By: William Atherton
This memoir dating from 1812ff, but only published in 1840s is a strikingly profound contrast with our modern materialism and comfort. It is personal and at the same time very formal and reserved. As a foot soldier traipsing about the wild countryside of the Midwest, hardly after the Louisiana Purchase, against British/Canadian/Native mercenaries, the story is one of looking through the wrong end of a telescope, as one not understanding the forces/motivations at play with the writer's life and his terrible hardships; as in a nightmare where a country sends its young sons to battle hardened, prepared, ruthless adults and then abandons them to their own devices when success does not immediately ensue and the true costs of the struggle and what they should have done, gradually begins to dawn on them, too late of course. In the absence of any kind of numbers and field organization it is difficult to understand all that might be going on.