Friday, April 30, 2021

Book News: "We Gave Them Thunder"

Waaaay back in 2011 I reported some secondhand scuttlebutt that Bill Piston and John Rutherford were working on an 1863 Battle of Springfield (often called the Second Battle of Springfield, the first being the far smaller October 25, 1861 engagement there—calling it a 'battle' is pretty generous—that was popularized through embellished accounts of "Zagonyi's Charge") study. I had forgotten about this Piston-Rutherford project over the years (so many cool-sounding things that pop up in the rumor mill disappear into the ether never to be heard from again) but am absolutely delighted to pass along the latest news that it will be actually be released later this year from Moon City Press (University of Arkansas Press is the distributor) under the title "We Gave Them Thunder": Marmaduke’s Raid and the Civil War in Missouri and Arkansas (August 2021).

This will not be the first book on the subject. Most recently, Larry Wood covered it in Civil War Springfield (The History Press, 2011), but the standard account is still Up From Arkansas: Marmaduke's First Missouri Raid, Including the Battles of Springfield and Hartville by Frederick Goman (Wilson's Creek NB Foundation, 1999). The most obscure book-length source is Daniel Plaster’s privately printed Marmaduke’s First Missouri Raid, 1862-1863: The Roles of Federal Scouts and Outposts in the Defense of Springfield (1999), which is a fine addition to your Missouri raid collection if you can find a copy of it. There's great work in all of the above but plenty of room remains for a more 'definitive' treatment of the kind expected from Piston and Rutherford.

It seems like it's been forever since the publication of a proper, full-length Missouri or Arkansas battle study. Unless I am forgetting something big, I don't recall a release of anything of this scale ("354 pages,..., 13 maps and 43 color illustrations") since Kyle Sinisi's 2015 book on Sterling Price's 1864 Missouri Expedition. I am greatly looking forward to reading this "authoritative study of Marmaduke’s raid into Southwest Missouri, the Battle of Springfield (January 8, 1863), and the Battle of Hartville (January 11, 1863)."


  1. Hopefully someone will publish a book on Marmaduke's second raid to Cape Girardeau.

    1. Connan,
      I would like to see that as well.


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