Posie, or, From Reveille to Retreat, an Army Story

Dublin Core


**Warning: Some of the language or characterizations in this book are the product of the time when this book was written, and are not acceptable.**

This novel is based on the memories of an army wife that follows a company of Union soldiers led by her husband fictionalized as, Captain Prescott. After the two "uneventful, yet eventful" years of his life during the Civil War, and years in the West, his Company is stationed in St. Augustine during a tumultuous election, wherein multiple murders had already been committed. Yet, this posting is the most peaceful of his career! After the Prescott family arrives in St. Augustine, the story changes to include the perspective of Posie, a little girl living in St. Augustine, who is trying to understand more of the world beyond the sea wall and coquina streets. Posie recounts the recent history of the town, including: how the Minorcans came to St. Augustine, the day the St. Augustine "Blues" marched away to fight for the South, the cutting down of the flag pole to prevent the Union flag from flying over the city, and the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation (actually at a dismantled Catholic Church south of the now-Lightner Museum, but claimed to be a Presbyterian Church in the book).

Historical personages of Sarah Winnemucca (Paiute),  Nockadelcline (Apache), and Dandy Jim (Apache) are included in this story.

The other identifiable local locations are the Old City Gates, the Plaza de la Constitucion and the slave market, Fort San Marco (Castillo de San Marcos), Trinity Episcopal Church, the Cathedral Basilica, and the St. Francis Barrack's.
The historical personage of Paiute, "Princess" Sarah Winnemucca is briefly portrayed in this book. Her long-standing role as an interpreter and peacemaker between U.S. officials and the Northern Paiutes led to her involvement in helping with negotiations between the U.S. Army and the Bannock Indians of Washington Territory in 1879. Her efforts attracted the attention of President Rutherford B. Hayes, who intervened. It is possibly these negotations which inspired the incident in which she appears in this book.
The battle described in the Fort Apache chapter are based on Mrs. Cochran's eyewitness experiences between the U.S. Army and the White Mountain Apaches in 1881 at the Battle of Cibicue Creek.


Posie, or, From Reveille to Retreat, an Army Story


Cincinnati: Robert Clarke Co.






Action or Adventure
Race Relations


Statehood to 1887

Has Format

Available for free on HathiTrust.
Available for free on Internet Archive.


Gardner, Janette C. An Annotated Bibliography of Florida Fiction, 1801-1980. St. Petersburg, FL: Little Bayou Press, 1983.

Mason, Walter Scott. The People of Florida as Portrayed in American Fiction. Nashville, TN: George Peabody College for Teachers, 1949.

McCarthy, Kevin. M. “Historical St. Augustine in Fiction.” El Escribano 15 (1978): 61-69.

Bibliographic Citation

Cochran, Mrs. M. A. Posie, or, From Reveille to Retreat, an Army Story. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke Co., 1896.


Mrs. M. A. Cochran [Katharine Cochran], “Posie, or, From Reveille to Retreat, an Army Story,” St. Augustine Fiction, accessed July 18, 2024, https://staugustinefiction.omeka.net/items/show/141.