Guarding the Overland Trails: The Eleventh Ohio Cavalry in the Civil War

Robert Huhn Jones, Guarding the Overland Trails: The Eleventh Ohio Cavalry in the Civil War (2005)

Guarding the Overland TrailsThis book details the efforts of the army to police the Overland Route during the Civil War. While the time period is after the run of the Pony Express, I’d come across references to this episode in other readings. Anyone riding the Pony Express Bikepacking Route will find memorials to battles and victims of the “uprising” during 1864-65, for instance at Plum Creek Station (Mile 362). This book gives a dispassionate accounts of these conflicts.

As it turns out, I have decided to set the book aside after reading  half-way through. It is a good resource book, but is far more concerned with troop movements and the minutiae of troop deployment than I care for. Here is an exemplary paragraph:

“By December 31 [1864] the disposition of the troops changed. The 11th Ohio still garrisoned the Oregon Overland roads, as they had in October, with some small alterations. Collins still commanded the Western Sub-District, with his Ohioans at Camp Collins (Companies B and F, as before); Fremont’s Orchard (Company C, as before); Fort Halleck (Company K replaced D); Camp Marshall (Horseshoe Station, Still Company E); Camp Mitchell (Scott’s Bluff and vicinity, still Company H); Platte Bridge (Company G moved up from Deer Creek); and at Fort Laramie, with Collins in command there again, Companies A, D, and L, plus 7th Iowa, Company D.”

Had I researched the book a little more before I bought it, I might have waited to borrow it from a library instead. It turns out to be installment XXIV of the Frontier Military Series, which I assume accounts for the details regarding deployment. I have to admit, I skip over military unit designations (such as 11th Ohio Calvary) just like I skip names in 19th Century Russian novels. They just confuse me. My only regret is that as a new book of limited run, I paid a premium for it. I could have ought two or three used classics for the same price. Which is not a knock on the author. Just a result of my poor research.

So, I have this book for reference, but for now, it’s tome to move onto the next.

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