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 When I had finished my research -- which included the discovery of several previously unpublished items as well as obtaining the only known photograph from a Showalter descendent -- I had so much material that Susan exclaimed, "You've got a whole exhibit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

Monday, October 6, 2014

Just About Done!

With apologies for being so long away from this site, I am pleased to announce that the Dan Showalter book has been completed! Co-author Gene Armistead and I are now in process of doing all the last-minute editing, annotating, and other detail work in connection with having a complete manuscript for presentation, and then it's off to the potential publisher. Our prospective publisher has been told all will be to them by month's end, so then it will be up to their good graces as to if and when it is finally in print.

Needless to say, great excitement on our end over all this -- and will post again once any significant word comes!