[October 25th and the Battle of Mine Creek by Lumir Buresh (Mine Creek Battlefield Foundation, R-2000)]
Book length accounts of the individual battles of Sterling Price’s 1864 Missouri Raid are few in number and generally unsatisfying, but, fortunately for us, Lumir Buresh’s account of the Battle of Mine Creek is uncommonly good. Fought in Kansas at the tail-end of the raid, Mine Creek was an unmitigated disaster for Price’s Confederates. With the U.S. cavalry's crushing of a numerically superior (albeit scattered) foe, the battle showcased one of the largest and most decisive cavalry charges of the entire war.
Buresh’s book begins with a brief overview of the events leading up to the Confederate army’s retreat into Kansas and the battle of Mine Creek. The author’s description of events is superb from the opening shots at the Mounds and the Marais des Cynges to the epic charge at Mine Creek. Detailed maps, including a large pullout map of the Battle of Mine Creek, show all relevant terrain and troop movements and allow the reader to easily follow the swift-moving action. From Mine Creek, Buresh continues his account of the retreat to the Little Osage and the Marmiton rivers, ending with Price’s final movement across the Arkansas River and into Texas.
Originally published in 1977, this slightly oversize paperback reprint is a handsome volume replete with maps, charts, and photographs. The author seems to have a special interest in the cavalry tactics of the period and those with a similar interest will be richly rewarded. Painstakingly thorough appendices dealing with troop strengths at Mine Creek, casualties, and cavalry tactics round out this excellent volume.