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!