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 When I had finished my research -- which included the discovery of several previously unpublished items as well as obtaining the only known photograph from a Showalter descendent -- I had so much material that Susan exclaimed, "You've got a whole exhibit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, March 21, 2013

Need I Say More?

Just came across another newspaper clipping that I really have to post in light of my recent discussions about what really happened at Palmito Ranch. This one is so good that I'm going to blow it up here so it can be read just as it appeared in the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph of October 5, 1864:

Even discounting for hyperbole, I think it should now be obvious that Dan Showalter has come down through history with the proverbial "bum rap," and one that would seem to be completely undeserved. Ditto with his regiment, the 4th Texas Cavalry, Arizona Brigade, at least as to those of its members who remained loyal and under Showalter's command throughout.

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