Theater of a Separate War

The Civil War West of the Mississippi River, 1861–1865

Revised Paperback Edition

By Thomas W. Cutrer

608 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 1 map, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6621-1
    Published: May 2023
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-6628-0
    Published: April 2023
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6320-1
    Published: April 2023

Littlefield History of the Civil War Era

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Though its most famous battles were waged in the East at Antietam, Gettysburg, and throughout Virginia, the Civil War was clearly a conflict that raged across a continent. From cotton-rich Texas and the fields of Kansas through Indian Territory and into the high desert of New Mexico, the Trans-Mississippi Theater was site of major clashes from the war’s earliest days through the surrenders of Confederate generals Edmund Kirby Smith and Stand Waite in June 1865. In this comprehensive military history of the war west of the Mississippi River, Thomas W. Cutrer shows that the theater’s distance from events in the East does not diminish its importance to the unfolding of the larger struggle.

About the Author

Thomas W. Cutrer is professor emeritus of history at Arizona State University.
For more information about Thomas W. Cutrer, visit the Author Page.


“Cutrer's work is an important addition to Civil War literature, with some interesting twists.”--America’s Civil War

“Cutrer has expertly written a compelling narrative that will become a standard source on the subject.”--Journal of the Civil War Era

“In a volume that matches the massive size and strategic importance of the Civil War’s trans-Mississippi, Thomas Cutrer goes beyond our usual understanding of that region by tracing the course of military operations from Missouri to California. In the process, his revealing narrative lays to rest any lingering impression of the West as a backwater of the war. A remarkable achievement in every respect.”--Daniel E. Sutherland, University of Arkansas

“Thomas Cutrer has done it again. Through an engaging, thoughtful, and impeccably researched narrative, Cutrer reminds readers of what many have missed by ignoring the Civil War in the trans-Mississippi West. Theater of a Separate War simultaneously informs and inspires future historians to continue to mine this rich area of study.”--Susannah J. Ural, University of Southern Mississippi