On Duty in the Pacific Northwest during the Civil War
Correspondence and Reminiscences of the First Oregon Cavalry Regiment
“James Robbins Jewell has expanded the scope of the voices of the Civil War by widening the field to the Pacific Northwest, where the war mattered far more than those in the East may have known or cared. The result is a book that captures what military service is often like: the excitement mixed with drudgery, and the desire for action and the distance from it.” —Michael Green, author of Lincoln and the Election of 1860.
From 1862 to 1865, twenty-six hundred miles away from the seat of the federal government in Washington, DC, the First Oregon Volunteer Cavalry Regiment offered aid to the Union cause in the American Civil War. The First Oregon Cavalry confronted a host of complex challenges unseen by their counterparts serving in a more traditional role in the East. Their battles were more often with Native Americans—and often more concerned with their own status in the territory than with the Civil War rending the nation—while searching for pro Confederate spies and sympathizers. However unsung during the war, the regiment carried out their responsibilities successfully, managing to expedite the development of the Pacific Northwest in the process.
On Duty in the Pacific Northwest during the Civil War introduces readers to the first regiment from the Pacific Northwest to serve the Union cause. James Robbins Jewell offers a glimpse into the lives of these soldiers, presenting their wartime letters to various northwesterners to share their experiences with loved ones at home.
Complete with a series of reminiscences and excerpts from memoirs by First Oregon Cavalry officers and soldiers, On Duty in the Pacific Northwest during the Civil War is the first collection of primary source materials from soldiers serving in this Far Western territory. Jewell’s first-rate collection enables readers to step directly into the Pacific Northwest of the early 1860s and experience the Civil War from a different perspective.
JAMES ROBBINS JEWELL is the History Program chair at North Idaho College. He is the author of numerous articles on the Civil War and the American West.