Partisan Rangers

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Wheeler comes to mind.

I recently watched the 1997 Spanish American War miniseries "The Rough Riders".

The uniforms and weapons were spot-on accurate.

And then they cast Gary Busey as Wheeler.

However, I will admit . . . Busey as Wheeler was very entertaining.
That's my point exactly
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
Most Missouri guerrillas are often refered to as partisan rangers, as they were initially recruited that way, though technically some such as Quantrill would have seemed to be CSA cavalry on detached service.

As in 62 they had been sworn in as Confederate cavalry company, and fought as such at Prairie Grove.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
What an interesting thread that will create a bit of buzz. The word Partisans generates such a visceral reaction as the term brings so many to mind. Partisans was an approved term during WW II as they opposed the Axis Powers, yet during the ACW it depended on which side you were on.

I think of various groups or individuals, Jayhawkers, Border Ruffians, Bloody Bill Anderson, the James Brothers, Champ Ferguson and Archie Clement to name a few.

@archieclement is very knowledgeable about this topic and would have a good bit to add.
Regards
David
You are correct about the potential buzz. Almost wish I hadn't posted it.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
So a Partisan Ranger bill that included a bounty on slayed Union soldiers was introduced in the CSA Congress 4 days prior to firing on Ft. Sumter. Hmmm!
Good catch @Copperhead-mi. Should have been 62. My apologies. Sorry, there are no do overs here. Guess I could blame it on my cataracts. I need to be more careful.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
Sometimes when reading the Official Records concerning actions especially in Tennessee, it seems that many times the blame is put upon a cavalry commander in that region, when in all likelihood it could be vagrant guerillas making false claim to identify their 'legitimacy'.
Lubliner.
Yea. I can see that. Good point
 

Stone in the wall

2nd Lieutenant
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
Sorry if I portrayed Mosby’s men were under good discipline. I agree Mosby probably was but certainly not his entire group. Thanks for stopping by with your critique. Much appreciated
The Union officers also thought a "Captain" John Mobberly (really a private) and his band of deserters were part of Mosby's command. They didn't take very many pow's and their looting and other actions were also blamed/credited on the 43rd Battalion.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
I guess they only let great Southern Generals back into the US Army after the war.

Mosby tried to get a commission in the US Army during the Spanish-American War, trained a California Cavalry outfit, (Mosby's Hussars), but was denied a commission by some officer and I can't remember who it was. Had something to do with the hangings n the CW.

I wonder what a hypothetical nickname for Mosby in the S-AW would have been. Gray Ghost would've took on new meaning with his graying hair I bet.
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
For the most part those men were of questionable background. One had murdered his father, another his brother. Many were outright thieves.
"For the most part"... I'm going to take exception with this one phrase of your essay, because it is not supported by facts. It is supported by the slanted reports of the era, and by authors who have tended to cut and paste content. But it is not supported by the pre-war record of most of those boys or their families.

Without a doubt, there were some very bad players among the Missouri guerrillas and in particular in Quantrill's command. No argument. Anderson, Clements, Jesse James and a few others come to mind. However, the majority of Quantrill's band were from the finest and most successful planter families in western Missouri. Many of them were related through the Fristoe family, and were highly regarded citizens. What they all had in common was not a history of thievery, drunkeness, or murder. Revenge was one of their unifying motives--and a desire to protect their home counties from the ravages of Union and state militias and particularly from Jayhawking Kansas raiders. As the war dragged on and each side continually upped the ante, and after the order went out to execute them summarily, Q.'s band became ever more brutal. We know that a relatively small percentage of them went into outlawry after the war because they were not able or they were not inclined to return to peaceful civilian life. But most did assimilate back into society.

It is simply inaccurate to say that most of Q.'s band were of questionable background. A relative few were of questionable background. I will get some predictable pushback on this assertion from a few of our members here, and that's okay.
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
William (aka Bloody Bill) Anderson was a member of Quantrill’s Raiders, but later started his own, and perhaps more feared, band of guerrillas in Missouri.
This is correct. Sometime over the winter of 1863, Anderson and George Todd (who had been Captains within Quantrill's band) both broke away from him. I believe these guys were responsible for inciting most of the excesses during the Lawrence raid. Regardless, they no longer respected Quantrill's authority, and I believe it was because he was too disciplined and not violent enough to suit them or their sheer blood lust. George Todd was arguably as vicious as Anderson, but probably not as insanely vengeful. Archie Clements was under the influence of Anderson until Anderson's death. Jesse James was part of Anderson's command by the summer of 1864, and was particularly influenced by Archie Clements.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
"For the most part"... I'm going to take exception with this one phrase of your essay, because it is not supported by facts. It is supported by the slanted reports of the era, and by authors who have tended to cut and paste content. But it is not supported by the pre-war record of most of those boys or their families.

Without a doubt, there were some very bad players among the Missouri guerrillas and in particular in Quantrill's command. No argument. Anderson, Clements, Jesse James and a few others come to mind. However, the majority of Quantrill's band were from the finest and most successful planter families in western Missouri. Many of them were related through the Fristoe family, and were highly regarded citizens. What they all had in common was not a history of thievery, drunkeness, or murder. Revenge was one of their unifying motives--and a desire to protect their home counties from the ravages of Union and state militias and particularly from Jayhawking Kansas raiders. As the war dragged on and each side continually upped the ante, and after the order went out to execute them summarily, Q.'s band became ever more brutal. We know that a relatively small percentage of them went into outlawry after the war because they were not able or they were not inclined to return to peaceful civilian life. But most did assimilate back into society.

It is simply inaccurate to say that most of Q.'s band were of questionable background. A relative few were of questionable background. I will get some predictable pushback on this assertion from a few of our members here, and that's okay.
@Patrick H - I appreciate your rebuttal. I suppose it’s all a matter of what you read ( or don’t read) and how slanted the writer is. I am by no means an expert in this subject and the opinions I expressed were based on the limit of what I read. I appreciate your opinion and critique and can surely agree with you that what I didn’t read was just as important. Thank you for you opinionated critique.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
When you got local people, "Home Guard" and other militia types doing partisan activities they tend to be honest folks fighting in the best way they know how, the Partisan Ranger Act could give them some protection from outright execution if captured, and I see nothing wrong with that or regiments of Partisan Rangers under military control and leadership doing their activities.

However there were too many bands of bushwhackers roaming the countryside from county to county, region to region who could not claim such noble reasons. A lot of whom were nothing but outright bandits who cloaked themselves in the guise of a "Partisan Ranger" serving the CSA to give them reasons to go wild. They outright abused it and preyed on people regardless of them being pro-Union or pro-Confederate. Arkansas and Missouri suffered terribly from those animals. Heck the one time Quantrill's Raiders were in Texas, there ended but being a running battle between Quantrill's band, the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers, with Bloody Bill helping the Texans!

Kind of hard to regard Quantrill and his men as true Partisan Rangers, or even Confederate, when they were having running fights with a Texas Partisan Ranger Regiment, (though more of a cavalry regiment).

Here's a good article on this stuff:

 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Location
Spotsylvania Virginia
When you got local people, "Home Guard" and other militia types doing partisan activities they tend to be honest folks fighting in the best way they know how, the Partisan Ranger Act could give them some protection from outright execution if captured, and I see nothing wrong with that or regiments of Partisan Rangers under military control and leadership doing their activities.

However there were too many bands of bushwhackers roaming the countryside from county to county, region to region who could not claim such noble reasons. A lot of whom were nothing but outright bandits who cloaked themselves in the guise of a "Partisan Ranger" serving the CSA to give them reasons to go wild. They outright abused it and preyed on people regardless of them being pro-Union or pro-Confederate. Arkansas and Missouri suffered terribly from those animals. Heck the one time Quantrill's Raiders were in Texas, there ended but being a running battle between Quantrill's band, the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers, with Bloody Bill helping the Texans!

Kind of hard to regard Quantrill and his men as true Confederate, or even true Partisan Rangers, when a Texas Partisan Ranger Regiment, (more like cavalry regiment though) were having running battles between each other.

Here's a good article on this stuff:

Thanks for the insight and added valid points of view 🤩
 

Stone in the wall

2nd Lieutenant
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
That wa
Mosby tried to get a commission in the US Army during the Spanish-American War, trained a California Cavalry outfit, (Mosby's Hussars), but was denied a commission by some officer and I can't remember who it was. Had something to do with the hangings n the CW.

I wonder what a hypothetical nickname for Mosby in the S-AW would have been. Gray Ghost would've took on new meaning with his graying hair I bet.
That was Col Russell Alger, 5th Michigan cav. Some of the soldiers Mosby had hung were troopers from Michigan.
 

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
When you got local people, "Home Guard" and other militia types doing partisan activities they tend to be honest folks fighting in the best way they know how, the Partisan Ranger Act could give them some protection from outright execution if captured, and I see nothing wrong with that or regiments of Partisan Rangers under military control and leadership doing their activities.

However there were too many bands of bushwhackers roaming the countryside from county to county, region to region who could not claim such noble reasons. A lot of whom were nothing but outright bandits who cloaked themselves in the guise of a "Partisan Ranger" serving the CSA to give them reasons to go wild. They outright abused it and preyed on people regardless of them being pro-Union or pro-Confederate. Arkansas and Missouri suffered terribly from those animals. Heck the one time Quantrill's Raiders were in Texas, there ended but being a running battle between Quantrill's band, the 5th Texas Partisan Rangers, with Bloody Bill helping the Texans!

Kind of hard to regard Quantrill and his men as true Partisan Rangers, or even Confederate, when they were having running fights with a Texas Partisan Ranger Regiment, (though more of a cavalry regiment).

Here's a good article on this stuff:

The linked article is a fun read, but there are quite a few inaccuracies in it. It should be read for entertainment, but not for historical facts. The most glaring error I saw stated that Anderson was killed in Centralia. Actually, Centralia is where he committed his most notorious group murder. He executed a number of unarmed union soldiers on the railroad platform there. He was, indeed, ambushed using his own tactics against him, but that happened near present day Orrick, Missouri--then known as Albany.

The theory that he was traveling to Washington to assassinate Lincoln always gets repeated. Anyone who actually knew the truth has long since died. Most historians believe he was working his way east in hopes of surrendering with Lee. He knew he would not be permitted to surrender in Missouri. I feel pretty confident that Frank James would have backed up the surrender theory. He was with Q. in Kentucky.
 
Top