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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Kregg P.J. Jorgenson pens a gritty tale of the west in 1886: The Last Campaign. Hanford Jones, a veteran of the Civil War, retreated to the West, ultimately becoming a scout for the army. Believing his days as a scout were over, he thought he would do a little silver prospecting. In the heart of the Arizona Territory, Hanford Jones finds himself without a horse and chased by Indians. Fortunately, the Indians flee when the Ft. Bowie Cavalry approaches, saving the day, and quite possibly Hanford’s life. Among the cavalry were some of his best friends from his scouting days. Leaving behind Emma, a young German immigrant, whom he has fallen for, but would never admit it, Jones joins his friends again for one last hurrah in the final campaign to capture the renegade Indian leader, Geronimo.
Kregg P.J. Jorgenson did his research and wrote an entertaining western tale in 1886: The Last Campaign. This narrative contains all the elements of a good western: Indians, dust, and the trail. Jorgenson shapes the story with a raw and rowdy cast of characters. The characters are a band of unlikely friends, each one with a distinctive background, creating an enjoyable and amusing story. The conflict of the novel is of course, man against man, in the form of the US Army against the last remnant of the Indian nations, namely the Apaches. However, Jorgenson takes the plot and the action deeper. He includes German immigration, the lingering effects of the Civil War, and most surprisingly, the genesis of the soon to be American number one pastime – baseball. All these additional factors make this western novel stand out in its genre. Although the main character doesn’t ride off into the sunset, this rough and tough tale ends in a light-hearted jovial manner, leaving the reader content and satisfied. Well done, Mr. Jorgenson.