By examining the attitudes of a group that has been largely ignored by other scholars, Smith broadens the discussion of white attitudes towards the Indians and places the frontier army in its social and intellectual context. . . . will be appreciated by specialists and lay readers alike.
Smith's sources are fresh and her organization is clear and logical. An essential guide to American ethnic, western, and military history.
Based on original source material, her study concentrates on the perspective of junior officers and their wives on topics such as Indian women, and the use of Indians as Army scouts. The struggles in the Southwest are well-represented in this thought-provoking book.
—Books of the Southwest
Smith's research did uncover a good deal more thoughtfulness and curiosity and Indian culture, at least on the part of some military families, than the stereotype of the while conqueror might suggest. . . . a narrative with copious documentation selected and interwoven by the author, and as such the work is exemplary.
Belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the history of Indian Wars in the trans-Mississippi West. . . . Smith creates a context for a deeper understanding of the seemingly continuous stream of skirmishes, battles, and campaigns.
—Annals of Wyoming
Smith has undertaken significant research and has presented her findings in an engaging style. Minor flaws aside, she has succeeded in asking novel questions of known sources and has produced a thoughtful and pleasing addition to the history of the Indian-fighting Army.
—Western Historical Quarterly
A welcome addition to the ever-expanding collection of works on Indian-white relations in the West.
—Southern California Quarterly
Smith admirably illustrates that the view from officers row was a part of the greater American perspective.
—Pacific Northwest Quarterly
A fascinating study certain to persuade both anthropologists and historians of the need to shed some of the hoary legends about the army in the American West.
This well-organized, solidly documented, and attractively written work is a major contribution to the literature on Indian-military relations.
—Montana, The Magazine of Western History