ELDERKIN, James D.
Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of a Soldier of Three Wars, as Written by Himself. 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
Detroit: [n.p.], 1899. 202 pp. Portrait frontispiece, portraits.
Original cloth-backed pictorial boards. Small chip to head of spine, boards worn, minor scraping, front inner hinge starting.
Provenance: With the bookplate of Everett D. Graff
Autobiography of a career soldier, spanning the 19th century. Elderkin joined the army in 1839 at 19 and was first stationed in Indian Territory for two years before going to Florida in 1841. He gives a vivid account of the brutal combats 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, and 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 now 42) and returned to Detroit, where he remained for the rest of his life. An interesting western narrative.
Dornbusch I, Mich-56. Nevins I, p.85. Graff 1229 (this copy, marked as sold).