True West Magazine
- Cave Creek, AZ
True West relates our history back to the present day, showing readers the important role our heritage plays in keeping the spirit of the West alive!
Adding firepower to their hard hitting, .45-70 caliber rifles (stacked in the foreground), these infantrymen secured .45 caliber Colt revolvers as they set off to face Apaches in the Southwest during the 1880s. During their frontier service, many faced an evolution of firearms that contributed to new tactics of warfare, at a time when most troops didn’t even receive basic training before they were sent to their far-flung posts. – Courtesy Glenn Swanson Collection –
Among the officers posing at Fort Laramie’s Bachelor Officers Quarters, known as “Old Bedlam,” appears Caspar Collins (second from left, standing in front row). The aggressive infantry lieutenant lost his life on July 26, 1865, when he led 25 men against roughly 1,000 to 3,000 Indians, just outside Wyoming’s Platte Bridge. – Courtesy Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department –
Montana’s Fort Keogh offered certain creature comforts, such as the post sutter or post exchange, where soldiers such as these infantrymen, including the 20th Infantry sergeant major (the top soldier for a regiment), could enjoy a smoke, light fare or even a beer. – Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration –
In garrison, infantrymen could take breaks from daily duties. These troops from Montana’s Fort Keogh were playing baseball, as shown by one soldier who had not changed back into his U.S. Army uniform after the game or practice. – Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration –
Officers of the 17th Infantry and their ladies lounged in front of quarters, enjoying a brief respite before the troops deployed as part of the ill-fated 1876 campaign that ended with George Custer’s defeat at Little Bighorn in Montana Territory. – Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration –
This group of 13th Infantry non-commissioned officers serving in New Mexico readied for the field as part of the final push to end the Apache Wars during the mid-1880s. – Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration –
As the “Frenzy of Frisco,” Adah Menken (above) played a winning hand in San Francisco, California. Members of an organization called the Reform Group complained that her style “belonged more to the wild old time of the Forty-Niners, than to respectable society where many days often pass without any murders at all.”
Silan Lewis, a Choctaw convicted of murder, chose his executioner—childhood friend Lyman Pursely. In Wilburton, Indian Territory, on November 4, 1894, Lewis was blindfolded and kneeling on the ground, with two men holding his arms, when Sheriff Pursely fired his Winchester. The lawman missed the heart, though, and Lewis lived for three minutes as the sheriff smothered his old friend to death.