In late 2010, having volunteered to assist Drum Barracks Civil War Museum in Wilmington, California, with research in pro-secession activity in California, director Susan Ogle handed me a list of names, places and events for possible investigation. One of those names was that of Dan Showalter, a California politician turned Confederate cavalry officer of whom I'd never heard.

Becoming fascinated just after reading the barest outline of Showalter's life, the next year found me hunting down everything I could find about this largely forgotten character. When I had finished my research -- which included the discovery of several previously unpublished items as well as obtaining the only known photograph from a Showalter descendent -- I had so much material that Susan exclaimed, "You've got a whole exhibit right here!"

And with her guidance, on November 5, 2011, co-curated by myself and Susan Ogle, my "Dan Showalter: California's Arch Rebel" exhibit went on display at the Drum.

Now being slated for removal in August 2012 in that ongoing round of ever-successive new exhibits that mark good museums, I've started this website as a place where, over time, I can memorialize and expand upon all the material accumulated on this remarkable Californian.

Hope you'll return often as this website expands and enjoy!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Updating again

We've still heard nothing back from the university press that's now had us in suspension for two years, so we've decided to search out other options in the hope that we can finally get the Showalter biography out there. We have a reasonable expectation that we'll have the upshot of our current explorations within the next month or two; we fully intend, even if it ends up involving self-publishing, not to have this hanging out there anywhere near another two years.

So, if anyone's still out there following this (in which case we are very, very grateful), hang on and we'll try to have a much more positive update online before too much longer!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Latest word

Time marches on and still no update from the university press which has now had our manuscript for two years. We are in contact with the press and have indications that we should know something at least perhaps a bit more concrete in early March, so we anxiously wait, and I will update again once word has come. Can't believe it's already been that long since this project was completed. We are grateful for whatever continued interest for this project may still be out there!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Yet Another Update

Although it seems to be taking forever, so much so that Gene and I begin to doubt anything will ever happen, we just today received another note from the publisher indicating that it is indeed "in the mill" and that this is a "good project," but explaining that it just takes a lot of time with academic publishers -- as we've more than learned. But in any event, this is good news, and it looks like the Showalter bio may yet be a reality.

Will post again as soon as there's anything more of note.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Update again

Happy New Year!

As we head into 2016, our biography of Dan Showalter is still in pre-publication. Co-author Gene and I have been assured that this many-months progression is not unusual, so all seems to be moving along. Will keep posting updates as more information becomes available.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Update on Publication

After some time in review, I'm pleased to announce that co-author Gene Armistead and I have been asked to submit our complete manuscript for further consideration by a major university press! This is not yet a guarantee of publication, but is an expression of a serious interest in our book, so fingers are crossed. Will post a further update as soon as any more is known.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

For the latest on publication

I have been receiving comments on this blog requesting notice when the Showalter book publishes. These comments do not come to me with e-mail addresses, but through the blog host. They do come to me for moderation before posting, so if anyone would like to include an e-mail address, I will be happy to send out word once there's any definite news. I assure you that I will not post any e-mail addresses on the blog itself.

Publication is a long process. The book has been under submission to a publisher for the better part of two months, so we should be getting close to hearing from them. Even if the book is accepted, it will still be quite some time -- often as long as a year -- before the actual printed book is available.

In the meantime, I will periodically update with status reports here on the blog, as I have previously done. So by all means, please do check back periodically, whether you might choose to send an e-mail address or not. In fact, sending me your e-mail address may well help publication, as many publishers look to see how many pre-orders or how much interest there might be in the book to determine speed of publication and the quantity of copies printed.

A big thanks to any and all who have visited this blog!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


In preparing the manuscript of the book for submission to our prospective publisher, co-author Gene Armistead has run some statistics. Just to let you know that this is indeed going to be a substantial work with a huge amount of research behind it, here are some of those statistics as the manuscript now stands:

Total pages: 253
     (This does not yet include additional pages for illustrations to be inserted
       nor the index yet to be generated)

Of the 253 pages, 202 are text, 29 are endnotes, and 22 are bibliography.

Included in the bibliography are:
     26 official records and publications
     12 manuscript and photo collections
     11 pieces of correspondence
     65 historical newspapers
     148 articles
     148 books

Throughout the research process for this book, we were amazed to find how much of the "history" surrounding Dan Showalter was unsubstantiated (even when citations were provided!) and often just a continuation of misinformation from prior researchers. I'm proud to say that every endnote in this work goes to material that actually deals with the referenced text.

I'll periodically update here as the submission and publication process continues!