Until last year there was only one contemporary account of the Battle of Westport, and that one was first published during the American Civil War Centennial in 1964. Fortunately, the sesquicentennial has brought three new comprehensive accounts of the largest battle fought west of the Mississippi River.
If you want a quick overview of the battle, Howard Monett's Action Before Westport, 1864 is still a good book to read. The book covers both the Battle of Westport and the rest of Sterling Price's 1864 invasion of Missouri The book is easy to read, but being only 138 pages long, does not go into a lot of depth.
Of the three new books about the Battle of Westport, I recommmend The Last Hurrah by Kyle Sinisi. This volume provides an in depth analysis of Price's invasion and a detailed account of the Battle of Westport. There are many maps to help you understand the events Sinisi writes about. My biggest complaint with Mark Lause's The Collapse of Price's Raid is there is not one single map in the whole book.
- Sinisi, Kyle S. The Last Hurrah: Sterling Price’s Missouri Expedition of 1864. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.
- Forsyth, Michael J. The Great Missouri Raid: Sterling Price and the Last Major Confederate Campaign in Northern Territory. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2015.
- Lause, Mark A. Price’s Lost Campaign: The 1864 Invasion of Missouri. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2011.
- Lause, Mark A. The Collapse of Price’s Raid: The Beginning of the End in Civil War Missouri. Shades of Blue & Gray. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2016.
- Monnett, Howard N. Action Before Westport, 1864. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, 1995.
There is a new publication containing many, many maps of Sterling Price's 1864 invasion of Missouri by Charles Collins, Jr. out of the Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. You can download the full color pdf edition of this publication.
- Collins, Charles D. Jr. Battlefield Atlas of Price’s Missouri Expedition of 1864. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute Press, 2015. http://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/cace/CSI/CSIPubs/Prices_Missouri_Expedition_web.pdf.
I am always interested in reading the description of American Civil War events written by the people who were there. Of course, you always have to take these accounts with a grain of salt. There are always hidden, or not so hidden, agendas. Often times overly dramatic, nonetheless these first hand accounts can give you a feel for what really happened during the war. Here is a list of some of my favorite primary sources for the Battle of Westport.
- US War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 70 Volumes in 4 Series. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1880. [Price's invasion covered primarily in Series 1, Volume 41]
- Grover, George S. “The Price Campaign of 1864.” Missouri Historical Review 6, no. 4 (July 1912): 167–81.
- Hart, John. “Under Moonlight in Missouri: Private John Benton Hart’s Account of Price’s Raid, October 1864.” Kansas History 37, no. 3 (Autumn 2014).
- Johnston, James J. “Reminiscence of James H. Campbell’s Experiences during the Civil War.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 74, no. 2 (June 2015): 147–77.
- Lindberg, Kip, and Matt Matthews. “The Eagle of the 11th Kansas: Wartime Reminiscences of Colonel Thomas Moonlight.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 62, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 1–41.
- Palmer, Henry E. “The Soldiers of Kansas. Company A, Eleventh Kansas Regiment, in the Price Raid.” In Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society, 1905-1906, 9:431–43. Topeka, KS: State Printing Office, 1906.
- Reynolds, Thomas C. General Sterling Price and the Confederacy. Edited by Robert G. Schultz. St. Louis: University of Missouri Press, 2009.
- Scott, William F. The Story of a Cavalry Regiment. The Career of the Fourth Iowa Veteran Volunteers from Kansas to Georgia, 1861-1865. New York, G. P. Putnam, 1893.
- Thompson, M. Jeff. The Civil War Reminiscences of General M. Jeff Thompson. Edited by Donal J. Stanton, Goodwin F. Berquist Jr., and Paul C. Bowers. Dayton, OH: Morningside House, Inc., 1988.
- Winslow, Edward F. The Story of a Cavalryman: The Civil War Memoirs of Bvt. Brig. Gen. Edward F. Winslow, 4th Iowa Cavalry. Edited by Dick Titterington and Daniel L. Smith. Overland Park, KS: Trans-Mississippi Musings Press, 2016.
- Hinton, Richard J. (Richard Josiah). Rebel Invasion of Missouri and Kansas, and the Campaign of the Army of the Border against General Sterling Price, in October and November, 1864. Chicago: Church & Goodman, 1865.
- Blunt, James G. “General Blunt’s Account of His Civil War Experiences.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 1, no. 3 (May 1932): 211–65.