The last few weeks have been busy yet I’ve reached the point where I feel recharged and ready to begin a new academic year. Following my mom’s death, I moved across town into her house. It had been a number of years since I had last moved so…oh my…what a process! I had certainly accumulated too much in the other house so it was a good time to weed out and let go of belongings that I no longer wanted or needed. However, most of my books (and certainly all of the ones about the trans-Mississippi) moved with me. Some of the collection is still boxed up and awaiting the arrival of some pine bookcases. Besides moving I traveled with a friend to beautiful Scotland!!! There, we stayed with friends who live near Glasgow, and what a wonderful time we had with them. They graciously took us to many fascinating places including Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Falkirk Wheel, the Kelpies, Linlithgow Palace, Stirling Castle, Bannockburn, Culloden, Loch Ness, Fort George, Killiecrankie, the Robert Burns birthplace, and even more. It was grandly fun in part because I had never been overseas before; now I’m eager to go on another big trip.
Quite honestly, I never saw anything with any connection to the trans-Mississippi Civil War although we did pass close to Paisley, the birthplace of William A. Phillips, the commander of the Federal Indian Brigade. It was so much work for me to move across town. Just think what it was like for a Scotsman to migrate to Illinois and then to Kansas, as Phillips did, in the mid nineteenth century.