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1853 Cavalry Quest for a Southwest Railroad Route (Facts and Legends of the Village of Palm Springs) Kindle Edition
|Length: 104 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
Meeks has done what few other modern writers do. He has delved beyond the myth of the cavalry in the West. He
writes a modern book that grips and holds you.
Most readers know only that the cavalry wore blue uniforms and fought Native Americans.
As said, Meeks takes us further.
He artfully uses the original 1853 report that the cavalry wrote for Congress.
In 1853, railroads were vital to settle the West.
As we all know, America was discovered in 1492.
But for the next 330 years, most travelers could only reach about 300 miles west of the Atlantic coast.
Mountains or other barriers blocked them.
Sometimes ignorance or fear stopped them.
The frontier began at Pittsburgh.
Families and wagons had to struggle to go further. Often, they could not.
The railroad could change all that.
And, in 1853, the railroad was a new invention. It was just 32 years old.
The first US railroad had started working in 1831.
So the idea of train travel to California was intoxicating to the country.
Travelers could survive the trip to seek new homes.
The book paints word pictures of the golden desert and the shade-edged mountains.
This reader saw the beauties of the Tejon Pass all over again.
Reading this book was like taking the same ride through the Pass in real life.
Other passes and mountains sparkle on the pages.
One can taste the dust and the bitter coffee.
The cavalry learns that some water is good for drinking but horrid for coffee.
They go on shorter rations, surveying grades for a railroad track.
The heat comes through the page.
A thrilling part describes seeing Native Americans bathing in the warm springs near the foot of
"The place was, apparently, a favorite place of the Indians. When they arrived, they found
many Indian boys and girls bathing in the warm spring. On the bank, a group of women
were preparing a meal for a group of their own," Meeks writes.
Meeks describes a young palm tree nearby spreading its broad fan-like leaves.
This spot in the trackless West became the Palm Springs that delights so many voyagers
So, if you enjoy a good story, simply and cleanly told, about the great awakening of
the West, you will read this book and enjoy every page.
------ Frank Hickey, writer of the Max Royster crime novels of Pigtown Books.
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