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 When I had finished my research -- which included the discovery of several previously unpublished items as well as obtaining the only known photograph from a Showalter descendent -- I had so much material that Susan exclaimed, "You've got a whole exhibit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

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!


  1. I for one am very much looking forward to it. Your unfortunately long stay in university press limbo not unheard of!

    1. Thanks so much for continuing to follow this project!

  2. I am a native Californian who found out just a few days ago that Dan Showalter was a second cousin. Indeed he has the family forehead, but I was a little surprised since all the Showalters I knew about in the family were Virginians. Two days ago I found your website; I have a degree in history and I look forward to seeing the finished product of your research. Thank you!

  3. Thanks, Peter. Believe me, we are also looking forward to seeing it! At this point, still being in limbo with the university press where we've submitted it, we are exploring another in hopes of moving this along. Fingers crossed!