For This We Are Soldiers
Tales of the Frontier Army
By Carla Kelly
This is a delightful collection of 6 short stories that are set during the years of the Indian Wars (1854-1890). Rather than focusing on the men who served this book looks at the women who gave up the lives they knew for the unknown isolation that awaited them.
The stories include Such Brave Men in which newly wed Emma Sanders learns about Army housing and the joys of being ranked. And her experiences with raking make her a professional by the end of her second day at the fort.
Break a Leg brings together three lonely people when a outbreak of injuries tests the skills of the hospital steward Colm Callahan. He calls on the skills of Audra Washington a former slave who is working as a servant for Captain and Mrs. Chambers. An injured actor gives the two just the right push to end their loneliness and find the family they always desired.
A Season for Heroes Jane Stokes learns the one terrible thing being a woman with the army is the waiting. Her father's company is overdue with no idea where they are. With her mother having a difficult pregnancy Jane learns just how true her mother's words are and what makes a man a hero.
Take a Memo some wandering milk cows leads to a war of memos between the commanding officer and the post surgeon. And in the process of delivering the memos Corporal Theodore Sheppard has an excuse to converse with Millie Drummond who has captured his attention.
Mary Murphy is a short tale about the trials and sacrifices made by the company laundress.
A Leader of His Troops rounds out the selection as the path to happily ever after is impeded by unpredictable mail service and deserters. When faced with a choice between love or duty Captain Shaw has a choice to make that will determine whether he will ever be a leader to his troops.
Of the six stories my favorite is Break a Leg which is the longest of the six and allowed for the greatest character development. The characters are truly ones one could enjoy getting to know.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for reviewing purposes with no expectation of a positive review, all opinions are my own.