During a distinguished military career, in which he rose to the rank of brigadier general and twice won the Medal of Honor, Frank Baldwin saw service in the Civil War, the Indian wars on the Great Plains, and the Spanish-American War. His wife, Alice Blackwood Baldwin, shared the "long march" with him, from his Plains service onward. In this first biography of the Baldwins, Robert Steinbach combines military and personal history to vividly portray a marriage that survived both the harshness of frontier army life and the restrictive Victorian concept of "separate spheres" for husband and wife.
Drawing on a wealth of diaries, letters, and other family papers, Steinbach re-creates the Baldwins' life on the Plains. Moving from post to post in Kansas, New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota, and Texas, they faced danger, excitement, separations, poverty, and many other hardships. Frequently they clashed over Alice's desire to be something more than "an ornament to society"—a wish eventually granted as Frank's long absences and chronic ill health required Allie to take responsibility for herself and their daughter.
With insights into military campaigns on the Great Plains in the years 1865–1890 and a revealing look at the human side of those campaigns, A Long March will appeal to a wide audience.
Robert Steinbach is an independent scholar, free-lance writer, and editor who holds an M.A. in classical languages and literature and United States history from Kent State University.
“A Long March is primarily a military biography, filling a gap in the history of the command of the Indian fighting army of the late nineteenth century … It is also a contribution to the study of women on the frontier and … contains much revealing material on the life and thought of one well-educated and articulate woman facing the frontier, often on her own.”
—Thomas W. Cutrer, Associate Director, University of Texas Center for Studies in Texas History