History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas
an Account of the Early Settlements, the Civil War, the Ku-Klux,
and Times of Peace
Edited and with an Introduction by John F. Bradbury Jr. and
published in 1907 and now reprinted for the first time, this
is the only account published by a Union guerrilla in the
border region of the central Ozarks, where political and civil
violence lasted from the Civil War well into the 1880s.
were probably many people who wanted to shoot Billy Monks.
He was a Union patriot and skilled guerrilla fighter to some,
but others called him a bushwhacker, a murderer, and a thief.
His was a very personal combat: he commanded, rallied, arrested,
killed, quarreled with, and sued people he knew. His life
provides a striking example of the cliché that the
war did not end in 1865, but continued fiercely on several
fronts for another decade as partisan factions settled old
scores and battled for local political control.
memoir was Monkss last salvo at his old foes, by turns
self-defense and an uncompromising affirmation of the Radical
Union cause in the Ozarks. The editors include a new biographical
sketch of the author, fill in gaps in his narrative, identify
all the people and places to which he refers, and offer a
detailed index. Monks himself illustrated the volume with
staged photographs of key events re-created by aged comrades
who appear to have been just barely able to hoist the muskets
they hold as props.
had been involved in so many blood-curdling controversies
and adventures that he felt obliged to reminisce for those
yet unborn. In reissuing this gripping account . . . the editors
deserve gratitude and praise for their efforts and foresight.”
book begins with a sentimental description of pioneering days
of milk and honey in the 1840s and 1850s, but these saccharine
remembrances are soon displaced by vignettes of violence .
. . whiskey-fueled brawls . . . [and the] horrors of guerrilla
of the West
riveting story and a valuable research tool.
Sutherland, Civil War in the West series editor
Monkss compelling memoir of the Civil War and its aftermath
in Missouri and Arkansas contains little about marching armies
and set-piece battles, but it presents a fascinating account
of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times. Here
is a glimpse of the real war in the Trans-Mississippi where
arson and ambuscades were commonplace events and everyone
had a score to settle.
Shea, co-author of Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the
West (North Carolina, 1992)
is the senior manuscript specialist at the Rolla branch of
the University of Missouri Western Historical Manuscript Collection.
He is the author, editor, and compiler of many articles on
the Civil War in the Ozarks.
is the chairman of the South Central Missouri/North Central
Arkansas Civil War Roundtable.
$19.95 (s) Paper
$29.95 (s), cloth - out of stock