Home libraries: My Civil War bookshelf - the Macmillan Wars of the United States
While conducting the research for my dissertation I spent more time in one archival collection than any other, a collection that does not appear in a single footnote and provided almost none of the information I had hoped it might for the project I am now undertaking. But even as my time at the Western History Collection at the University of Oklahoma wound down and stacks of archival boxes filled with accounts of life in the frontier army appeared at my desk, I found myself drawn every morning to the papers of Robert M. Utley, a historian who wrote many of the books that sparked my interest in the military history of the American West. Utley’s papers comprise 42 linear feet of journals, correspondence, calendars, and manuscript drafts, as well as research files. I had selfishly hoped to expedite some of my own research by looking at Utley’s already completed research and picking up a few tidbits that would fill out my chapters. What I found instead, in his voluminous correspondence, was a remarkable synthesis of the history of the American army in the nineteenth-century West.