Romine Ostrander, born in 1837 in Roseville, Illinois, had made his way to Colorado as a private in the First Colorado Cavalry by the time he was 25. On February 26, 1863, he bought a small, leather-bound diary, and over the next three years he filled this volume and two more with his thoughts, travels, and frustrations. The delicate, well-worn diaries accompanied the private in his saddlebags over miles of dusty Colorado trails, but eventually they disappeared. The 1863 and 1865 journals resurfaced in 1922 in a warehouse in Fresno. Annotated for historic interest but otherwise unedited, they offer a fascinating and infectious read—the young author creates a vivid portrait of frontier Colorado and comments on the events of his day: the Sand Creek Massacre, the Civil War, Lee's surrender, and his own encounters with Arapahos, Cheyennes, Comanches, Apaches, and Cherokees.