"Only a historian with Gilmore's encyclopedic knowledge of this chaotic, violent era of history can give voice to the fascinating cast of real-life characters in this superb novel based on actual history. Gilmore knows his subject so well that reading his novel is the closest we'll ever get to actually 'riding with the James boys.'"
— Jerry D. Morelock, Ph.D., editor in chief, Armchair General magazine
Years before John Brown raided Harpers Ferry in 1859 and the Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in 1861, the western front was the scene of the bloody and brutal Border War between Kansas and Missouri. By 1865, these lawless and volatile border counties were transformed into a treacherous and chaotic wasteland, abandoned by the Union forces and utterly devastated after the Civil War. With the infrastructure destroyed and the communities in collapse, a young band of patriotic guerilla warriors known as the "James Gang" emerged. Trained for war, these talented men quickly proved themselves to be outlaws unlike any before seen in America.
Spanning the Civil War, its aftermath, and the scores of train robberies, bank robberies, and murders carried out by this group of bandits, this novel from historian Donald Gilmore is an expansive and riveting chronicle of the rise and fall of the James Gang. Featuring a colorful cast of characters based on historical figures, including Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, and William Clarke Quantrill, the author examines the motivations and underlying psychological dimensions of the infamous outlaws. It took the combined efforts of a national detective agency, sheriffs from various states, detectives and policemen from major cities, politicians, and citizens alike the course of sixteen years to destroy this gang of criminals. Now Donald Gilmore continues the pursuit in this dramatic and riveting ride through history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donald L. Gilmore is a historian with a master's degree in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He taught English at the college level before working as an editor for seventeen years at the United States Army’s Combat Studies Institute, retiring in 2001. In addition to serving as technical consultant for the Civil War movie Ride with the Devil, Gilmore has also written articles about the Border War for Journal of the West, History Today, and Wild West. He is the author of The Civil War on the Missouri-Kansas Border, published by Pelican.
RIDING VENGEANCE WITH THE JAMES GANG
By Donald L. Gilmore
FICTION / Historical
368 pp. 5½ x 8½