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Encyclopedia > Rifles for Watie
Rifles for Watie
Cover of the 1991 reissue hardback
Author Harold Keith
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Historical, War novel
Publisher Thomas Y. Crowell
Publication date 1957
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 352 pp (hardback edition)
ISBN NA

Rifles for Watie is an American children's novel by Harold Keith. It was first published in 1958, and received the Newbery Medal for that year. Image File history File links HaroldKeith_RiflesForWatie. ... Harold Keith the Newbery Award winning author (1903 - 24 February 1998) Born and raised, lived and died in Oklahoma, the state was his abiding passion. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... --70. ... A war novel is a novel in which the primary action takes place in a field of armed combat, or in a domestic setting (or home front) where the characters are preoccupied with the preparations for, or recovery from, war. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Thomas Y. Crowell (? - 1909) was the founder of Thomas Y. Crowell Co. ... A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) book is bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth or heavy paper) and a stitched spine. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... “ISBN” redirects here. ... “Childrens books” redirects here. ... Harold Keith the Newbery Award winning author (1903 - 24 February 1998) Born and raised, lived and died in Oklahoma, the state was his abiding passion. ... The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association (ALA) to the author of the outstanding American book for children. ...

Contents

Plot introduction

Set during the American Civil War, the plot revolves around one Jefferson Davis Bussey who is caught up in the events of history. Actual historical personages (e.g. Generals Stand Watie and James G. Blunt) and battles (e.g. Wilson's Creek and Prairie Grove) are seen from the viewpoint of an ordinary soldier, enabled by the choice of protagonist. Harold Keith spent many years interviewing Civil War veterans and visiting the sites depicted in the book, resulting in an authenticity that is rare for historical fiction that is targeted at a young adult audience. Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... Stand Watie Stand Watie (12 December 1806 – 9 September 1871) (also known as Degataga stand firm and Isaac S. Watie) was a leader of the Cherokee Nation and a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. ... James Gillpatrick Blunt (July 21, 1826 – July 27, 1881) was a sailor, physician and Union general during the American Civil War. ... Combatants United States of America State of Missouri Confederate States of America Commanders Nathaniel Lyon Samuel D. Sturgis Franz Sigel Sterling Price Ben McCulloch Strength Army of the West Missouri State Guard and McCulloch’s Brigade Casualties 1,235 1,095 The Battle of Wilsons Creek, also known as... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders James G. Blunt Francis J. Herron Thomas C. Hindman Strength Army of the Frontier 9,216 men on the battlefield First Corps, Trans-Mississippi Army 11,059 men on the battlefield Casualties 1,251 1,317 The Battle of Prairie...


The setting, west of the Mississippi, is also not typical of Civil War novels, so the reader gets a perspective on the war not generally available in other books, let alone one found in children's books.


Plot summary

Jeff marches off to Fort Leavenworth from Linn County, Kansas in 1861, on his way to join the Union volunteers. He's off to fight for the North; his zeal having been fueled by reaction to the guerilla war of "bushwhackers" that was taking place in eastern Kansas. However, Stand Watie is on the side of the South. We meet many soldiers and civilians on both sides of the war, including Watie's raiding parties, itinerant printer Noah Babbitt and, in Tahlequah, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) the beautiful Cherokee girl, Lucy Washbourne. In 1827, Colonel Henry Leavenworth established a post on the bluffs overlooking the western bank of the Missouri River to protect the fur trade, safeguard commerce on the Santa Fe Trail and maintain the peace among the inhabitants. ... Linn County (standard abbreviation: LN) is a county located in the state of Kansas. ... Year 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... In this map:  Union states prohibiting slavery  Union territories  Border states on the Union side which allowed slavery  Kansas, which entered and fought with the Union as a free state after the Bleeding Kansas crisis  The Confederacy  Confederate claimed and sometimes held territories During the American Civil War, the Union... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Religion... Tahlequah is a city in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, United States. ... Indian Territory in 1836 Indian Country redirects here. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Largest metro area Oklahoma City metro area Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,898 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ... For other uses, see Cherokee (disambiguation). ...


Jeff's story is notable as he eventually winds up fighting for both the North and the South at different times during the conflict. It is also notable for the detailed depiction of contemporary Cherokee life in Indian Territory, including various tribal political factions. Keith portrays how Jeff Bussey, in the midst of huge conflicts, had to choose one side or another at various times and how this was not always as simple as it may seem in historical hindsight.


Characters in "Rifles for Watie"

  • Jefferson (Jeff) Davis Bussey – the protagonist
  • Lucy Washbourne – Jeff's love interest, a young Cherokee woman living in Tahlequah, Oklahoma (then Indian Territory)
  • Lee Washbourne – Lucy's brother, a Confederate soldier.
  • Noah Babbitt – an itinerant printer, older than Jeff, and a Union soldier.
  • Stand Watie – historical character, the last Confederate general to surrender at the war's end.
  • James G. Blunt – historical character, Union general who battled to control Indian Territory.
  • David Gardner – Jeff's hometown friend who joins the Union Army with him.
  • John Chadwick – Another of Jeff's hometown friends who joins the Union Army with him.
  • Capt. Asa Clardy – Jeff's commanding officer in the Union Army, and a major antagonist against Jeff
  • Heifer Hobbs – company cook and mentor for Jeff in the Indian cavalry, a division of the Confederate States Army.

Tahlequah is a city in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, United States. ... Indian Territory in 1836 Indian Country redirects here. ... Stand Watie Stand Watie (12 December 1806 – 9 September 1871) (also known as Degataga stand firm and Isaac S. Watie) was a leader of the Cherokee Nation and a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. ... James Gillpatrick Blunt (July 21, 1826 – July 27, 1881) was a sailor, physician and Union general during the American Civil War. ... Indian Territory in 1836 Indian Country redirects here. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... This article or section is in need of expansion. ... Some Confederate soldiers The Confederate States Army (CSA) was organized in February 1861 to defend the newly formed Confederate States of America from military action by the United States government. ...

Main themes

Jeff learns about the destructiveness and waste of war. In this sense, the novel is very much in the tradition of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. The novel examines the issues, weapons (the Spencer rifle), and strategies of the western campaigns. For the U.S. Continental Congress delegate, see Stephen Crane (delegate). ... The Red Badge of Courage (1895) is an impressionistic novel by Stephen Crane about the meaning of courage, as it is discovered by Henry Fleming, a recruit in the American Civil War. ... The Spencer repeating rifle was a manually operated falling block, repeating rifle fed from a tube magazine with cartridges. ...


Awards and nominations

  • Winner, 1958 Newbery Medal
  • Notable Children's Books of 1957 (ALA)
  • 1964 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award

Release details

  • 1957, USA, Thomas Y. Crowell, NY (ISBN NA), Pub date ? ? 1957, hardback (First edition)
  • 1960, UK, Oxford University Press (ISBN NA), Pub date ? ? 1960, hardback
  • 1974, UK, Oxford University Press (ISBN 0192720511), Pub date 20 June 1974, paperback
  • 1987, USA, Harper Trophy Books (ISBN 0-06-447030-X), Pub date ? September 1987, paperback reissue
  • 1987, USA, HarperCollins (ISBN 0694056138), Pub date ? June 1987, paperback reissue
  • 1991, UK, HarperCollins (ISBN 0-690-70181-0), Pub date ? June 1991, hardback reissue
  • 1991, UK, HarperCollins (ISBN 0-690-04907-2), Pub date ? December 1991, hardback reissue
  • 2004, USA, Thorndike Press (ISBN 0-7862-6896-4), Pub date 20 September 2004, hardback reissue (largeprint)

References

  • Keith, Harold (1957). Rifles for Watie, 1st ed., New York: Thomas Y. Crowell. 
  • BookRags Study Guide on Rifles for Watie. BookRags Study Guides. Retrieved on 2007-06-26.
  • Kingman, Lee (ed.) (1965). Newbery and Caldecott Medal Books: 1956-1965. Boston: Horn Book. 

Harold Keith the Newbery Award winning author (1903 - 24 February 1998) Born and raised, lived and died in Oklahoma, the state was his abiding passion. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Footnotes

Preceded by
Miracles on Maple Hill
Newbery Medal recipient
1958
Succeeded by
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

 
 

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