TIME FOR PEACE, historian Duane Smith's chronicle of southwest Colorado's Fort Lewis, belies the Western myth of soldiers riding out from isolated posts to rescue wagon trains and protect pioneer towns. Long on daily routine and blissfully short on action, Fort Lewis lost nary a soldier in battle. Nevertheless, it was influential in the settlement of the West. Fort Lewis and its contemporaries provided an economic windfall, a sense of security, and a cultural hub for settlers. The presence of Fort Lewis in the four corners region of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah attracted farmers, businesspeople, and ranchers to settle the area. The fort's social season, band, and baseball team helped make this rugged outpost an agreeable destination. The men who served at Fort Lewis, who made up a diverse cross-section of nineteenth-century America, served for little pay and poor food. With Smith's history, their contribution to the settlement of the West is recognised at last. Readers interested in Western and military history and in Colorado will enjoy this long-untold story.
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