Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Subject Waiting For A Historian

While looking for some additional background information about Albert C. Ellithorpe, an officer in the First Indian Home Guards, I found a short piece about him in John Carbutt’s Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men of Chicago (1876). The sketch states that Ellithorpe “remained in the service until the end of the War, passing through many hard-fought battles and ‘bushwhacking’ fights, and sharing in all the rough-and-tumble experience of those terrible years on the frontier—a kind of experience which was so entirely different from that of the Armies in other parts of the country—so much more wild, exciting and critical that none but those actually under [James G.] Blunt’s command can appreciate its character. If the detailed history of that Army of the Frontier could be fully and faithfully written, it would be one of the most thrilling narratives of peril, bravery, self-sacrificing endurance under hardship, bloody encounters and bold and dashing deeds, that mark the annals of modern warfare” (p. 257). Excusing some of the hyperbole near the end, I think the author is correct that such a history would be “different,” “wild,” and “exciting.” It would certainly be a lot more interesting to read than yet another book about_________________ [you fill in the blank].


  1. Michael Banasik was supposedly working on a Kansas Division/Army of the Frontier book (something of a companion piece to "Embattled Arkansas"), but it has been so many years with no word that I suspect the project's been abandoned.

  2. Thanks for the tidbit. Michael Banasik seems to have found his niche as an editor, so it seems likely that the project has been abandoned.