Civil War on the Western Border, 1854-1865

Civil War on the Western Border, 1854-1865

Book - 1984
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The first phase of the Civil War was fought west of the Mississippi River at least six years before the attack on Fort Sumter. Starting with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, Jay Monaghan traces the development of the conflict between the pro-slavery elements from Missouri and the New England abolitionists who migrated to Kansas. "Bleeding Kansas" provided a preview of the greater national struggle to come.

The author allows a new look at Quantrill's sacking of Lawrence, organized bushwhackery, and border battles that cost thousands of lives. Not the least valuable are chapters on the American Indians' part in the conflict. The record becomes devastatingly clear: the fighting in the West was the cruelest and most useless of the whole affair, and if men of vision had been in Washington in the 1850s it might have been avoided.

Publisher: Lincoln, Neb. ; London : University of Nebraska Press, 1984, c1955.
ISBN: 9780803281264
Characteristics: 454 p. ; 21 cm.


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DBRL_KrisA Jan 09, 2017

Ok, so if you're not a big Civil War nut, or even a history nut, you probably aren't going to like this book. I was in the army for 4 1/2 years, and I still didn't know a lot of the military terms they used. But most Civil War histories concentrate on battles in eastern states, and I'd always wondered what part Missouri, Kansas, etc. played in the war, so this was interesting to me. One thing that was especially educational was how the "Border War" between Kansas and Missouri began. And living in central MO, I could actually recognize the locations of the skirmishes and battles - Lexington, Concordia, Boonville; heck, even my hometown of Sedalia was mentioned!
One complaint that I do have is with the author's use of hearsay. When there are conflicting reports, or if there is no first-hand account of what a person was thinking/saying, etc., the author resorts to a lot of "he might have said" or "one would expect him to have thought at this time..."


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