As in his biography of Raphael Semmes, Rebel Sea Raider, John Foster has taken an obscure but significant figure and not only established his importance but also caught the temper of his times. Frontiersman Dale was an alert Indian fighter, preparing home and stockade against the dreaded raids, but he was, not a hard-boiled warrior--he knew that the white man, with his alcohol, small pox and greed for land, had brought the Indian to belligerent desperation. Nor does the author encourage any illusions; he describes the skirmishes as ""the encounters of wild beasts."" Dale's exploits in the Creek War of 1812 were singular--on one occasion he took on five Indians successively; his feat in delivering a dispatch to General Andrew Jackson through 500 miles of dangerous territory gained him the General's friendship and a spot in the front line at the Battle of New Orleans. All this is documented by quotes from contemporary (and later) sources, in a straight-forward, feint-paced account of life on the South-eastern frontier.