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Stephen Z. Starr, Jennison’s Jayhawkers

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Stephen Z. Starr’s Jennison’s Jayhawkers: A Civil War Cavalry Regiment and it’s Commander provides an astonishing tale of war and political radicalism in a regiment of Union horse soldiers.

Few regiments and few commanders worked harder to make a bad name for themselves than the 7th Kansas Cavalry regiment and their colonel, Charles Rainsford Jennison. With an officer corps featuring such undisciplined militants as John Brown, Jr., Dan Anthony (brother of Susan B.), James Montgomery (featured burning a town in the film Glory), and Jennison himself, plus such avowed outlaws as Marshall Cleveland, the 7th cut a swath through Western Missouri during early 1862 that established the reputation of the Redlegs as thieves and cut-throats.

Starr documents this colorful period in their history but also follows the regiment into Grant’s command. Fighting in west Tennessee and Mississippi, under new leadership, the Seventh developed into a first rate cavalry regiment. When they returned to the Trans-Mississippi west in 1864 they were among the more professional units to fight in the battles embracing Sterling Price’s Missouri Campaign.

Writing in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Stephen Z. Starr – at the time Director of the Cincinnati Historical Society – was among a small cadre of Civil War scholars who saw value in getting to know individual regiments and the men in their ranks. All politics are local, as Senator Tip O’Neill once quipped, and Civil War regiments were supremely political organisms, with enlisted men electing their officers and local newspapers tattling on behavior in the field.

After studying these radical abolitionist cavaliers, Starr embarked on a massive project to chronicle the service of the then-neglected Union cavalry during the Civil War.

Very good condition in lightly sunned dust jacket; scarce. This copy inscribed and signed to the well-respected Civil War military historian, Jay Luvaas, 28 April, 1975.

Starr, Stephen Z. JENNISON’S JAYHAWKERS: A CIVIL WAR CAVALRY REGIMENT AND ITS COMMANDER. Baton Rouge: (1973). 1st edition, 405p., frontispiece, illustrations, maps.

Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 11 × 8 × 5 in