General George Armstrong Custer loved writing about his exploits in the west. He wrote several magazine articles as well as the book, My Life on the Plains.
Here is an excerpt from the book. I particularly love the fact that our ancestors had just as much trouble with bugs as we did! (Probably more). I’m wondering – would your ancestors have been out on the plains in the years immediately following the Civil War? Mine were.
Wherever water is found on the Plains, particularly if it is standing, innumerable gadflies and mosquitoes generally abound. To such an extent do these pests to the animal kingdom exist, that to our thinly-coated animals, such as the horse and mule, grazing is almost an impossibility, while the buffalo with his huge shaggy coat can browse undisturbed. The most sanguinary and determined of these troublesome insects are the buffalo flies; they move in myriads, and so violent and painful are their assaults upon horses that a herd of the latter has been known to stampede as the result of an attack from a swarm of these flies.
Why not take an hour and delve into a period diary from a place and time your ancestor lived? You will learn so much more about everyday life.