VOICES IN OUR SOULS
The DeWolfs, Dakota Sioux and the Little Bighorn
By Gene Erb and Ann DeWolf Erb
A historical novel based on facts surrounding Seventh Cavalry surgeon James DeWolf in 1875.
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Frances DeWolf, wife of Seventh Cavalry surgeon James DeWolf, lay in bed alone on a frigid morning in 1875, listening to her husband’s activities in their military quarters—opening the parlor stove, tossing in logs, the metal-on-metal screech as he closed the stove door. She knew she should get up, but instead she curled under the warmth of heaped blankets and recalled their adventure so far.
They had met in the Oregon wilderness where James was an enlisted hospital steward at an Army camp and she a teacher for ranchers’ children. She was 19 and he was 28 when they were married. In 1873, James applied for and was granted a transfer to a post near Boston so he could attend Harvard Medical School. But even with his Harvard degree, he wouldn’t leave the Army.
So here they were in the middle of a frozen prairie. There were rumors that Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer would lead the cavalry in a campaign against roaming Indians next year. If true, she hoped her husband wouldn’t have to go off to fight as well.
Voices in Our Souls, a historical novel based on fact, tells James and Fannie’s poignant story—one filled with joys and triumphs, regrets and sorrows, and above all else, enduring love.
Gene Erb is also the author of A Plague of Hunger based on two award-winning newspaper series, one focusing on the migration of jobs from Iowa to Mexico and the other examining world hunger issues. A former U.S. Navy pilot, Mr. Erb was a reporter and editor with the Des Moines Register and Tribune from 1974 through 2000. He has a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Ann DeWolf Erb was a librarian at Iowa State University for five years and then an analyst, manager and officer at an Iowa insurance company through 2000. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Rhode Island. She is a distant cousin of Dr. James Madison DeWolf. The authors live in Iowa.
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