Research for the next book.

Well, now that An Uncivilized Yankee is out there (and doing relatively well, I might add), I’m hard at work on a sequel. The next one picks up a year after the Civil War has ended, and focuses on life at an Army post in Wyoming (or what was then Dakota Territory). I’m not terribly familiar with the area or history, so I’m taking steps to make sure my writing stays historically accurate.

  1. I leave in two weeks for a quick research trip out to Cheyenne, with a side trip to Yellowstone for my daughter (okay, so I really want to see Yellowstone too)
  2. I’m loading up my bookshelf with lots of new books to pore over. Here’s a list of what I have so far:
    • The Post Near Cheyenne
    • Life and Manners in the Frontier Army
    • US Army in the Plains Indian Wars 1865-91
    • The U.S. Cavalry, 1865-1890
    • Forts of the American Frontier 1820-91
    • From Everglade to Canyon with the Second United States Cavalry
    • The Soldiers (Time Life The Old West series)
    • The Cheyennes: Indians of the Great Plains
    • Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay
    • Army Wives on the American Frontier
    • Bugs to Blizzards or An Army Wife at Fort D.A. Russell
    • American Army Life
    • The Horse Soldier 1776-1943 volume II The Frontier, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Indian Wars 1851-1880
    • Army Letters from an Officer’s Wife

    I just ordered Glittering Misery: Dependents of the Indian Fighting Army. A Frontier Army Christmas and Elizabeth Custer’s Following the Guidon are in my cart (I figured I had enough to read right now) Unfortunately, I’m having to buy most of these. In writing An Uncivilized Yankee, I already had a huge collection of Civil War books of my own, and I live in Virginia: getting books on the Civil War from the libraries around here is a piece of cake. But the local library doesn’t have a large selection of books on Wyoming history. The upside to owning the books is I can make all sorts of marks and notes in the books, and nobody’s going to complain.
  3. I’m watching John Ford’s cavalry trilogy: Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Rio Bravo. Yes, they’re Hollywood, and so historically suspect. But I found this really cool thesis that points out just how accurate or inaccurate the movies are (and it had a marvelous bibliography, too), so I can watch them for a general feel without contaminating my history too much.

Looks like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Thankfully, I like researching, so digging into a new subject isn’t a chore for me. And that being said, I should stop writing about researching, and get back to researching and writing!