Samuel H. Lofland
Written by Tom Rafiner   
Friday, 22 January 2010 16:09
Samuel H. Lofland was a Cass County farmer when the war begin in 1861.  Lofland took his family to Kansas.  In 1864 Lofland served as a Captain in the Kansas State Militia, 21st Regiment.  The regiment was called into service when General Sterling Price invaded Missouri.  Lofland fought at the Battle of the Big Blue and the Battle of Westport.  He was living in Wakarusa Township, Douglas County, Kansas in 1865.
Absher - Simmons Families
Written by Tom Rafiner   
Monday, 18 January 2010 12:22
This past week I spent several hours researching the fates of two families, neighbors in 1860.  The families were those of Thomas Absher and Thomas Simmons.  Thomas Simmons disappeared on a business trip to Kansas in October 1860.  Thomas Absher, a next door neighbor, married a daughter of Thomas and Nancy Simmons.  Absher was a widower whose first wife died leaving him with four children.  His second wife, died soon after giving birth (this is a guess).  His children were scattered among several families in the 1870 census.  What happened to Thomas Absher?  What happened to the remainder of his children?
Springfield Speaking Engagement
Written by Tom Rafiner   
Monday, 11 January 2010 08:54
It appears very likely that I will be speaking on February 10, 2010 in Springfield at a meeting of the Civil War Roundtable.  Hope that folks near Springfield and interested in my work will be able to attend.
What is in a title?
Written by Tom Rafiner   
Monday, 11 January 2010 08:50
For almost five years I have used "Between Two Fires:  Cass County Families, Chaos, and Order No. 11" as a working title for my book.  When it came down to the last month of my work before submission, I changed the title.  The book was submitted to the University of Missouri Press as "Missouri's Maelstrom:  Cass County, Chaos, and Order No. 11."  The change was made because as my research progressed it became apparent to me that Cass County's role in Missouri history extended beyond the county's borders.  The county's geographic location as well as role in the Border War and Civil War was very significant.  Today, January 11th, it has now been a week since a portion of my manuscript was submitted.  No word!  Will have to wait, am on the clock.
Will it be published?
Written by Tom Rafiner   
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 17:10
As I write this update on January 6th there is a sense of relief and stress.  On Monday I submitted a "draft chapter" and expanded table of contents to the University of Missouri Press for publication consideration approval.  Much of the last month has been spent asking a few folks to read the chapter and then making revisions.  After a while you just can't wait to move on regardless - so I decided to mail it the first workday of 2010.  It seems that you are never truly satisfied with the writing.  The chapter I sent to the Univ. of Mizzou Press was entitled "A Bitter Winter."  The narrative focuses on the two month period, December 1861 and January 1862, when the Kansas 7th Cavalry was encamped at Morristown.  The story is anchored in research conducted at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. (war claims).  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Next up, revising the first chapter which deals with the Presidential election of 1860 and Cass County's move to War, January through November.  Recently have uncovered a significant event which happened April 1861 at Harrisonville.
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