Britney Crump graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2011 with Bachelor of the Arts degrees in Spanish and History.  She completed her Master’s degree in History in 2015.  Her historical interests include Early America, Civil War, and the Gilded Age.  After spending four years teaching with at-risk youth, Britney now works as an office manager and freelance writer.  She is happily married and lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Dr. Chris Rein is a Historian with the Combat Studies Institute, Army University, Fort Leavenworth, KS. He holds an MA in History from Louisiana State University, where his thesis explored combat motivation among Unionists in the trans-Mississippi theater, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Kansas. He has taught a number of courses in military and American history, including courses on the Civil War at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Air Command and Staff College. He is currently researching the environment's role in motivating black and white Alabamians for service in the Union Army.

Christopher Phillips is the author of six books on the border states during the Civil War era, including The Civil War in the Border South (2013); Missouri’s Confederate: Claiborne Fox Jackson and the Creation of Southern Identity in the Border West (2000), winner of the Eagleton-Waters Award for the Best Book on Missouri Political History; Damned Yankee: The Life of Nathaniel Lyon (1990, 1996), selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His most recent book project, “The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War on the Middle Border and the Making of American Regionalism,” will be published by Oxford University Press.


Dr. Claire Wolnisty is currently an assistant professor of American history at Angelo State University. She earned her doctorate at the University of Kansas in 2016. Her research interests include Civil War Era Southern-Latin American networks, migration, slavery, expansionism, and southern modernization. She has previously worked with the Kansas City Public Library as a discussion facilitator for the Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War discussion series that took place in the spring of 2012.

Deborah Keating is a graduate student in history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she is completing her studies in Southern History. Deborah also earned a Masters in Literature from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Bachelors from the University of Texas-Dallas.

A Kansas City native, Diane Mutti Burke, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Director of UMKC’s Center for Midwestern Studies. She is the author of a history of slaveholding and enslaved Missourians called On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865, which was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2010. She is also the author of a number of articles on slavery and the Civil War in Missouri, as well as the co-editor, with Jonathan Earle, of a collection of essays on the Missouri/Kansas Border War called Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border, (publication forthcoming). This collection is the product of a major public conference on the Civil War on the Border that was held at the Kansas City Public Library in November 2011. In addition, Mutti Burke is completing an edited and annotated diary of a small-slaveholding Missouri woman named Paulina Stratton and has started work on a monograph about refugee populations during the Civil War.

Ian Michael Spurgeon is the author of Soldiers in the Army of Freedom: The 1st Kansas Colored, the Civil War's First African American Combat Unit and Man of Douglas, Man of Lincoln: The Political Odyssey of James Henry Lane.  He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Southern Mississippi, and is currently a military historian with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Washington, D.C.

Jason Roe is a digital history specialist at the Kansas City Public Library, content manager and editor for the Civil War on the Western Border website, and the author of the Library’s popular This Week in Kansas City History column. Prior to joining the Library, he earned his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Kansas in May 2012. While at KU, he was named the 2011-2012 Richard and Jeanette Sias Graduate Fellow at the Hall Center for the Humanities, and he received the History Department’s 2012 George L. Anderson Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation for his work, “From the Impoverished to the Entitled: The Experience and Meaning of Old Age in America since the 1950s.” He enjoys tackling a wide variety of projects relating to U.S. and local history. His email address is

Jeremy Neely is the author of The Border between Them: Violence and Reconciliation on the Kansas-Missouri Line, winner of the Kansas State Historical Society Edward Tihen Award. In addition to studying the Civil War along the Kansas-Missouri border, his research interests include the 19th century American West, Reconstruction, and Populism. He is currently teaching American history at Missouri State University in Springfield.


Jeremy Prichard received his Ph.D. in 2014 from the University of Kansas, where he specialized in mid-nineteenth century U.S. history. His dissertation analyzed the political and social impacts of the American Civil War on Springfield, Illinois, the hometown of Abraham Lincoln. He and his family live in the Little Rock area.

John Horner of the Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, has a Ph.D. in Dramatic Art from UC-Santa Barbara, as well as a deep love of history. He is an award-winning playwright and member of the Dramatists Guild of America. He lives in Independence with his wife, two pianos, and their multitude of books.

Jonathan Earle, Roger Hadfield Ogden Dean of the Honors College at the Louisiana State University, is the author of Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, winner of the James Broussard First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and the Byron Caldwell Smith Award; John Brown's Raid: A Brief History, With Documents; Major Problems in the Early Republic; and the Routledge Atlas of African American History. He is also the co-editor, with Diane Mutti Burke, of a collection of essays on the Missouri/Kansas Border War called Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border. This collection is the product of a major public conference on the Civil War on the Border that was held at the Kansas City Public Library in November 2011. He has held a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship at the Huntington Library and won grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Hall Center for the Humanities. He is writing a book for Oxford University Press' Pivotal Moments in U.S. History series on the election of 1860. Previously, Earle was an associate professor at the University of Kansas, where he variously served as director of the University Honors Program and associate director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics.

Kim Cary Warren is an associate professor of United States History at the University of Kansas. Warren's publications include The Quest for Citizenship: African American and Native American Education in Kansas, 1880-1935 (University of North Carolina, 2010) as well as articles on Native American athletics, African American tourism in West Africa, and the persistence of separate spheres ideology in women’s studies. Her research has earned fellowships from the Spencer Foundation/National Academy for Education and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Kristen Epps is currently an assistant professor of American history at the University of Central Arkansas.  She earned her doctorate at the University of Kansas in 2010 and won two dissertation awards for her examination of slavery and emancipation on the Kansas-Missouri line, which is also the basis of her book manuscript under contract with the University of Georgia Press (expected to appear in 2016). She is also a former employee of the Kansas Historical Society and remains a devoted student of the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War eras.


Marc is a history doctoral student at the University of Connecticut (UConn). His research topics include twentieth century U.S. foreign relations, economic and political development, and South Asian studies with an emphasis on India. In 2014, he received an M.A. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with the completion of his master's thesis, "The Johnson Treatment: Cold War Food Aid and the Politics of Gratitude." This study revealed the influence of gender politics and concepts of gratitude on the economic assistance that the United States provided to India during the mid-1960s. His emerging dissertation examines how science, particularly Americans’ confidence in modern science, affected U.S.-Indian relations during the Cold War. Besides teaching, writing, and research experience, his historical training includes archival work and a growing interest in digital humanities with the aspiration of incorporating more technology into his teaching and research.

Matthew E. Stanley is an associate professor of history at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia. His current project, entitled, “‘Between Two Fires:’ War and Reunion in Middle America, 1860-1920,” examines regional identity and sectional discord and reconciliation in the Ohio River Valley.​

Matthew Reeves is currently a master’s student in history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His research interests include nineteenth-century American history, medical history, and the history of mental illness. He completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Central Methodist University in 2008, and worked for several years in disabilities services before returning to the academy. At UMKC, he has been a graduate teaching assistant for the history department since 2012, and received a campus-wide Graduate Teaching Assistant Superior Teaching Award in 2013.

Michael Wells works as a local history and genealogy research specialist in the Missouri Valley Special Collections department of the Kansas City Public Library. He is a certified secondary-level social studies teacher. In 2007, he completed an archives internship at the National World War I Museum, prior to receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in U.S. history from UMKC the following year. In 2012 he earned a Master of Arts in Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction from UMKC. Presently he assists researchers visiting the Missouri Valley Room, creates materials to support social studies educators and encourage student engagement with primary sources, and contributes to the Library’s local history blog. He may be contacted at

Nicole Etcheson is the Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at Ball State University. She is the author of A Generation at War: The Civil War Era in a Northern Community (which won the 2012 Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians); Bleeding Kansas (2004); and The Emerging Midwest (1996). She is currently working on a project about suffrage in the post-Civil War era.

Rick Montgomery joined The Kansas City Star in 1986 and currently is an enterprise reporter for the newspaper. In 2011 he was a lead contributor to The Star's year-long series about the Civil War and its lasting impact on the Kansas City region. He is a journalism graduate of Iowa State University and co-author of two local history books – Kansas City: An American Story and TWA: Kansas City's Hometown Airline.

Russell S. Perkins is the Registrar at the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas. He holds an MA in Military History from Norwich University and an MS in Information Management from Grantham University. Additionally, he instructs several undergraduate courses in World, United States, and Military History at Grantham University.

Sarah Bell is a Ph.D. student in the department of history at the University of Kansas. She studies 19th century U.S. history, women, gender, and sexuality studies, and public history. Her current research looks at women's political activism within the Chautauqua, analyzing how women co-opted the movement's mission of education to promote their suffrage and temperance causes on a public platform. Sarah also received her MA in Museum Studies from the University of Kansas in May 2012. She is currently working at Literacy KC, a nonprofit organization that helps low-literate adults, as 1 of 22 national Digital Inclusion Fellows, a fellowship dedicated to helping bridge the digital divide.

Scharla Paryzek-Woods is an Area Director for Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, Kansas (BGCLK). She oversees the BGCLK programs at Hillcrest Elementary and Sunset Hill Elementary. Scharla began a career in the nonprofit sector after earning her MA in History and a graduate certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) from the University of Kansas in December 2014. Scharla also earned a BA in History and Literature from the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.

T.J. Stiles is the author of Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, winner of the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship and the Ambassador Book Award, and The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, which won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. He has previously received a Guggenheim fellowship as well as a Gilder Lehrman Fellowship in American History at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Public Library. He is currently writing a biography of George Armstrong Custer.

Terry L. Beckenbaugh is an associate professor with the Department of Joint Warfare at the United States Air Force Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas and worked previously at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana and for the United States Army Center for Military History prior to coming to Fort Leavenworth. He is currently working on a book focusing on the White River Campaign in Arkansas in 1862 tentatively titled Pragmatic Abolitionists.

Tony O’ Bryan is an educator and historian with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, one from the School of Education in Secondary Education and the other from the College of Arts and Sciences in American History. By day, he and his wife, Sara, own the Bean Counter Café, located in Blue Springs, Missouri. At night, Tony and his band, the Cowtown Playboys, can be seen playing in the live music venues of Kansas City’s vibrant nightlife. In 2014, he completed his Master's Thesis at UMKC, entitled "Chapel Hill, Missouri: Lost Visions of America's Vanguard on America's Western Frontier 1820 to 1865."

Tony R. Mullis is an associate professor with the Department of Military History at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He has taught at the United States Air Force Academy and the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Dr. Mullis has also taught various United States, Kansas, and diplomatic history courses as an adjunct with the University of Maryland in Korea and Scotland, and with Troy University, Benedictine College, Tiffin University, and Auburn University at Montgomery. He has published various journal articles associated with Kansas history. His book, Peacekeeping on the Plains: Army Operations in Bleeding Kansas, was published in 2004. Dr. Mullis served 23 years in the US Air Force as an intelligence officer and retired in 2005.

William D. Hickox is a graduate student in American history at the University of Kansas, where he studies the 19th century United States and the Civil War. He is working on a dissertation that examines military recruitment during the war.

Bill Fischer is historian at Fort Scott National Historic Site in Fort Scott, Kansas. He earned a Master of Arts in American History Since 1877 at the University of Georgia, and his thesis was published as The Development of Military Night Aviation to 1919. He also earned a B.A. in History from the University of Great Falls and a B.S. in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University. Bill is a retired U.S. Air Force officer who, in addition to serving on the history faculty at the United States Air Force Academy, worked in weather, missile operations, and intelligence during his military career. He then taught at a high school in central Ohio for seven years before joining the National Park Service. 

Zach Garrison received his Ph.D. in history from University of Cincinnati in 2015 and is currently working on revising his dissertation concerning German immigration and the Civil War in Missouri and the Ohio Valley. He serves as an adjunct professor of history at the University of Cincinnati and a history teacher at Chaminade College Preparatory School.