TO DIE IN DINETAH
The Dark Legacy of Kit Carson
“Truett tells the story of a young recruit, Terry O’Neill, who campaigns with Kit Carson against the Apaches and Navajos, and witnesses the Navajos’ ‘Long Walk’ to Fort Sumner after their defeat at Canyon de Chelly. Although O’Neill admires Carson, he believes the frontiersman was manipulated by General Carleton into using his persuasive skills and reputation for fair dealing to trick the Apache and Navajo into surrendering, a view which Carson denies. Carson believes that General Carleton’s aim is to make peace in the most fair and humanitarian way. Whether or not Carleton’s ultimate goal was the virtual extinction of the Apache and Navajo as Truett indicates, the general’s policies certainly brought no honor to the United States and resulted in human suffering surpassed only by the Trail of Tears. Carson’s part in this fiasco is the dark legacy spoken of in Truett’s subtitle.
“Truett’s descriptions of an army on the march through a hostile wilderness, and his accounts of military engagements are first-rate. His flair for creating visual imagery cannot be overstated. Recommended reading for its setting and background.”
—Western Writers of America Roundup Magazine
“Roswell resident Truett’s years as a film script writer show through in this well-fashioned novel based on the Navajos’ Long Walk. The dramatic events are seen through the eyes of a young man assigned to Colonel Carson, ‘…the man whom I had looked up to is like a statue on a crumbling pedestal.’ For people who enjoy their history wrapped up neatly (and correctly) in novelized form, this is a book not to be missed.”
—New Mexico Book League