Photo by Sharona Jacobs

Hi there! I’m Megan Kate Nelson, a writer, historian, road cyclist, and cocktail enthusiast.

I am the author of The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner, 2020), which was a Finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History.

My new book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America was published by Scribner on March 1, 2022, the 150th anniversary of the Yellowstone Act, which created the first national park in the world.

I am an expert in the history of the American Civil War, the U.S. West, and popular culture, and have written articles about these topics for The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, The AtlanticSmithsonian MagazinePreservation Magazine, and Civil War Times.

My column on Civil War popular culture, “Stereoscope,” appears regularly in the Civil War Monitor. This past year, I was also elected as a fellow of the Society of American Historians. I am also a regular guest on the Dave Nemo Weekend Show on the Sirius XM channel Road Dog Trucking (channel 146), talking with host Jimmy Mac about “the Western of the Month.”

Before leaving academia to write full-time in 2014, I taught U.S. history and American Studies at Texas Tech University, Cal State Fullerton, Harvard, and Brown. I earned my BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and my PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa.


Contact: mkn at

To schedule events or secure a review copy, please contact my publicist: Abby Novak, at abigail.novak at



The view from @laurajunedavis’s deck in Cedar City! ...

Why has the far Western theater been largely erased from most #AmericanCivilWar histories?

Why are logistics the most important factor in desert warfare?

Join me Wednesday evening and find out!

Live-stream link here:…

#CivilWarWest #ThreeCorneredWar

I am in love with this chandelier.

@blindtigerportland #maine

Day trip to #maine


A whiskey sour on a rainy night


Walls, people! WALLS. ...

Ben Franklin heading to the pub in Downtown Crossing. As Sara Georgini notes, very #onbrand