(WEST.) Terry, Smith B. Letter describing frontier army duty in Choctaw country. Autograph Letter Signed to brother John Terry Jr. 2 pages, 10 x 7 3/4 inches, plus integral address leaf bearing inked Fort Towson postmark and manuscript "25"; moderate foxing and wear including small seal tear in text area. With typed transcript. Fort Towson, Arkansas Territory [OK], 1 January 1840
Terry, a soldier in the 3rd United States Infantry, recounts his voyage from Boston to Fort Towson (now in eastern Oklahoma on the Texas border). He adds that "this post is situated in what is called the Choctaw Nation West, among the Choctaw Indians. Everything here is quiet and peaceable, but there is a little disturbance among the Cherokees at Fort Gibson." Terry has been on extra duty building a barracks: "The men at work receive 15 cents a day & a gallon of whiskey, or 18 cents without the whiskey. I take the 18 cents, and have not drank a drop of ardent spirit since I came to this post." He describes the active temperance society at the post with its own reading room, well-stocked with newspapers.
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