Posted: Sep 12, 2013 10:55 AM by Tara Grimes - MTN News
GREAT FALLS - In his newest publication, titled "Montana Territory and the Civil War: Frontier Forged on the Battlefield," Great Falls historian and author Ken Robison hopes to open up resident's eyes on how the Civil War influenced Montana as a territory and a state.
Robison gained the attention of the international publishing company "History Press" after writing local columns on the Civil War.
Now he said he believes this is the first book ever written about how the war shaped Montana's history.
"Montana would have developed in a far different fashion and at a far later date if it hadn't been for the Civil War, which is kind of hard to believe when you sit here and say 'well all the battles, Gettysburg and so on, were fought back East," Robison said. "Yeah they were, but look at all these other conditions and influences and people that were being influenced and being framed by the war."
Through hundreds of hours of research and interviews with relatives of those who lived through it, Robison said he strived to find the unique, lesser known stories. This could prove challenging at times.
"The men would have service records and official records and some real documentation you could call on," Robison said. "The women, even if they were in the Nurse Corps that was building up during that period, they didn't enlist, they didn't have pension records after the war, things like that, that you could say ‘I know I could prove that this person was here at this time.'"
Even so Robison aims to bring the past to life, giving readers a greater appreciation and more in-depth understanding of the world we live in today.
The book is scheduled to come out on October 22.
It will be available at local book stores and the Great Falls History Museum. Robison said he plans to do signings across the state.