Wiley Britton wrote memoirs covering the Civil War much like better known and more esteemed soldiers of that war. But what makes Brittons account stand out is where he fought: the Trans-Mississippi Theater. In Memoirs of the Rebellion on the Border, 1863, Britton takes readers west with as a member of the 6th Kansas cavalry. In addition to discussing the movements of the main armies, Britton describes the guerrilla warfare, Native American affairs, and the tension between civilian populations in border states like Missouri and Kansas, which had contributed so greatly to the sectionalism of the 1850s via the debate over whether they should be free states or slave states. He is also objective about his service, noting acts of kindness and destruction perpetrated by Union forces in the region.Britton covers serious events, but he does so with anecdotes and a sprinkling of humor, including lively depictions of what life was like in camp.
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