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Compare and contrast Counter guerrilla operations Union vs Confederate

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by leftyhunter, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    As we know from various threads such has "Union vs CSA Guerrillas" and the Home guards" both sides engaged in guerrilla was We know it warfare and both sides encouraged it against the other. We know their was Unionist Guerrilla activity in all 11 Confederate states plus parts of Ky when it was occupied by the CSA.
    We know their was significant CSA guerrilla activity in Mo, Ky and Wv. Their was significant CSA guerrilla warfare behind Union lines in Southern states.
    Yes the ACW was won on the conventional battle field but quite a few troops on both sides where diverted to Counter Guerrilla or in modern terms Counter -Insurgency warfare. Thousands of men on both sides served in various home guard or militia units to counter guerrillas and free lance bandits.
    This thread will attempt to answer certain questions and other posters can add more.

    1. what is a reasonably rough estimate of how many soldiers were sent on counter guerrilla activity on each side in each state during what time period?

    2. What techniques where used by each side?

    3. What major mistakes where made by each side and how where they corrected or not?

    4. What units here successful and why ?

    5. What major success did the guerrillas have in terms of diverting men from the other side to fight them instead of being used for conventional operations.

    6. Human rights violations by both sides?

    7. Which side suffered the most from guerrilla warfare or which side suffered the most loss's in diverting manpower, losing supplies and territory?

    8. Was the counter guerrilla war in Missouri different or more or less equivalent

    For our purposes a guerrilla is defined by a person not enlisted in a conventional military and is not in uniform while conducting military operations. A guerrilla may indeed forage from local hostile populations but he or she does fight conventional troops and militas when it is possible to do so and supplies information to conventional forces. Since they are not part of a conventional armed force either side per international law can execute them upon capture.
    Conventional cavalry units that raid behind enemy lines but are in uniform do not count as guerrillas. Guerrillas live and fight in a fairly small area usually close to home. They are not paid by either side but may receive weapons.

    Please try to use sourced information.

    Thanks

    Leftyhunter
     

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  3. TFSmith121

    TFSmith121 First Sergeant

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    Excellent source is Birtle's work US Army Counterinsurgency and Contigency Operations Doctrine, 1860-1941:

    http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/070/70-66-1/index.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  4. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Sounds like a very interesting book. Interesting that Mowars is not the only author to think of the Civil War has having a major COIN component.
    Leftyhunter
     
  5. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    How many Union troops were used in counter guerrilla activity in Missouri? Lets start with the Missouri State Militia. The MSM was a unique militia in that they were the only federally funded militia and it's men were eligible for federal pensions. Their commander in chief was the governor of Missouri.
    The MSM major function was in modern terms Counterinsurgency. The MSM fought guerrillas and Confederate recruiters who would infiltrate from Arkansas to recruit and or coerce men from Missouri to enlist in the Confederate Army.
    While the MSM was under state control they were still were obligated to fight outside the state if necessary such as the Battle of Prairie Grove. The MSM could cross state lines to pursue and attack guerrillas. The MSM can and did fight in conventional warfare battles such as the forementionned Prairie Grove and the Battle of Westport.
    Wiki has an article on them and I have a thread in the firearms forum "how did the MSM kill anyone"? I have more sources on the MSM.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  6. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Many states sent troops to Missouri and or were used in Counter guerrilla warfare either to actively find and kill guerrillas or in static defense.
    In Dyers Compendium we see that all four Union cavalry regiments were diverted to fighting guerrillas. The 1st and 2nd Arkansas Cavalry regiment's spent the majority of their time fighting guerrillas in Missouri and Arkansas. The 3rd and 4th seemed to mostly fight in Arkansas. The 1st Arkansas Artillery Battery saw combat in Missouri and the First Arkansas Union Infantry .The 4th Arkansas Infantry Regiment appears to be used in active COIN warfare. Many of the Arkansas USCT units appear to be involved in static defense.
    In general the average Civil War regiment averaged one thousand men .Dyers doesn't seem to list how many men were enlisted in each regiment. Of course regiments on both sides were seldom at full strength due to deaths, desertions, injuries and disease.
    Leftyhunter
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
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  7. TFSmith121

    TFSmith121 First Sergeant

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    Well worth reading, and it's free to download thanks to the MHC.

    Best,
     
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  8. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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  9. TFSmith121

    TFSmith121 First Sergeant

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    Yep, the MHC site is a wealth of sources. The C&SG site has some great material as well.

    The Staff Ride references are really excellent, for one example.

    Best,
     
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  10. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    The 1st Alabama Union Cavalry appears to have done some counter guerrilla warfare. The USCT regiments from Alabama were frequently used for static defense.
    Leftyhunter
     
  11. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Their was quite a few Union regiments tied down fighting Indians engaged in guerrilla warfare. The 1st Arkansas Infantry Regiment African Descent which was redesigned the 46th USCT fought Indians in the New Mexico Territory . Many if not all the Union regiments from California were tied down fighting Indians in the present day states of Arizona and New Mexico. Not to say Confederate troops were not tied down as well but I will get to them later.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  12. nc native

    nc native Corporal

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    As leftyhunter just mentioned, there were several Union regiments tied up hunting
    guerrillas and fighting Indians on the frontier in the West. John Pope was sent to deal
    with the Sioux uprising in the Mid West after his poor performance at 2nd Manassas.

    Confederate anti-guerrilla counter operations relied more on home guard units and
    regiments that were filled with troops who were not the best fit for front line duty.
    For example, I had an ancestor who was born in the early 1800s and served in a
    North Carolina regiment called the Eighth Senior Reserves. His unit spent its time
    in Eastern North Carolina guarding bridges and supply lines, protecting them from
    raiders and possible guerrilla activity. In Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee,
    Kentucky, Northern Alabama and Missouri, this type of unit saw lots of action where
    activity was heavier. Manpower was too short to waste Confederate front line troops
    on the battle lines so many units like the Senior Reserves I mentioned did guard duty in
    prison camps, instillations, rounded up deserters and anti guerrilla operations.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
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  13. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Has I (and I don't mind any help in this regard ) comb through Dyers Compendium we will find some front line Confederate regiments spent various amounts of time on counter guerrilla warfare. How many milita men and or homeguards were used on both sides is a tough question. It has to be in the tens of thousands. No doubt in any major insurgency to the present day one wull find many men long in the tooth used in a more or less static defense role.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  14. nc native

    nc native Corporal

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    I'm almost certain that anti partisan/guerrilla duty was an opportunity for many newly
    conscripted Union regiments to get their feet wet before transferring to the main armies
    in the field. The Confederacy did not have that luxury due to the manpower shortage
    in comparison to the Union. Front line regiments were sometimes withdrawn from duty
    after being shot up badly on the battlefield and sent on anti guerrilla operations and
    other behind the lines missions until they could fill their ranks again.


    The 18th Virginia Infantry after Gettysburg where it had a 75% casualty rate was split in
    two for a time because of its condition until new recruits would be able to fill its ranks.
    About half of the regiment was sent to guard prisoners in Richmond and the other half
    was sent out to collect supplies for Lee's army.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
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  15. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Well the thread is young yet a lot of research left and no time limit. Has we amble along we will find what we find. Per my thread Union vs CSA guerrillas their was quite a bit of guerrilla warfare on both sides and conventional troops on both sides were used. Also one of our threads about the Jones County film had some good posts from @ 7th Mississippi about Colonel Lowery fighting guerrillas in Southern Mississippi. Has we amble on we will get a better estimate how many conventional and militia troops were used in Counter guerrilla warfare. I doubt we will get a precise number.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  16. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    By the numbers we have at least 10k men from the Missouri Stae Militia now lets see how many Union soldiers from each state fought guerrillas starting with of course Arkansas . A caveat is that in the case of any CW regiment their is the amount of men officially listed minus those not present for duty due to
    1.Death
    2.Desertion.
    3. Disease
    4.Injuries which may or may not be from active combat
    5. Furloughs
    Our more learned members could give us a reasonable approximation of on average what percentage of a regiment actually is present for duty with a major caveat that after a major battle a regiments PDF can lower dramatically. Keep in mind Union regments listed spent quite a bit of time fighting guerrillas but they also from time to time fought conventional battles including the 1st and 2nd Ark Cavalry.
    1,The 1st Arkansas Cavalry equals per Wiki 1,765 men

    2. The 2nd Arkansas Cavalry per The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture had 12 full companies . If anyone has a good source of how many men enlisted please let me know. I will estimate at least a thousand. "By this time the regiment was composed of not only of loyal Arkansans from nearly every region of the state,but also a fair number of Missourians , a smattering of Texans, Choctaw and Chickasaw as well as soldiers from Tn. Kn, and Il. Keep in mind soldiers almost all Union regiments anyway have enlisted soldiers from other states even the MSM has out of state enlisted men.
    3. The 3rd Arkansas Cavalry per familysearch.org.wiki "the Civil War soldiers and Sailors data base lists 1,968 men on it's roster for this unit. The 3rd Ark saw a lot of guerrilla fighting and most of the men appear to be from Ark.
    4.4th Arkansas Cavalry Our very own Major Bill has a thread "Uncertain Loyalties: Dual enlistment in the Third and Forth Arkansas Cavalry" based on an article from the Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Winter 2013 which estimates at least 40 of the men of the Third and Forth Ark were CSA deserters. So far no estimate on how many men served on the 4th but they did fight guerrillas. Per the Civil war Soldiers and Sailors data base the 4th Ark Cav had 1,905 men on the roster
    5.1st Arkansas Artillery Battery per the S and S data base had 252 men apparently all from Ark. Looking at Dyers Compendium they appear to have fought guerrillas sometimes. artillery units were used by the Union against guerrilla units at times when practical. In Mo CSA guerrilla units could be large.This unit saw quite a bit of combat.
    6. 1st Arkansas Union Infantry per Wiki had a top strength of 979 men in Nov 1863 and 782 men by March 1865 not bad at all. 300 of its men had to be discharged due "spurious vaccine." Many of these men fought as guerrillas behind CSA lines.
    7. 4th Arkansas Infantry Regiment Union
    Per Wiki had 233 men. it was hard to enlist men because most Arkansans wanted to join the above Cavlry unit plus the 6th Kn Cav but hey did see a fair amount of combat.
    To be continued
    Leftyhunter
     
  17. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    With out counting Arkansas USCT units used in static defense approx 8,884 Union soldiers in Arkansas regiments were used in counter guerrilla fighting. Not always at the same time and yes they fought in conventional battles as well but per Dyers quite a bit of their time was spent in a COIN role. If anyone wants to go over the figures they are welcome to do so.
    Leftyhunter
     
  18. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    I've read a number of articles on Sheridan's scouts and I'm not entirely sure what category they should fall into, are they spies or were they guerrillas or both. Their techniques could be pretty underhand but clever at the same time., dressing as confederates to capture and kill the enemy, I read an interesting few paragraphs from the memoires of Archibald Rowand, he served as a scout/spy, in one of his letters he wrote:
    "I met a Rebel Lieut. and one man of the 18th, Va. Cav., [Confederate Gen. John] Imboden's command, talked to him fifteen minutes, got all the information I wanted, then told him who I was. He surrendered, on being requested to.

    "After surrendering, he wheeled his horse, and drew his revolver and attempted to run. I soon stopped him with a bullet through the spine and stomach. He died immediately. I reported to the Genl. [Philip Sheridan] what I done. He said that was very well. The Lieut. rode a splendid horse, black, which fell into my possession. Tomorrow I am going to Martinsburg [W.Va.], and will transfer him to my pocket [by selling him], as I have been out of money for some time."
    Source: http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/19980508bbbrowand7.asp

    The thing that struck me with these scouts, is that they seemed to spend more time in a confederate uniform than their own.
    Rowland must have been quite a compassionate human being,
    'Still traveling in disguise, Rowand rode toward a house, and noticed that the man standing on the porch was a Confederate soldier he had captured several months before.
    Rowand went up to him, addressed him by name, and told him "Major Gilmor wants to see you," historian Bakeless wrote in Civil War Times Illustrated.
    The clueless soldier - who had just been released from a military prison - followed Rowand, only to discover moments later that he had been captured again. "You've got me," he said. "But how did you know my name?"
    Rowand explained. "For two years," the Confederate replied, "I've been in prison where you sent me. Now, less'n a month after I'm freed, along you come again and send me back."
    Rowand then quietly went to his commander and pleaded with him to let him set the soldier free. The commander consented, even though it was illegal, and Rowand took his new captive aside, out of sight of the others, and told him to get moving.'
    Source: http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/19980508bbbrowand7.asp
     
  19. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    What about this motley crew 'The Snake Hunters' I don't really know anything about them other than a few short articles that I have briefly read.
    'These Snake Hunters are daring, fearless men. They are armed with ----- rifles and sword bayonets and go where and when they please. They frequently pass the rebel pickets and sometimes even enter their camp, passing themselves off as rebels. They go sometimes on foot and when it is more convenient they are well mounted. Their horses and clothes do not cost the government anything. They are the most efficient spies we have and we obtain from them much valuable information.'
    Were these 'Snake Hunters' waging guerrilla warfare? it seems to me that if you were a 'Union Guerrilla', you were referred to a spy, which seems to give a more legitimate feel to their work.
    http://www.lindapages.com/cwar/11wvi-jbaggs.htm
     
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  20. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Hi Waterloo50,
    I just read the old post gazatte article. By no means where the Jesse Scouts even close to being guerrillas. Rowland and friends where formally enlisted soldiers that wore enemy uniforms in order to spy on the enemy. 80 years later the Wehrmacht would do the very same thing with their"Brandenburg Brigade". Today we would call the Jesse Scouts special forces.
    A guerrilla is not a formally enlisted member of the armed forces . A guerrilla is native to a given area and does not receive for the most part pay and logistical support from an outside agency.
    Here's where it gets into the grey zone. David "Tinker Dave" Beatty apparently per some evidence posted in my thread about him was commissioned a Captain per Maj. Gen. Burnside. After Beatty died years after the CW his widow did apply for a Union pension not sure if his widow received one. I am not sure his men were ever enlisted in the Union Army while serving under Beatty perhaps afterwards they were.
    Newt Knight was never enlisted in the Union Army nor where his men . Knight did not receive a Union pension however he was appointed as a Deputy United States Marshal during Reconstruction.
    Has I mention in my thread"Union vs CSA guerrilla " both sides did arm guerrillas and provide other logistical support on an occasional basis.
    If a guerrilla does receive constant logistical support and guidance from an outside agency then he becomes a partisan such has Titos partisans after the allies captured the Island of Vis and where able to ship arms on a regular basis to Tito .
    William Clark Quantril was a commissioned Captain but did not recieve pay or support while fighting in Mo. Perhaps he received some logistical support when his men did R&R during the winter in Sherman,Tx.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  21. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Guerrillas did from time to time supply conventional forces with intelligence about the enemy. In my thread on "Union vs CSA Guerrillas" I have a posted source that Unionist guerrillas in Al supplied intel to Maj. Gen. Thomas and Brig Gen. Dodge.
    Leftyhunter
     
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