A History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas: Being an Account of the Early Settlements, the Civil War, the Ku-Klux, and Times of Peace

Overview

Originally 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.

William Monks, a local legend in Howell County, Missouri, was a Unionist, a refugee, a federal scout, an anti-guerrilla fighter, a county official, a state representative, and an officer in both Missouri and Arkansas militias. Toward ...

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Overview

Originally 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.

William Monks, a local legend in Howell County, Missouri, was a Unionist, a refugee, a federal scout, an anti-guerrilla fighter, a county official, a state representative, and an officer in both Missouri and Arkansas militias. Toward the end of his life, Monks wrote A History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas. The book is not a standard regional history, nor is it a full autobiography, although Monks begins with a nostaligic memoir of early adulthood during what might be considered the Golden Age of the Ozarks. The core of his story is an account of a tumultuous fifteen-year period beginning with the Civil War. His narrative traces the course of the principal military activities on the border, but he also pays attention to the plight of the Unionist and Rebel noncombatants. The last section of the work also includes Monks's account of the controversial campaign in Arkansas against the Ku Klux Klan.

This memoir was Monks's 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The 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 warfare."

--Journal of the West

"A riveting story and a valuable research tool."

--Daniel Sutherland, Civil War in the West series editor

"Monks 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."

--Missouri Historical Review

"William Monks's 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."

--William Shea, co-author of Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West (North Carolina, 1992)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781456464752
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 1/5/2011
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 548,603
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author


John F. Bradbury 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.

Lou Wehmer is the chairman of the South Central Missouri/North Central Arkansas Civil War Roundtable.

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