Troubled State is the recently discovered Civil War journals of Franklin Archibald Dick, a prominent St. Louis attorney, who acted as an advisor for Lincoln, Grant, Lyon, Blair, and other important political figures at that time. From an insider’s point of view, he described the Civil War as a loyal Unionist in the politically torn city of St. Louis. More importantly, Franklin Dick’s Civil War journals uncover first hand accounts of historically pivotal moments during the war, such as the Camp Jackson incident, where he acted as Captain Nathaniel Lyon’s Assistant Adjutant General. Franklin Dick’s Civil War journals also add great details to the known literature on the Civil War in Missouri, a barely pro-Union border state during those turbulent years. Brother-in-law to Frank Blair, Franklin Dick served as Missouri Provost Marshal General under Major General Samuel Curtis in 1862. After the war, he practiced law in Washington with Montgomery Blair, Lincoln’s Postmaster General.
These Civil War journals contain my great-great-grandfather’s outspoken views on the Civil War, the country, the state of Missouri, leaders he knew, politics, daily life, concerns about morality, inner thoughts, and private worries. His entries changed from early optimism to later doubts about his future due to pressures from his loyalty to the Union and war issues. He felt he was “a tree in a moveable vessel,” and feared returning to the turmoil in St. Louis, as he mourned the loss of his years of work in Missouri. Franklin Dick’s unique record of American life during the Civil War reminds us that we are what we were, and gives us an irreplaceable new perspective on the impact of history in our lives.
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)
June 9, 2008
Troubled State: Civil War Journals of Franklin Archibald Dick is a collection of private journals written by Franklin Archibald Dick, a St. Louis attorney, Union officer, and provost marshal general. Assiduously assembled by Franklin Dick's great-great-granddaughter Gari Carter, Troubled State offers a firsthand view of historical events such as the early Camp Jackson incident (during which he was Captain Lyon's assistant adjutant general). Dick was concerned about the slow progression and horrendous cost of the civil war; witnessing the divided city of St. Louis broke his heart, and journals reflect his progression from optimism to grave doubts about the future. 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.
Mountain Express News - Book Report: Two local authors base their books on family history
by Alli Marshall on 05/15/2008
"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 attorhey-turned-provost-marshal changed for all time. The editing is helpful without being obtrusive, allowing Dick's personality to come through."
David Goldfield, Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Comments On Talks
Comment from Rev. Maurice Smith, President, Highland Park Civil War Round Table, June 26, 2008.
"I would be happy to serve as a reference. I and a number of others in our CWRT really enjoyed your presentation. Of course it was of special interest because it involved a local personality in St. Louis during this important time in American history. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into your research. It shows a passion in your subject matter. I would recommend your program to any other CWRT group. If there's anything else I can do for you, please let me know.
Blessings, Mauri Smith"
Comments from Curt Wittbracht, past President, St. Louis Civil War Round Table, January 23, 2008
Gari Carter's presentation on her new book "Franklin Dick's Civil War Journal's" was very well received at the St. Louis Civil War Roundtable.
She brought us back to the time, just before the start of civil war hostilities, when Southern sympathizers threatened to take over the City of St. Louis and
loyal citizens were forced to protect the Union anyway they could. Her ancestor, Franklin Dick, was a central figure in these events working with
Nathaniel Lyon and the Blair brothers, Franklin and Montgomery, as they secretly worked to save the city from the Confederate leaning State Militia.
It was most fascinating to learn how Nathaniel Lyon, borrowing Franklin's mother-in-law's dress, was able to scout out Camp Jackson and later return to overwhelm the camp and arrest the "secesh" thereby saving the City of St. Louis for the Union. Franklin Dick served with Nathaniel Lyon until his death and corresponded with Lincoln on affairs in Missouri during the War. Her story of Franklin Dick and his time in pre-civil war St. Louis is most interesting and is very well presented.
Past President, St. Louis Civil War Roundtable
Comments from Bruce Patterson, Cape Fear Civil War Round Table, October 9, 2008
Dinner at "The Oceanic" is always special but particularly so when it is followed by an interesting and stimulating talk. Your talk was stimulating, interesting and indeed more. The lively question period following your presentation is illustrative of the interest you generated within the group. I am only sorry that the change of venue made our usual fellowship and conversation time impossible.
I spent some few minutes yesterday reviewing your book which I again found to be very professional. As I mentioned during dinner, the layout, photographs and graphics are extremely well done. You bring his journal to life. I'm sure that Franklin Archibald Dick would be very proud of his great-great granddaughter and the professional manner in which she published his important journals. Thank you for sharing it with us.
We are pleased to include you as an honorary member of the Cape Fear Civil War Round Table. Our new web site is www.cfcwrt.com . Please visit us often.
Comments from Mary Barnt, President, Peace River Civil War Roundtable, November 14, 2008
Gari Carter gave a very knowledgeable and interesting presentation. The close connection she had with her great-great-grandfather made the story come alive.
Quote from Ellen India, Outreach Librarian, Selby Public Library, Sarasota, Florida, March 9, 2009
Gari is a fascinating speaker with very distinctive and diverse stories to tell. Her remarkable struggle back from a debilitating car accident, with the help of her 11 year old son, would bring a tear to any eye. Her courage to not only make it through, but to excel when she healed, is very inspirational.
And to think that while she was in the process of healing, she wrote another book! Her meticulous research into Civil War journals that became Troubled State opened up a different viewpoint of the time, adding to the knowledge base.
Gari was a pleasant speaker who connected well with the audience as she took them on her journeys. Genealogists and Civil War buffs, as well as aspiring authors, would all find something to take away from her presentation.
Images from Gari Carter's Talks
The first page of the first journal, where Franklin Dick writes that he has been meaning to keep a record of events for a while.