I don’t study war too much, but Joe Johnston’s book, Necessary Evil: Settling Missouri with a Rope and a Gun struck a chord with me. He writes his story well and his book educated me, kept my attention.
It was timely and Illuminating, though he may have painted “vigilante” with a little too broad a brush. Too little has been written about that time of conflict along the Kansas-Missouri-Arkansas borders, where the Uncivil War began long before Fort Sumter and lasted long after Appomattox. Necessary Evil has gone a long way toward filling that void. What’s the application for us? Barnabas Sackett said it best, “Man is not long from the wilderness, and it takes him but a short time to go back living with it….”
—James Crownover, author of Wild Ran the Rivers