Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why fuss with the Trans-Mississippi?

So, why have a blog on the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi? The bulk of Civil War historiography has focused on the war east of the Mississippi, but the war west of the big river has seen increasing attention in recent years. Particularly since the 1980s, historians have started to realize that even though armies and battles were of smaller size and scale in the West, it does not mean that these actions were unimportant or insignificant. There are also some interesting features to the war west of the Mississippi such as the role of Native Americans, guerrilla warfare, the role of African-American troops, refugees, the challenges of campaigning on the frontier, and operations along the Gulf Coast and the Pacific coast. Scholars have also delved into the challenges that the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy faced after the fall of Vicksburg as well as issues relating to leadership on both sides. And that is just a small sampling of topics relating to the Trans-Mississippi…


  1. My main search has always been genealogy,but when I discovered that an ancestor had been part of those captured at the battle of Arkansas Post(Fort Hindman. I began to try to do a little research on the 25th Texas Cavalry(which he was a part of)and found that almost NOTHING exists on many of the battles fought west of the Mississippi River. Almost like this part of CW is a completely seperate part of that bloody war that many now know or seem to want to know about.

  2. Hopefully this blog will help in a small way to focus some much needed attention on the Trans-Mississippi. There has been some very good scholarship in recent years on our part of the war so the situation is improving!

  3. This is the one thing that made me want to join,was you seem to want to help in the understanding that stares west of the Mississippi river where also a part of this terrible time in our history. For that I thank you! I may not comment alot,for my knowledge of CW is not much,but I plan on reading your blog quite often. My main interest has been genealogy,but I have done a small amount of research on some of the Texas units with the help of books written by Annne J. Bailey(my favorite) & James McCaffrey that helped me a great deal in my knowledge of some of these units. I look forward to reading you blog on you views on the part of this war that I feel has been "forgotton" & that many good men gave their sll for .

  4. The Trans Mississippi is a fascinating and totally overlooked field of Civil War study. I look forward to learning more from your work here. I have added it to the blog roll at my blog, South From the North Woods. Good luck.
    Jim Rosebrock

  5. Dear Jane and Russell,
    You were absolutely correct. This part of the war was entirely overlooked. My father wrote the most complete history of the area of NE ARkansas and the influence it had on the entire region.I will ask him about the 25th. I just put a video of my father up on my web site where he is reading from his book about a Texas Cavalry charge on the Cache River in NE Arkansas. You might want to watch it. Mark Mobley

  6. Dear Mark,
    Thanks for the information about your father's book, and I appreciate knowing about your website. I just watched the video with your father in it--very interesting. I'll add your website to the listings on my blog.