Bill Piston Bio
Dr. William Garrett Piston retired from the Department of History at Missouri State University in 1987, having taught courses on the Civil War and American military history for twenty-nine years. He received his doctorate from the University of South Carolina, where he studied under Thomas L. Connelly, a noted biographer of Robert E. Lee and scholar of the Lost Cause.
Dr. Piston’s first book, Lee’s Tarnished Lieutenant: James Longstreet and His Place in Southern History, examines the scapegoating of Lee’s second-in-command by postwar writers anxious to enshrine Lee’s memory. Since moving to Springfield MO, Piston has focused on the Trans-Mississippi and is best known as the co-author of Wilson’s Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It.
Dr. Piston's latest book, which he co-authored with John C. Rutherford, is titled: "We Gave Them Thunder": Marmaduke's Raid and the Civil War in Missouri and Arkansas. It was published in 2021.
In 2010, Dr. Piston received the Missouri History Book Award, presented by the State Historical Society of Missouri for Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Missouri in the Civil War. Read Dr. Piston's eulogy of Dr. Tom Sweeney, his coauthor for this book.