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 When I had finished my research -- which included the discovery of several previously unpublished items as well as obtaining the only known photograph from a Showalter descendent -- I had so much material that Susan exclaimed, "You've got a whole exhibit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

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Big Announcement!

THE BOOK! That's right, THE BOOK!

I mentioned some time ago that I'd been contacted by Southern California historian Gene Armistead. In the time that's passed we've struck up such a good friendship and realized that we both share such a pathological love for research that I posed the big question, Gene has foregone writing the article for which he'd originally contacted me for material, and we are now solidly at work to co-author what will undoubtedly be the authoritative work on Dan Showalter.

I can already tell you that there will be some important, perhaps even startling new information based on recent research. And we've even come up with yet another photo of Ol' Dan, so there will certainly be worthwhile reasons for taking a look at the book if and when it is published (we're hoping next year, 2014).

In the meantime, given the tremendous amount of work that I'm now finding goes into planning and writing such a tome, please forgive me if there are few or any new postings between now and when it's finally done. I don't seem to have a flood of interest in this blog anyway, but if someone out there really has been frantically checking in in anticipation of a next posting -- please forgive.

But do keep checking in because I'll certainly post periodically on the book's progress!