Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Five Trans-Mississippi cavalry books: (Part 3) "Up from Arkansas"

[Up From Arkansas: Marmaduke's First Missouri Raid, Including the Battles of Springfield and Hartville by Frederick W. Goman (Wilson Creek National Battlefield Foundation, 1999)]

Up From Arkansas is an excellent military history of Marmaduke’s First Missouri Raid (Dec. 31,1862 - Jan 23, 1863). Weaving letters and first-person accounts into the narrative, the author provides an exciting and balanced account of the raid’s battles and skirmishes. The story is told from the perspective of both sides, with John S. Marmaduke, Joseph O. Shelby, and Emmet MacDonald's Confederates facing off against a hastily assembled group of Federal regular forces and Missouri militia defenders under Egbert Brown.

Marmaduke's raid commenced from the Arkansas River camps at Lewisburg and ended a month later at Batesville, on the White River. Along the road north from Arkansas to Springfield, Missouri, the column split, and the book briefly describes the skirmishes at Ozark and Ft. Lawrence. Blow by blow accounts of the battles of Springfield and Hartville at regimental level comprise the heart of the narrative. The action is concluded with the raiders’ parole of the Federal prisoners in Missouri and the return to Arkansas.

The maps included in Up From Arkansas show only general movements, but two excellent illustrations of the Springfield defenses depict the location and design of the many forts surrounding the town. Appendices explain basic infantry, cavalry, and artillery battlefield tactics, and also provide the reader with orders of battle and detailed casualty lists by company. Though short in length, this volume is long on detail and is highly recommended for those interested in the military aspects of one of the many Trans-Mississippi cavalry raids.


  1. Drew,

    "Up from Arkansas" is a good little book -- a subject deserving of a full-length study, in my opinion. Thanks for these five useful snapshots. The Historical Societies (and Foundations) look to have done a pretty good job.


  2. David,
    They did do creditable work. Such groups published a great deal in the 60s and 70s (even a round table published one of Ed. Bearss's books). I suppose time and cost are major hurdles for the groups of today.

    I really did like "Up From Arkansas". For all its merits, it is very brief, and I agree a full study is in order.



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