s family.

The collection concludes with “Jesse MacGregor.” The narrator, John, looks back on an Apache attack in the desert. After his detail’s captain is killed and John is injured, authority falls to surgeon Jesse MacGregor. The account of their struggle to fight hunger, thirst, the elements, and of course, the Apaches, is mesmerizing.

Kelly does not leave comedy out of her collection. “Fille de Joie” is a charming story of a married couple reunited after an almost two-year separation. The wife is arrested after the two make too much noise during their afternoon tryst. She is charged with being a fille de joie, and the comedy ensues.

Kelly’s work will find an audience among those interested in feminist literature, American history, fiction, and nonfiction.

Published by: TCU Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

When Judy Alter, director of Texas Christian University Press, invited me to write the introduction to Here's to the Ladies: Stories of the Frontier Army, I began to ask myself why I wrote these stories in the first place and why they have such a hold on me. I have written many books since I wrote some of these stories, but none that I hold in comparable affection. ...

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Such Brave Men

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pp. 7-16

Emma stood on tiptoe to whisper in her husband's ear. She didn't want to offend the quartermaster sergeant, who was leaning against the door and listening (she was sure). "Hart, what are these walls made of?" ...

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We Shall Meet, but We Shall Miss Him

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pp. 17-48

Lieutenant Mclver stood in front of the window, rocking back and forth on his heels. He looked over his shoulder at the sergeant straightening some papers on his desk. "Better take a look, sergeant. There they go." ...

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Fille de Joie

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pp. 49-70

Pure and simple, it was a case of acute necessity. If Hugh Marsh had to wait one more week for his wife to show up at Fort Fetterman, he knew he would explode. Little pieces of him would careen off and fill the air between the Platte and Powder Rivers like so many cottonwood seeds. ...

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Kathleen Flaherty's Long Winter

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pp. 71-128

In her eight years of marriage to Johnny Flaherty, Kathleen had decided early that the worst part was the waiting. She didn't mind the government food; it was better than anything she had grown up eating. The government housing scarcely troubled her; she had been raised in a slum. ...

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The Gift

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pp. 129-150

It was really his lieutenant's fault that Captain Starbuck was feeling so out-to-pasture. He could tell that something was bothering Norton, and Starbuck hoped that when his lieutenant finally spilled the beans, he wouldn't have to launch into some kind of counseling he wasn't equipped for. ...

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Casually at Post

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pp. 151-182

The first steamboat of the season to tie up at Fort Buford's landing usually meant general rejoicing in the Fred Pierce household but not this evening. That morning, when his orderly had trundled what seemed like a bushel basket onto his desk in the post hospital, his anticipation of a pleasant hour or two reading old newspapers ...

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Mary Murphy

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pp. 183-190

I met Mary Murphy on a train heading west to Fort Laramie. But I can't really say that I met her, because no one introduced us then, and no one ever did later, either. ...

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A Season for Heroes

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pp. 191-208

Ezra Freeman died yesterday. I don't usually read the obituaries; at least I didn't until after Pearl Harbor. With four grandsons in the service now and one of them based in the Solomons and missing over a place called Rabaul, or some such thing, I generally turn to the obituaries after the front page and the editorials. ...

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Jesse MacGregor

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pp. 209-260

Rose and I went to the moving pictures last night. The feature was something called Twelve Brave Men and was supposed to be (according to a review in the Carlsbad Current) a "gripping, suspense-filled saga of the real cavalry in the Old West." Naturally, we went. ...

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About the Author

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p. 268-268

Carla Kelly is the author of sixteen novels and a ranger for the National Park Service at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, located on the Montana-North Dakota border. Much of her inspiration for the stories in her collection came from her experiences in Fort Laramie National Historic Site's living history program ...


E-ISBN-13: 9780875655642
E-ISBN-10: 0875655645
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875652702

Page Count: 259
Publication Year: 2013