King, Charles, 1844-1933Alternative names
American Army officer and novelist.
From the description of Papers of Charles King [manuscript], 1827-1964, bulk 1887-1929. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647812138
Author and soldier; stationed at Camp Verde, Arizona in 1874 under Gen. Crook. King retired from the Army in 1879 to write fiction and non-fiction books about army life.
From the description of King papers, 1924-1929. (Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division). WorldCat record id: 37550962
American soldier, author, and historian.
From the description of Indian campaigns : sketches of cavalry service in Arizona and on the northern plains, 1880-1889. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122536543
Charles King, soldier, novelist and historian, graduated from West Point in 1866. In 1871 he was a lieutenant in the U.S. 5th Cavalry under General George Crook. In 1874, King was shot in the arm during a skirmish with Apache Indians. His wound forced him to retire from the military in 1879. King then became a teacher of military science and tactics, and in 1882 he became a colonel in the Wisconsin National Guard. King wrote many books about U.S. military history including Campaigning with Crook, which was published in 1890.
From the description of Papers of Charles King, 1875-1954. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122545756
Biography / Administrative History
Charles King was born October 12, 1844, in Albany, New York. The family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin one year later. Son of Rufus King, Charles followed in his father's footsteps and joined the militia. At the age of 12, he was a "marker" for the Milwaukee Light Guard. In 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War, King received an appointment to West Point, and in his senior year, he became Cadet Adjutant. Upon graduation, he began his lengthy military career, serving in the Fifth Cavalry in Nebraska, Arizona, Kansas, and Wyoming. He retired in 1879.
Returning to Wisconsin, King taught at the University of Wisconsin, and at various military academies throughout the state. At the beginning of the Spanish American War, he was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers, served in the Philippines. He served in the National Guard during World War I, ending his career in 1929. Charles King died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1933.
King's long military career became subject matter for his many books. He started writing articles and short stories in 1880, and soon graduated to serials. His first novel, The Colonel's Daughter, was published in 1882; it was in print for more than 50 years. King also wrote non-fiction accounts of famous battles. His Campaigning With Crook focused on the1876 wars against the Sioux and the Cheyenne in Kansas. King published over 60 books during his life time.
King was the only United States Army officer to write fiction from his own acquaintance with army life and Indian warfare on the plains during 1870-1880. He was a pioneer in writing realistic fiction about the western frontier at a time when the usual western novel was the dime novel. King's depictions of life in the West, though, are sentimental, romanticized, and frequently include stereotypes of the worst kind. He is only truly effective in his descriptions of the day-to-day life of the Army soldier in the garrison on the frontier.
From the guide to the Charles King Collection 1887-1974, 1887-1974, (Autry National Center. Institute for the Study of the American West)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Great Lakes (North America)|
|Spanish--American War, 1898--Personal narratives, American|
|Spanish--American War, 1898--Personal narratives|
|Apache Indians--Wars, 1872-1873|
|Ocean travel--History--19th century|
|Photography--Equipment and supplies|
|World War, 1914-1918|
|Authors, American--19th century--Biography|
|Indians of North America--Wars|
|Greek letter societies|
|Authors and publishers|
|Indians of North America--Wars--1866-1895|
|Indians of North America--Wars--1866-1895--Personal narratives|
|Authors, American--20th century--Biography|
|War stories, American|
|Spanish--American War, 1898|