In his private journals, Franklin Archibald Dick, a St. Louis attorney, Union officer, and provost marshal, wrote of his concerns about keeping Missouri pro-Union during the turbulent Civil War years. His firsthand perspective of important historical events includes the early Camp Jackson incident when he was Captain Nathaniel Lyon’s assistant adjutant general, and when he served as Missouri’s provost marshal general under Major General Samuel Curtis. Dick was troubled by the slow progress and terrible cost of the war. For him, the divided city of St. Louis was heartbreaking, and his journal entries changed from early optimism to later doubts about his future due to the war and his loyalty to the Union. After the war, Dick practiced law with Montgomery Blair, President Lincoln’s postmaster general.
A benefit to scholars and buffs alike, the journals of Franklin Dick offer readers a different perspective on the Civil War from the contested and bloody battleground that was Missouri. The diaries provide valuable insights on how Unionists reacted to the shifting fortunes of war in Missouri and in St. Louis in particular, and how the life of a St. Louis attorney-turned-provost-marshal changed for all time. The annotations are helpful without being obtrusive, allowing Dick’s personality to come through.
University of North Carolina–Charlotte
Journal No. 1
The Missing Journals
April 1862 through September 1864
Journal No. 10
Epilogue: The Gift of Family Stories
Appendix A: Brief Biographies
Appendix B: Genealogy of the Dick Family
About the Author
Carter, a writer and speaker based in North Carolina, spent years deciphering the handwriting in her great-great-grandfather’s journal, and researching his life. She offers the results of her efforts here, along with some of his letters to President Lincoln, his colleagues, and his relatives.
Gari Carter, the great-great-granddaughter of Franklin Dick and custodian of his wartime journals, has painstakingly transcribed and annotated them into a vivid, accessible, often surprising first-person account of the war in Missouri.
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Thoughtfully annotated and supplemented with brief biographies as well as a family genealogy and bibliography, Troubled State is a welcome addition to Civil War primary source shelves.
—Midwest Book Review
Dick’s writings are an unusual addition to Civil War literature, valuable for their portrayal of how the war impacted one man in a politically divided border state.
[These] Civil War-era journals brings to light the intriguing perspective of a Missouri Unionist.... Dick’s story is an excellent reflection of the mindset and values of these unconditional Unionists.... Dick’s journals confirm what many historians already know about the complexity of the border region and raise interesting questions about the nature of the Civil War in Missouri.
—The Journal of Southern History
Gari Carter’s editing of Franklin Archibald Dick’s Civil War-era journals brings to light the intriguing perspective of a Missouri Unionist. Unionists living in Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland kept their border states in the Union and rebuffed enemy armies intent on adding these slave states to the Confederacy. Dick’s story is an excellent reflection of the mind-set and values of these unconditional Unionists...Dick’s journals confirm what many historians already know about the complexity of the border region and raise interesting questions about the nature of the Civil War in Missouri.
—Stephen Rockenbach, The Journal of Southern History