With Carrington on the Bozeman Road

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FtValleyPS
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Years ago, based on the title, I bought a book online 'With Carrington on the Bozeman Road' (Joseph Mills Hanson, 1912), not knowing anything about it. It is a part of the '"Among the Sioux" Series', which I don't know about. When it arrived back then I learned it is (I think) a work of fiction, so I never read it until recently. It is set in the 1860's, and while it's written in what I guess you'd call the prosaic style of the period, I am thinking it is more of a historically based, maybe somewhat accurate (?) work of fiction with some decent details about this route and period? It discusses details about various forts along the way, the building of those forts and the road(s), military life, tribal meetings and talks, travel and protection along the roads, etc. Is anyone else familiar with this book? If so, any thoughts? I would be glad to share it, too. Pat, wondering if this might be of interest to you?


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Interesting.

I found a reference to it being a book for boys written in the "Oliver Optic" style. I'm not familiar with that reference at all. Is anyone else familiar with it?
Pat

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FtValleyPS
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I've been reading this book in spurts, am close to the end, it is definitely written like what we would call a boy's adventure book. What I find interesting about it is the seemingly accurate historic references such as details of peace talks and participants, fort construction, interactions with Captain Fetterman and detailed description of his battle, and several pages of what I guess is the actual speech Colonel Carrington gave on the first Flag Day at Fort Phil Kearney upon the completion of the fort. Could books like this - works of apparent fiction - hold some valid historic information, maybe nuggets? Not sure I've ever read one like this. Wishful thinking perhaps. The author also wrote 'With Sully in Sioux Land', which I have somewhere but haven't read, purchased it at the same time as this one thinking they were historical accounts.
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FtValleyPS wrote: Fri May 17, 2019 5:15 am Could books like this - works of apparent fiction - hold some valid historic information, maybe nuggets? Not sure I've ever read one like this. Wishful thinking perhaps. The author also wrote 'With Sully in Sioux Land', which I have somewhere but haven't read, purchased it at the same time as this one thinking they were historical accounts.
In my view historical fiction is underrated, when well done.

I don't read fiction often myself, but historical fiction, when carefully researched, can shed light on things otherwise commonly missed in many histories. There are some superb examples, and some really bad ones as well. It just depends on how deep in the writer went.

The same is true, I'd note, of really carefully researched movies set in the historical past (which I would guess would be far enough back to be considered "history", which moves at any one time). Often among folks like us who are really serious about history there can be a bit of disdain to even mention this, but it's none the less true.

By way of some examples, Thomas Berger's 1964 novel Little Big Man does a better job of portraying Plains Indians than a lot of histories on the topic of its era. Charles Portis' Saturday Evening Post [/] serial True Grit, which was compiled into a novel, did an excellent job of using patterns of speech that were current at the time the novel is set in which would be missed in nearly any history of the era (the second of the two films based on the book really captures that as well). Pasternak's novel Dr. Zhivago might describe the messed up nature of Revolutionary Russia better than any other work. There are books on the Gulags that I'm sure are worth reading, but the one must read is Alexander Solzhenitsyn's One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich

Children's literature in this genre sometimes contains real gems and shouldn't be totally disregarded. I've forgotten the name but when my son was young he read a book for "tweens" that was written about the Winter War. I later read it and it excellently described Finnish suffering in the period.

Sometimes the writers of historical fiction incorporate a lot of historical fact and mix the two well. The Killer Angels, which isn't perfect in my view, does a pretty good job of this. McMurtry's Lonesome Dove does a pretty good job as well, and the television version did a really good job with material details, making it to Westerns what Saving Private Ryan is to war films. Kristin Lavransdottir was so deeply researched that a person studying Medieval Scandinavia might as well just start with it (the research for the book was so deep on the part of the author it turned out to be life altering for her). The Samurai period of Japan is so well described in Musashi that anyone looking into that period really needs to read the book.

So, in my view, at bare minimum a person ought not to discount the genre.
Pat

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