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Pingenot Auction, Lot 80

80. CRANE, Charles Judson. The Experiences of a Colonel of Infantry. New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1923. 578 pp. 12mo, original dark blue cloth with title in gilt on front cover and spine. Very fine copy preserved in a custom blue slipcase. Presentation copy, signed by the author.
        First and only edition. Dykes, Collecting Range Life Literature, p. 9: "Crane’s [book was] issued in New York in an edition of 100 copies in 1923—Colonel Crane was a Texas cowboy and trail driver before making the army his career. He was recalled to active duty in WWI and headed the ROTC staff at Texas A&M in 1917-18." Howes C858. Pingenot: A superb military autobiography that rivals R. G. Carter’s On the Border with Mackenzie in rarity. Adams, Herd 602 calls it "scarce," which is a gross understatement. Crane herded cattle in Kansas, assisted in teaching small boys at Baylor, was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1872. Five years later, in December, 1877, he reported for duty at Fort Clark, Texas. He later served at Fort Duncan and Fort Ringgold, Texas, and was commandant of Cadets at Texas A&M College. He made two trips with his regiment to Greer County, then in Texas, but now part of Oklahoma, and in 1888 served with the cavalry at the San Carlos Indian Agency. Later, with the 24th Infantry, Crane was sent to Utah. His memoirs include his involvement in the Spanish-American War during which he raised a regiment of colored "immunes" at New Orleans. Crane provides a fine insight into Army life and is a vital contribution to borderlands as well as Western military history. A very rare and little-known work.