Because of multiple household moves this year I am behind schedule with the podcasts and the book project, but it does march on. In the meantime, here is a post over on my main blog, Madam Mayo, about John Bigelow, Jr., an officer in the Tenth Cavalry and a person, as I will argue, of far more importance than has been previously recognized. He will appear in my book, and also in a paper I will be presenting at this month's Center fo Big Bend Studies Conference at Sul Ross State University.
(Stay tuned for podcast 21 on the Seminole Scouts, podcast 22 on Sanderson, 23 an interview with archaeologist Andy Cloud, and 24 on the Blue Lady, Maria de Agreda-- meanwhile, as always, I invite you to listen in any time to the 20 podcasts posted to date.)
As those of you who follow this blog well know, I live in Mexico City and have been at work on a book about the Trans-Pecos (that, is Far West Texas) for more than a spell. Books on the Trans-Pecos are sparse on the ground south of the border, so when I travel to Texas I always try to scour a bookshop or three. Thus have I accumulated a working library, including not a few rare and unusual books.
For this sort of project, archival research is also important to do-- and I have done some-- but it can be woefully expensive to travel to and spend time working through archives. So whenever an historian has taken the trouble to transcribe and publish anything relevant from any archive of interest to me, I am triply grateful for such a find.
One example is the work by Douglas C. McChristian, a retired research historian for the National Park Service: "Garrison Tangles in the Friendless Tenth: The Journal of First Lieutenant John Bigelow, Jr, Fort Davis, Texas," published as a chapbook of about 60 pages by J.M. Carroll & Co in 1985. The copy I found is in excellent condition with, halleluja, a mylar cover and autographed by the editor.
Why is this excerpt from Lieutenant Bigelow's diary, from 1884-1885 in Fort Davis, Texas, so interesting and important?
>> CONTINUE READING