Monday, October 3, 2016

Theater of a Separate War

For the fighting in the East and West, theater scope military histories exist in various forms but a comprehensive, full-length treatment of the Trans-Mississippi's Civil War has heretofore escaped us. Robert Kerby's Kirby Smith's Confederacy remains a classic, but readers can readily recall its sharp limitations in perspective (Confederate), geographic coverage, and time span examined (the second half of the war). Next spring, historian Thomas Cutrer and UNC Press aim to rectify matters with Theater of a Separate War: The Civil War West of the Mississippi River, 1861-1865 (April). The page count is fairly hefty (coming in just under 600 in number), and the description indicates a sweeping study of the entire area between the Pacific Ocean and the right bank of the Mississippi River. The Trans-Mississippi has received more scholarly attention lately, but historians as a whole still tend to view events there as strategically irrelevant. It will be interesting to see what opposing arguments Cutrer will put forth regarding the theater's importance.


  1. Great news since this seems like a rather significant part of the war that gets too little attention. While something may be "strategically irrelevant" in retrospect, that doesn't mean it was viewed as such at the time. It also doesn't exclude interesting and/or important things from happened there involving interesting and/or important people.

  2. Hello Drew

    Thanks for the information. I believe this is the 11th of the 16 proposed. I think we are still waiting on a volume covering the war in the east among other titles.

    Don H.


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