Child of the Fighting Tenth by Forrestine C. Hooker is a Good Book showcased in the Outpost 10F Library.
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Child of the Fighting Tenth

Rating: Child of the Fighting Tenth by Forrestine C. Hooker is a Good Book rated 5/5 by this reviewer.
Published: 2003
Author: Forrestine C. Hooker / Edited by: Steve Wilson
Review by: CL7 Amanda Sielu Paris

The July 4th week of 2005 was an exciting time for me. My parents came to visit me for the first time since my graduating Basic Military Training for the United States Air Force. I had gone home for Christmas and several other times, of course, but this was the first time I could show them my base, my house, my plane I fly on, and all my friends I always talked about. During that time, my family did some sight seeing. We are all history junkies and so we wanted to hit every spot we possibly could while they were here. One of the places we actually got to go turned into a rather interesting trip and brought a book I bought there to life. Fort Sill is a still functioning U.S. Army base just north of Lawton, Oklahoma.

Let me give you a little history lesson. Fort Sill is the final resting place of some of the most famous Native Americans in United States history including Quannah Parker and Geronimo. It is also very much still like it was when the author of my book, Forrestine ďBirdieĒ Cooper Hooker was stationed there with her father and the Tenth. Instead of just reading about history, this time you get live Birdieís life as she introduces you to famous names of the frontier life of an Army officer. Her father, Captain Charles Cooper, was the only commander to receive the only real and unconditional surrender during the Geronimo campaign. That and many other stories of Birdie's life are relived through her wonderfully articulated way of taking you back to then.

She starts the book off with the marriage of her parents, a young woman marrying a second lieutenant after they fall in love through writing letters during the Civil War as he defended Washington and took part in Gettysburg. Then came the three Cooper children as the family is shuffled from fort to camp following her fatherís career as an officer in the Tenth U.S. cavalry, which was made up of entirely black soldiers or perhaps more famously known as the Buffalo soldiers. Birdie and her family encounter many trials and triumphs as the Tenth struggles to keep the peace between Native Americans and the settlers in the early days of the frontier, todayís Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Kansas. The book ends with the capture of Geronimo after his eluding the Army for two years successfully.

Iím a sucker for real life history stories that are really well written. I like first-hand accounts a lot more then I like someone else writing about someone that died a long time ago. Although this book was delayed in getting out, because simply no one knew she had written about her life until after the manuscript was found after she died. Birdie Cooper becomes a companion as she invites you along instead of an author and her writing was so easy to follow. Sometimes I got names mixed up, but she kept me straight most of the time. This was an excellent book and I am so glad I didnít just put it back down like I had with so many other books in the gift shop of Fort Sill that day. With her help, not only did I visit Fort Sill, but I was stationed there along with her family. This is how a history book should be.

Title: Child of the Fighting Tenth
Author: Forrestine C. Hooker / Edited by: Steve Wilson
Review by:CL7 Amanda Sielu Paris

8/24/2005