The 11th Ohio had enlisted to fight Confederates. Instead, they fought Native Americans, escorted emigrants and mail, and operated, rebuilt, and restrung the telegraph lines. They died in combat and froze to death in winter storms. George Bent, Jim Bridger,and Major General Grenville M. Dodge are just a few of the well-known personages active in the story. Additionally, the diaries of enlisted men are quoted at length in describing the conditions of service. This volume tells the truth about the vulnerable and dangerous western trails and how the 11th Ohio played a crucial role in their protection.