Loyalty on the Frontier

Sketches of Union Men of the South-West with Incidents and Adventures in Rebellion on the Border
A.W. Bishop
July 2007
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Paper: $19.95 (978-1-55728-840-0)
Cloth: $29.95 (978-1-55728-757-1)


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First published in 1863, this book has the immediacy, passion, and intimacy of its wartime context. It tells the remarkable story of Albert Webb Bishop, a New York lawyer turned Union soldier, who in 1862 accepted a commission as lieutenant colonel in a regiment of Ozark mountaineers. While maintaining Union control of northwest Arkansas, he collected stories of the social coercion, political secession, and brutal terrorism that scarred the region. His larger goal, however, was to popularize and inspire sympathy for the South’s Unionists and to chronicle the triumph of Unionism in a Confederate state. His account points to the complex and divisive nature of Confederate society and in doing so provides a perspective that has long been absent from discussions of the Civil War.

Kim Allen Scott is Special Collections Librarian for The Libraries, Montana State University, Bozeman. He is the author of many articles on the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi and has supplemented his research through active participation in Civil War–battle reenactments.

“Recounts sometimes harrowing, often fantastic tales. . . . As an essential document that is made even more valuable by Scott’s incisive editing, this is both a good read and a valuable resource.”
Civil War Book Review

“This is the Civil War as a participant saw and lived it. . . . Highly recommended.”
The Civil War News

“Everyone will applaud this reissue of Albert W. Bishop’s Loyalty on the Frontier. His writing is partisan, strident, and uncompromising, but remarkably non-vindictive, especially considering the truly vicious nature of the guerrilla conflict he experienced. Editor Kim Allen Scott provides an excellent introduction and copious notes. This is important reading not only for students of the war in the Trans-Mississippi, but also for those who wish to understand the human cost of a civil war.”
—William Garrett Piston, co-author of Wilson’s Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It

“The Civil War in the West has a single goal: to promote historical writing about the war in the western states and territories. It focuses most particularly on the Trans-Mississippi theater, which consisted of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, most of Louisiana (west of the Mississippi River), Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma), and Arizona Territory (two-fifths of modern day Arizona and New Mexico) but encompasses adjacent states, such as Kansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi, that directly influenced the Trans-Mississippi war. It is a wide swath, to be sure, but one too often ignored by historians and, consequently, too little understood and appreciated.
Topically, the series embraces all aspects of the wartime story. Military history in its many guises, from the strategies of generals to the daily lives of common soldiers, forms an important part of that story, but so, too, do the numerous and complex political, economic, social, and diplomatic dimensions of the war. The series also provides a variety of perspectives on these topics. Most importantly, it offers the best in modern scholarship, with thoughtful, challenging monographs.
Secondly, it presents new editions of important books that have gone out of print. And thirdly, it premieres expertly edited correspondence, diaries, reminiscences, and other writings by participants in the war.
It is a formidable challenge, but by focusing on some of the least familiar dimensions of the conflict, The Civil War in the West significantly broadens our understanding of the nation’s most pivotal and dramatic story.”
—Daniel Sutherland, from the preface of I Do Wish This Cruel War Was Over