Thursday, February 9, 2017


Now that I'm settling in to my "new" life, I've started to catch up on new publications and am casting around for a new research project. Today, I discovered that the University of Oklahoma Press has just published The Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands, 1861-1867 by Andrew E. Masich; immediately, I navigated to Amazon and purchased a copy. Several years ago, Masich's excellent narrative and compilation of primary accounts, The Civil War in Arizona: The Story of the California Volunteers, 1861-1865, was published. I'm looking forward to receiving his latest book!

In April, the University of North Carolina Press will be publishing Theater of a Separate War: The Civil War West of the Mississippi River, 1861-1865 by Thomas W. Cutrer who is a professor emeritus at Arizona State University. Its length is advertised as 600 pages, and, judging by the publisher and the author, it will be a high quality book.

About three years ago, I noticed an uptick in scholarship about the trans-Mississippi, and the pace of publication appears to be accelerating.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy 2017! Last year was an extraordinarily eventful (and happy) year for me, and I'm starting to settle down into a new routine. My employer, Rogers State University, has been most accommodating and has graciously allowed me to develop a teaching schedule that allows me to spend several days each week in Alva, Oklahoma, where my husband, Dr. Richmond B. Adams, teaches at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

On one of my first visits to Alva, I noticed the beautiful windows in the United Methodist Church and was startled to see G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic) in the center of the large, round window.

There are a number of Union veterans buried in the city cemetery and obviously many were attracted to the area thanks to the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in 1893. The four windows underneath the large, round window are just as fascinating.

Abraham Lincoln:

A pair of American flags:

And, the symbol of the Woman's Relief Corps which obviously sponsored the four smaller windows:

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Exciting Times

There has been a gradual uptick in the number of books and journal articles devoted to the trans-Mississippi. Even the terminology is changing as seen in the December 2016 issue of The Journal of the Civil War Era which is devoted to "The Civil War West." However, these are not articles about the Western Theater. Pekka Hamalainen's article is titled "Reconstructing the Great Plains: The Long Struggle for Sovereignty and Dominance in the Heart of the Continent." Megan Kate Nelson explores "The Civil War from Apache Pass," and Kevin Waite examines "Jefferson Davis and Proslavery Visions of Empire in the Far West." The issue ends with a review essay by Stacey L. Smith, "Beyond North and South: Putting the West in the Civil War and Reconstruction."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Signing Event!!

My book, Albert C. Ellithorpe, the First Indian Home Guards, and the Civil War on the Trans-Mississippi Frontier (Louisiana State University Press) is out!!!! For those of you who live in the area, I'll be doing a book signing at the Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City this Saturday, December 3rd from 3:00 - 5:00 pm. Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Question and Answer Session

Drew Wagenhoffer asked me recently to participate in a question and answer session with him about my new book. Today, he posted the session on his blog, Civil War Books and Authors, which is an excellent source of information on the world of Civil War publishing. I've always been appreciative of his emphasis on trans-Mississippi scholarship and am honored to be featured on his blog.

Monday, September 19, 2016

New Book!

My book, Albert C. Ellithorpe, the First Indian Home Guards, and the Civil War on the Trans-Mississippi Frontier, will be published by Louisiana State University Press in November! The book is an edited edition of Ellithorpe's personal wartime journal, his correspondence, and the twenty-three wartime articles that he penned for the Chicago Evening Journal. Here is the description of the book from the LSU Press's website:

"The Civil War experiences of Albert C. Ellithorpe, a Caucasian Union Army officer commanding the tri-racial First Indian Home Guards, illuminate remarkable and understudied facets of campaigning west of the Mississippi River. Major Ellithorpe's unit--comprised primarily of Creek and Seminole Indians and African Americans who served as interpreters--fought principally in Arkansas and Indian Territory, isolated from the larger currents of the Civil War. Using Ellithorpe's journal and his series of Chicago Evening Journal articles as her main sources, M. Jane Johansson unravels this exceptional account, providing one of the fullest examinations available on a mixed-race Union regiment serving in the border region of the West.

Ellithorpe's insightful observations on Indians and civilians as well as the war in the trans-Mississippi theater provide a rare glimpse into a largely forgotten aspect of the conflict. He wrote extensively about the role of Indian troops, who served primarily as scouts and skirmishers, and on the nature of guerrilla warfare in the West. Ellithorpe also exposed internal problems in his regiment; some of his most dramatic entries concern his own charges against Caucasian officers, one of whom allegedly stole money from the unit's African American interpreters. Compiled here for the first time, Ellithorpe's commentary on the war adds a new chapter to our understanding of America's most complicated and tragic conflict."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


It's been quite a year! On a personal note, after nine years of widowhood I remarried this summer. My husband is an assistant professor of English, and, happily, he has a strong interest in the Civil War era. Now that things have settled down a bit, I hope to try, once again, to post regularly to this blog.

My next book will be published in November, but more about time!