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An Officer of the Old Guard: Lewis Stevenson Craig, 1807–1852

By author: William Harris Bragg
Product Code: H995
ISBN: 9780881467642
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $35.00

From battling Seminoles in Florida's swamps to storming through Old Mexico's fortified towns, Lewis Stevenson Craig served as an exemplar of the U.S. Army's burgeoning professional officer corps. An early officer to make the army a career, Craig was to die with his boots on, commanding the military escort of John Russell Bartlett's U.S.-Mexican Boundary Commission. Ironically, Craig was meant for a Virginia planter's life supported by a generous legacy from his father, but Craig's older brothers and a faithless guardian robbed him of his inheritance and plunged him into years-long court battles. For Craig, family love and concern had died with his short-lived older sister, Jane Craig Stanard, now famous as Edgar Allan Poe's "Helen." Early in the Florida War, as a Dragoons lieutenant by appointment, Craig soon distinguished himself. At war's end, now an officer of the Third Infantry Regiment, he met the love of his life, Elizabeth Church. Soon she became Craig's wife and bore their only child at Fort Jesup on the western frontier. By the end of the Mexican War, where his regiment became known as "The Old Guard," Craig's fearlessness and valor had brought him promotion to Brevet Lieutenant Colonel. Soon, with the help of his military patron, General Winfield Scott, Craig embarked into the land of the Apaches on his last adventure. As presented in this book, Craig's story is told, unspoiled by present-mindedness, through deep research into the original sources which include Virginia family papers and court files, U.S. military records, and Craig's own letters and journals, most from a heretofore untouched family archive.
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