|About the Book|
An argument can be made that Americas Civil War did not begin on April 12, 1861- it began seven years earlier in 1854 when an act by Congress opened up the frontier territories of Kansas and Nebraska to pioneer settlers. The act stipulated that theMoreAn argument can be made that Americas Civil War did not begin on April 12, 1861- it began seven years earlier in 1854 when an act by Congress opened up the frontier territories of Kansas and Nebraska to pioneer settlers. The act stipulated that the residents of Kansas were to decide by popular vote whether their territory would be free-soil or pro-slavery. This caused the growing abolitionist movement in the northeastern States to recruit and send militant anti-slavery advocates to Kansas. Railroads were being planned and built which gave fortune-seekers and opportunists reason to find their way to Kansas. The low-life element of the newly created territory began preying on the settlers and newspapers referred to them as ruffians. The low-lifers of pro-slave Missouri soon joined, and outnumbered the original members of these gangs of thugs, earning the label of Missouri Ruffians. The militant abolitionists met the terrorism by forming militias called Jayhawkers and, the more violent, Redlegs. Outlaws committed crimes on both sides of the border under whatever guise they preferred, and the Missouri farmers retaliated with their own neighborhood protectors known as Bushwhackers.The story, BLUE SPRINGS - The Civil War on the Missouri Border, begins in December, 1860 and follows the strife on the border created by both sides. In the midst of this story is- a teenage girl who falls in love with the wrong men, her two older brothers who might be influenced by a charismatic stranger, and their wealthy parents who have brought their genteel Kentucky traditions to the wilderness of Jackson County. This familys destiny is changed forever when a group of slave-stealers from Lawrence, Kansas come to the farm.Told from the perspective of the family members, the book, Blue Springs, is crafted from family documents, oral history, and research. Their paths cross those of William C. Quantrill, an ambitious, silver tongue, leader whose motives and loyalty are sometimes questioned, and other young men who will be remembered in history including- Frank and Jesse James, and Cole and Jim Younger. It also tells about the relocation of tens of thousands citizens in four western Missouri counties and the destruction of their homes and private property by the Union armys “General Order Number 11”.BLUE SPRINGS - The Civil War on the Missouri Border, is a historical novel about real people in real situatioms. It is a must read for devotees of the Civil War, the border conflict, and Missouri history.