Monday, December 21, 2015

Booknotes: The 116

New Arrival:

The 116: The True Story of Abraham Lincoln's Lost Guard by James P. Muehlberger (Ankerwycke, 2015).

Most Civil War readers have at least heard of the Frontier Guard, the self-appointed gang of early 1861 Lincoln bodyguards made up of rugged westerners led by Kansas Jayhawker and U.S. Senator Jim Lane. Muehlberger's The 116 tells the group's unique story. Appendix I includes transcriptions of the unit roll and other documents while the extensive Appendix II (comprising close to 1/3 of the book) offers biographical timelines for each member, including their pre and postwar lives. "Based on more than 500 original sources discovered at the Library of Congress, The 116 delves into the lives of these 116 men and their charismatic leader—Kansas "free state" advocate and lawyer Jim Lane. It paints a provocative portrait of the 'civil war' between Free-State and Pro-Slavery forces that tore Missouri and the Kansas Territory apart in the 1850s, and gives a vivid picture of the legal battles pertaining to the protection and abolition of slavery that riled Congress on both a federal and state level, eventually leading to the eruption of war in 1861."

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