Dr. Christopher Rein is the winner of the 2020 A. M. Pate, Jr. Award in Civil War history for his book The Second Colorado Cavalry: A Civil War Regiment on the Great Plains. The Award is given annually to the book considered to be the best work published on the Trans-Mississippi sector of the Civil War.
The Second Colorado Cavalry was composed primarily of men who went west to participate in the Colorado Gold Rush. Their average age was 25 and many had experienced the challenges of living in a mobile, tough environment (much like being a soldier). They fought everywhere from New Mexico to the Burned District in Missouri and Kansas. By 1865 they were sent West to subdue Native American raiders. Wherever they went the Second Colorado performed capably and admirably. Consequently, they were able to play a significant role in controlling the violence in the Border States and creating the conditions necessary for Westward expansion.
Here are segments of some of the reviews on this excellent book:
“Christopher Rein’s The Second Colorado Cavalry holds the added distinction of being the only full-length, modern history of a volunteer regiment raised in the territory. Thankfully, it is by every measure an exceedingly fine one.” – Andrew Wagenhoffer – Civil War Books and Authors
“The Second Colorado Cavalry appears at first blush to be another Civil War regimental history of a forgotten unit in a faraway theater – but readers will be rewarded with a rich and nuanced narrative of the multisided War for the Great Plains. Christopher Rein makes a strong contribution to the growing body of scholarship on the Civil War and the struggle for power in the Far West.” Andy Masich – author of 2017 Pate Award Winner – Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands, 1861-1867.
Dr. Chris Rein is the managing editor at Air University Press at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. His research focuses on the American Civil War and the broader linkages between military and environmental history, especially in the Trans-Mississippi West. He earned his MA from LSU in 2001 and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 2011. He is the author of three books, including Alabamians in Blue: Freedmen, Unionists, and the Civil War in the Cotton State, published by LSU Press in May 2019, and The Second Colorado Cavalry: A Civil War Regiment on the Great Plains, published by the University of Oklahoma Press in February 2020. He has served as an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he taught courses on military history, the Civil War and the American West, and as a research historian for the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.