Two More (Fictional) Women Who Tamed the Frontier

Medicine Creek Claim

This month I released the third book in my On the Dakota Frontier series. Medicine Creek Claim is the story of two sisters who lived in Missouri during the Civil War.

Why Missouri, when the other books are set in Dakota Territory?

Missouri was a key battleground state during the War Between the States. The state saw more than 1,200 battles and skirmishes. Only Virginia and Tennessee exceeded this level of combat.

Missouri was deeply divided into pro-slavery and anti-slavery camps. Claimed by both the Union and the Confederacy, Missouri held a unique position and was the site of both conventional battles and guerrilla warfare. In addition to conflicts between Union and Confederate forces, “private armies” of Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers fought in the state. These citizen militia groups did not abide by the rules of war, often attacking non-combatants.

Medicine Creek Claim follows Charlotte and Lizzy Ward as they face the challenges of war, family losses, and (spoiler) bushwhackers. And that’s before they come to the Dakota frontier. It’s a story about the grit and determination these sisters summoned to survive the horrors of the Civil War and then to create new lives in Dakota Territory.

I’ve told readers that these sisters have been “living in my head” for a year as I wrote Medicine Creek Claim. Now, I’m sharing their story.