Many people may not realize that the Ozarks were a volatile region during the Civil War, but according to The New York Times, the Battle of Carthage was "the first serious conflict between the United States troops and the rebels." In writing Civil War in the Ozarks, the late Phillip W. Steele and Steve Cottrell extensively researched the battles ...
Many people may not realize that the Ozarks were a volatile region during the Civil War, but according to The New York Times, the Battle of Carthage was "the first serious conflict between the United States troops and the rebels." In writing Civil War in the Ozarks, the late Phillip W. Steele and Steve Cottrell extensively researched the battles on the western front that took place between 1861 and 1865. They looked at the heroes, outlaws, and peacemakers who influenced the role the Ozarks played in the war between the states. Both are noted researchers on Civil War and Ozarks history from Arkansas and Missouri. In the Ozarks, skirmishes between the abolitionist Kansas Jayhawkers and slaveholders in Arkansas and Missouri had begun years before Fort Sumter was fired upon. The neutral citizens of Missouri, who later joined in the fight for reasons of self-defense or vengeance, were often caught in the crossfire of raids between the two groups. Relocated Indian tribes of present-day Oklahoma-the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Creek-were part of the violence. Some joined the Union or Confederate armies, while others acted as frontier renegades against western expansion. The great divisions of the Ozark people were as extensive as those of the whole country. The factions and fighting made the Ozarks one of the bloodiest regions during the Civil War. Ozark residents, Cottrell, and formerly Steele, chronicled the bloody and fearsome events of the westernmost front. Steele is the author of several books on the Ozarks and the Wild West, including Jesse and Frank James: The Family History (pb), Starr Tracks: Belle and Pearl Starr (pb), The Last Cherokee Warriors (pb), Ozark Tales and Superstitions (pb), and Outlaws and Gunfighters of the Old West (pb/audiocassette), all published by Pelican. He passed away on November 8, 2007. Cottrell is a Civil War historian who has participated in battle re-enactments including those used in scenes of the Oscar-winning movie Glory. He is also coauthor of Civil War in Texas and New Mexico Territory (pb), published by Pelican.
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