Vanished Arizona


Vanished Arizona

Recollections of the Army Life of a New England Woman, Second Edition

Special edition, A Bison Classic Edition

Martha Summerhayes
Introduction by Louise Barnett

Bison Classic Editions Series

382 pages
27 photographs, 2 illustrations, 1 map, 1 appendix


March 2014


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eBook (EPUB)
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January 2015


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About the Book

When Martha Summerhayes (1844–1926) came as a bride to Fort Russell in Wyoming Territory in 1874, she “saw not much in those first few days besides bright buttons, blue uniforms, and shining swords,” but soon enough the hard facts of army life began to intrude. Remonstrating with her husband, Jack Wyder Summerhayes, that she had only three rooms and a kitchen instead of “a whole house,” she was informed that “women are not reckoned in at all in the War Department.” 
Although Martha Summerhayes’s recollections span a quarter of a century and recount life at a dozen army posts, the heart of this book concerns her experiences during the 1870s in Arizona, where the harsh climate, rattlesnakes, cactus thorns, white desperadoes, and other inconveniences all made for a less-than-desirable posting for the Summerhayeses.
First printed in 1908, Vanished Arizona is Summerhayes’s memoir of her years as a military wife as her husband’s Eighth Regiment conducted Gen. George Crook’s expedition against the Apaches. It was so well received that she became an instant celebrity and the book a timeless classic. The book retains its place securely among the essential primary records of the frontier-military West because of the narrative skill of the author and her delight in life.

Author Bio

Louise Barnett is a professor of American studies at Rutgers University and the author of a number of books, including Touched by Fire: The Life, Death, and Mythic Afterlife of George Armstrong Custer, available in a Bison Books edition.


“Written by the wife of an Army officer stationed in Arizona from 1874 to 1878, Vanished Arizona provides a clear picture of life on the frontier and the hardships faced by both the men and the women.”—True West

"Vanished Arizona is a classic and highly recommended to all those readers—even those keeping drug stores—who want to learn more about the distaff side of Army life during the late nineteenth century."—Roger D. Cunningham, Journal of America's Military Past

Table of Contents

I. Germany and the Army
II. I Joined the Army
III. Army House-Keeping
IV. Down the Pacific Coast
V. The Slue
VI. Up the Rio Colorado
VII. The Mojave Desert
VIII. Learning How to Soldier
IX. Across the Mogollons
X. A Perilous Adventure
XI. Camp Apache
XII. Life Amongst the Apaches
XIII. A New Recruit
XIV. A Memorable Journey
XV. Fording the Little Colorado
XVI. Stoneman's Lake
XVII. The Colorado Desert
XVIII. Ehrenberg on the Colorado
XIX. Summer at Ehrenberg
XX. My Deliverer
XXI. Winter in Ehrenberg
XXII. Return to the States
XXIII. Back to Arizona
XXIV. Up the Valley of the Gila
XXV. Old Camp MacDowell
XXVI. A Sudden Order
XXVII. The Eighth Foot Leaves Arizona
XXVIII. California and Nevada
XXIX. Changing Station
XXX. Fort Niobrara
XXXI. Santa Fé
XXXII. Texas
XXXIII. David's Island

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