Detroit. 1899. ,202pp. plus frontispiece portrait and three plates. Half morocco and pictorial boards. Boards lightly worn and faded, some scuffing, corners worn. Internally clean. About very good. Item #WRCAM48091
Autobiography of a career soldier, spanning the 19th century. "The Florida, the Mexican War and the Great Rebellion, together with sketches of travel, also of service in a militia company and a member of the Detroit Light Guard Band for over thirty years." Elderkin joined the army in 1839 at the age of nineteen and was first stationed in Indian Territory for two years before going to Florida in 1841. He gives a vivid account of the brutal combat of the Second Seminole War, where he spent several "dark and terrible" years. In 1842 he was transferred to Jefferson Barracks (now Kansas City). He went to the Texas frontier with Taylor in 1846 and was present at Palo Alto, Churubusco, and minor conflicts in between, followed by the taking of Mexico City. In 1852 he was transferred to California, where he was under the command of U.S. Grant for a time. In 1854 he left the Army and lived as a miner and musician in California in 1857 before moving to Detroit.
In 1861, Elderkin reenlisted and took part in all of the Peninsular Campaign in 1862, of which he gives a vigorous account. He left the army when his one-year enlistment was up (he was then forty-two) and returned to Detroit, where he remained for the rest of his life. An interesting western narrative.