My Amazon review of:
An Account Of The Remarkable Occurrences In The Life And Travels Of Col. James Smith During His Captivity With The Indians In The Years 1755-1759

by Col. James Smith.

In 1755, 18-year old James Smith was captured and adopted into a Caughnawaga Indian tribe. After a grueling and frightening initiation, he was accepted as a brother and allowed to retain his books and diary. And so he remained for several years recording all he observed about the indian culture. With time he came to understand and respect their ways and they came to respect him. This is the account of those years providing an entertaining and enthralling anthrolpological study of mid-18th century native American life and warfare methods. It includes the ill-fated battles of Braddock's and Forbes' defeats with a view from the indian villages.

It also includes intriguing views of survival in a vast untamed wilderness long since gone. The conversational story-telling style gives it an endearing feel that adds to how readily the reader can relate to young James' experiences. At times the 18th century linguistic style is cumbersome and at other times artistic but always informative and entertaining in the personal voice of the author. This is an invaluable resource for any serious student of indian warfare and culture.

Further, a summary near the end of the book refers to Mr. Smith's experience as a guerrilla leader in the American war for independence. The benefit gained from those experiences with Indian modes of war helped birth and define what would become the American military.

In addition to a better understanding of Indian culture, this is an interesting statement of American military roots and what we gained from our experience with Indian warfare. It also speaks volumes of what we may have lost in despising learning from a defeated foe. A must read for a better understanding of our past and present.