Saturday, March 22, 2008

Briefly - "Action Before Westport - revised edition"

At 44 years of age and counting, the late Howard N. Monnett's Action Before Westport, 1864 [Westport Historical Society/Lowell Press, 1964] remains the best single volume history of the Price Raid. I haven't actually held in my hands a copy of the original hardcover; but, as my own copy is a paperback facsimile reprint [Undated, Lowell Press (Kansas City, MO)] of the 1964 signed subscriber edition #87, I am reasonably certain of what's inside the first edition volume.

In 1995, the University Press of Colorado reprinted Monnett's classic study on a POD basis [cover art above right]. Action Before Westport 1864 Revised Edition has a new, annotated introduction (17 pages in length) by the author's son, western historian John H. Monnett, and several other revisions and additions. A page of corrective notes is located immediately after the introduction, and Monnett has also included an updated and more detailed order of battle [revisions based on the research of Fred Lee, Lumir Buresh, and others] along with a number of photographs. The main text, endnotes, maps (3), bibliography, and index appear identical to the first edition. Overall, while the new materials might seem rather meager at first glance, I think the end product is worthy of purchase for new readers and for those who already own an earlier edition.


  1. Drew,

    As a native of the region who has been fascinated in Price's Raid my whole life, I agree that Monnett deserves more attention. I do actually have a first edition on my shelf. Yes, I am very happy with myself over that. Still, 1964 is way too long. It is time for a new look at this important campaign.


  2. Bjorn,
    It sure is. Citadel professor Kyle Sinisi has been working hard on a new military history of the raid. Hopefully, we'll see it within the next year or two.



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