Thursday, July 10, 2014


Newspapers are one of my favorite sources, and I’ve enjoyed reading through the wartime issues of the Daily Conservative published in Leavenworth, Kansas. Press stories of the time were often spicy affairs laced with drama and decided opinions. James G. Blunt became one of the most prominent Union generals in the trans-Mississippi, but the Daily Conservative was initially unimpressed with his appointment as brigadier general. An April 12, 1862, article labeled him as “totally unqualified” and went on to state that “scores of our officers are the military and intellectual superiors of Blunt. Any one of them has more personal popularity, more force of mind than Blunt.” In a mysterious change of heart, though, the editors changed course and announced less than a month later that they were pleased with his appointment as commander of the Department of Kansas. Subsequent articles lauded and praised Blunt, the former “totally unqualified” general.

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