MY purpose in writing this book was twofold: first, to supply a long-standing deficiency in Kansas historical literature (which has concentrated almost exclusively on the pre-Civil War period) by describing the political, military, social, and economic events and developments of the state's first four years--an era even more dramatic, and hardly less significant, than the one which preceded it; and, secondly, to contribute to a better understanding of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi West through a realistic presentation and analysis of the Kansas-Missouri border conflict, the operations of the Missouri guerrillas under Quantrill, and the Union and Confederate military campaigns in Missouri, Arkansas, the Indian Territory, and Kansas itself. My primary focus throughout the book is on Kansas, and if I have emphasized political and military matters, it is only because this period of Kansas history was essentially political and military in character.
A satisfactory general history of Kansas has not yet been published. And despite the great mass of writing on the subject, there is no adequate over-all study of the territorial period. The lack of such works was at times a severe handicap in the preparation of this book. I regret deeply that Dr. James C. Malin of the University of Kansas has never followed up his John Brown andthe Legend of Fifty-Six