Over the past few years, I have had numerous historical articles published. They have been included in a variety of journals and magazines. Other manuscripts I have prepared have become a part of Special Collections held by libraries, historical societies and public companies. At this time, there still remain numerous unpublished manuscripts I have prepared.
Many of the published articles are now collected together and appear as chapters in this book. There are also several unpublished manuscripts that appear in their own chapters. The three unpublished manuscripts that are part of Special Collections will be mentioned later in the section titled, About the Author.
The author’s interest in bringing these articles to the public’s attention is to revisit some interesting narratives in the history of the wild, wild, West. Whether you are a recent student of history, a long time reader, or perhaps a serious researcher, you will enjoy reading this book.
The author, Don M. Mahan, known to family and friends as Mike, was born at Tucson, Arizona. He grew up a few miles southwest of Tucson in a neighborhood called Ajo Junction. It was situated where the two roads, Ajo and Mission, cross each other. It was an ideal location for a young boy who enjoyed the desert, mountains and the wildlife.
The family home was a stone’s throw from the historic De Anza Trail, made famous beginning in 1775. At that time Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and 240 Spanish colonists gathered at Tubac, Arizona, before their journey to the San Francisco Bay area in California. On October 21 they began their venture, passing San Xavier Mission, Schookson (the Indian community at the base of Sentinel Mountain, now known as “A” Mountain) and on towards the Gila River and their California destination.
As a youngster, Mahan frequently rode horses belonging to his neighbor. When he was barely nine years old, he received two special gifts, a pony and an older horse. From that day on, numerous rides along the De Anza Trail, the neighboring Indian Reservation and into the Tucson Mountains, were a regular routine. Mahan’s interest in the history around him began early in life and has continued to this day.
Along with his many published articles, three of Mahan’s manuscripts are now included in special collections. The first manuscript was written in 1996 and titled, “James Buchanan Wasson and the Santa Fe Trail.” It is filed in the Albuquerque Public Library, Special Collections, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Men of Valor: Black Soldiers in the Civil War, 1861-1865,” was completed in 2000 and is included in the Black History Month library at Arizona Public Service, a utility company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
The third, “ Ann Wasson: Her Years of Captivity by the Delaware Indians, 1756-1759,” is part of the collection held by the Franklin County Historical Society – Kittochtinny, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
In 2011, Mahan’s first full length book was published. It is titled, Muskets and Bayonets, the story of James B. Wasson, Colorado Volunteer. The book, a biography, highlights Wasson’s life and his career as a Civil War soldier. Featured in the account are the activities of Company “B” and the 2nd Colorado Volunteer Regiment during the bloody conflict between the States. The Wasson biography was re-released in 2012 with the new title, The 2nd Colorado Volunteers in the Civil War.