Upcoming Talk and Signing for New Book on Nov. 17

NSHS has released a new book, and you could get it signed! A Brave Soldier & Honest Gentleman: Lt. James E. H. Foster in the West, 1873-1881 features the never before published journal and illustrations of junior officer James Foster, who played an important role in mapping the Black Hills. On Sunday, November 17 at 1:30 p.m., author Thomas Buecker will give a talk about Foster followed by a book signing. The event will be held in the Nebraska History Museum at 15th & P in downtown Lincoln, and it is free to the public.

The cover of the new book.

Stationed at Fort McPherson, Nebraska, Foster traveled with the Jenney Expedition of 1875, filling in the large blank area on the map of the Black Hills, and making some of the earliest surviving artistic renditions of the area.The Black Hills, of course, were not unknown to the Lakotas, who resented the invasion of gold miners and resisted the U.S. government’s attempts to buy the Hills. When war erupted in 1876, Foster rode with General Crook’s forces, fighting at the Battle of the Rosebud and enduring the infamous Starvation March.

Foster’s initial map includes a large blank area in the center of the Black Hills unexplored by the U.S. military.

Relying on correspondence, army records, and other documents from the time, Buecker reconstructs Foster’s life, interweaving his narrative with Foster’s own words. For his own part, Foster was a gifted writer and an astute and witty observer of military life. His story increases our knowledge of the American West and the important role played in it by the frontier army.

Thomas R. Buecker is a curator at the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Nebraska History Museum and Kennard House in Lincoln. He is also the author of Fort Robinson and the American West, 1874-1899, and Fort Robinson and the American Century, 1900-1948, plus more than seventy articles on the history of the West.

Publication of this book was made possible by the Ronald K. and Judith Stolz Parks Publishing Fund established at the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. Copies of the book will be available at the event, and they are also available to order through the NSHS Landmark Store at 1-800-833-6747. You can see an excerpt of the book here. We hope to see on Sunday!

Joy Carey, Editorial Assistant, Publications

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