BGES introduces new historian to cohort.
Over the past 155 years studies of the Civil War have furrowed the same familiar trails–in Missouri the trail primarily goes to and from Springfield; yet there is a grand raid that has escaped careful scrutiny and analysis. In September 1864, Major General Sterling Price made one last attempt to change the matrix in the Trans-Mississippi. Several previous efforts had failed to excite the populace and firm Federal control had discouraged civilians from rallying to the cause.
“Pap” Price was a venerable veteran politician and soldier–more the former than the later. As former governor he represented the secessionist’s view and hopes to his Missouri Guard and those who hoped to maintain the border slave state’s integrity and status. When Price entered Missouri for the last time he faced a 1400 mile trek through sparsely populated areas. An encounter at Fort Davidson near Pilot Knob encouraged him to press further. Now in mid October Price was as vulnerable as it was possible to be–nearing the Missouri River he attracted the attention of converging Federal forces. This is the story of the high water mark of Price’s raid and his disheartening and disastrous end.
A few years ago a walking tour and lecture about the Citadel in the War introduced us to Citadel professor, Kyle Sinisi–a 1984 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a professor of history, Kyle impressed the BGES attendees and this program is his field debut for our educational organization.
This is no amateur effort–Sinisi recently published a new book–indeed the premier book among several recent publications on Price’s Raid. In addition, Sinisi is fully involved in writing the first contemporary biography of long overlooked Union general Samuel Curtis. Long admired Curtis had much more impact on the war in Arkansas and Missouri than most appreciate. A well spoken and personable historian this may be the most underrated tour of 2016. I’ve cut the price a little to encourage you to come to Kansas City for this presentation–I hope you will accept the invitation. Missouri/Kansas Civil War programming is few and far between. I hope to see you there.
— Len Riedel, Executive Director