Discussion Union vs CSA Guerrilla

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Admittedly, I didn't check the muster rolls of all the regiments with Stoneman. If the ringleaders of the gangs were deserters of the 10th Michigan Cavalry, this may be them :

Private Michael Wade Company F, deserted 4/30/11865 at Wilkesboro, NC.

View attachment 116585
Private Mitchell Siggins, Company A, as opposed to Simmons. Deserted 8/1/1864 at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. Three men named Simmons were in the 10th Michigan, but all three mustered out in Knoxville on June 11 , 1865.

View attachment 116586
I haven't seen a post from @M. Warren for quite a while. If you don't mind what is the story about the two above deserters as guerrillas?
Thanks
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Location
los angeles ca
It is an Interesting story. Since it takes place on May 7th 1865 the Civil War in North Carolina is already over. If a Unionist guerrilla is in an area not yet occupied by the Union Army and Confederate soldiers are still trying to hunt them down then the case can be made that the Unionist guerrilla is entitled to undertake what ever activities it takes to secure food and shelter and inflict damage on all Confederate forces. That of course excludes rape and stealing valuables for personal gain.
If Wade and Siggins deserted just to become bandits then the Union Army is entitled to execute them. However from what your post suggests they were mustered out. If they are leading Unionist guerrillas then they were performing an important military mission.
So the question would be who was the de facto authority at the time?
Leftyhunter
 
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Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
It is an Interesting story. Since it takes place on May 7th 1865 the Civil War in North Carolina is already over. If a Unionist guerrilla is in an area not yet occupied by the Union Army and Confederate soldiers are still trying to hunt them down then the case can be made that the Unionist guerrilla is entitled to undertake what ever activities it takes to secure food and shelter and inflict damage on all Confederate forces. That of course excludes rape and stealing valuables for personal gain.
If Wade and Siggins deserted just to become bandits then the Union Army is entitled to execute them. However from what your post suggests they were mustered out. If they are leading Unionist guerrillas then they were performing an important military mission.
So the question would be who was the de facto authority at the time?
Leftyhunter

I would think it would be plain to understand, there was no authority and these two band of outlaws were deserters. The war was over. They were making war on civilians for their own gain, simply because they could.

The two men whose file cards I posted were deserters. I stated the three men in the 10th Michigan actually named Simmons, were mustered out in Knoxville the same day. I also said I didn't look at all the many other units that were with Stoneman. The leaders of these outlaws were reported to be deserters from the 10th Michigan Cavalry named Wade and Simmons. I was only theorizing about who they were, and their actual names.
 
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leftyhunter

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The Ft.Hamby incident presents an Interesting legal condrum. If a man deserts the Union Army he can be subject to the death penalty. On the other hand if he fights Confederate troops and or homeguards he is performing a useful service for the Union. Soldiers are not punished for forging so taking food is permissible . If the soldier and or a guerrilla takes a blanket that should be fine but if he takes say a watch that might be crossing the line or not since an argument can be made the guerrilla needs to know the time.
If a Unionist guerrilla and or a Confederate deserter is in an area not yet under Union control are they not entitled to take what ever means are necessary to ensure their safety and survival until Union soldiers can control the area?
Did the deserters and or Unionist guerrillas even know that Lee surrendered?
On the other hand is not the local population entitled to defend themselves against starvation and or other actions against the deserters?
Most likely once Union forces entered the area everyone got a pass and bygones be bygones.
Not saying I have the answers to the above questions
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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For a real good sourced ouline on Unionist guerrillas and black resistance
to the Confederacy google Southern Unionism essentialcivilwarcriculam David Williams.
Leftyhunter
 
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leftyhunter

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Has we know both sides actively used guerrilla warfare during the CW. There are differences how ever.
For the purpose of discussion a guerrilla does not wear a uniform or has was often the case in Mo wore captured enemy uniforms. Therefore cavalry raiders such has Morgan, Marmaduke and Shelpy do not count has guerrillas has long has they are in uniform.
Arguably the CSA had the most guerrillas vs the Union mostly in but by no means limited to Mo. I have not read any figure that gives a round number estimate of X amount of CSA guerrillas vs Y amount of Union troops and militia. Has a general rule it has been argued that it takes ten conventional troops to counter one guerrilla.
Based on the number of Union cavalry and a few Infantry regiments that where assigned to Mo (although often rotated out of Mo) plus the 10k men of the Mo State Militia (the only Union militia that was full time and paid for by the federal govt and fought mostly but not always in Mo) there where quite a few CSA guerrillas or has often referred to has"bushwackers".

Both sides used guerrillas to cooperate with conventional troops. For example Quantril provided an escort for recruiting commands in Mo and in AL Unionist guerrillas from time to time would fight alongside convention Union troops.
The Union could supply at least some guerrillas on a regular basis for example Gen. Dodge in Al could supply Unionist guerrillas and the US Navy supplied Unionist guerrillas in Fl and Ga and even sent an officer to form and lead the 2nd Fl cavalry USV.
Unionist guerrillas where arguably more successful in that by the late summer of 1864 they could sieze and hold areas of the CSA vs CSA guerrillas who could not.
Many guerrillas on both sides became guerrillas due to resentment of being drafted or conscripted by the other side.
Questions.
1. What side really had the most?
2. Which side more effectively supported their guerrillas?
2. Which sides guerrillas ultimately achieved the most good for their side?
Leftyhunter
Here you go Jgoodguy.
Leftyhunter
 

Berry Canote

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Huntsville, Randolph County, Missouri
Getting back to the idea of numbers, here are a few I have encountered for Todd and Anderson in a three day period in Central Missouri:

Fayette Sept. 24, 1864 (Battle of Fayette) Est. 250

Huntsville Sept 25, 1864 Lt. Col. Denny estimates Todd and Anderson's forces to be 250 (Anderson and Todd claimed 500 in the note demanding the militia's surrender).

Centralia September 27, 1864 (Centralia Massacre) Est. 80

Centralia September 27, 1864 (Battle of Centralia) Est 200-400

I will try to collect more numbers as I do my research.
 

leftyhunter

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A quick question, do you all consider the Jayhawkers and Redlegs Union guerrillas? I have done some research on their activities during the war.
Not necessarily it depends on what time period. During the bleeding Kansas conflict they were not trying to overthrow any governmental authority. They where more along the lines of a paramilitary such as the Reconstruction era Democratic Party paramilitaries such has the KKK or Red shirts. Later on of course their where various political party militias and paramilitaries in Lebanon and Northern Ireland among other places. I would argue that they all have a common American ancestor. @Borderruffian and @Patrick H might have different viewpoints.
During the ACW definitely not. Many of the Kansas boys where regular enlisted men ( see my post on the 7th Kn Cavalry) although they where bad boys and General Hallack among others bitterly complained about them. If a member of the above where not regular enlisted USV's or Kansas militia then they where just basic party paramilitaries doing their thing. A democracy can't really function if the state can't be in charge of organized armed forces. Something the USA and other countries have and sometimes continue to struggle with.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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A quick question, do you all consider the Jayhawkers and Redlegs Union guerrillas? I have done some research on their activities during the war.
A good working definition of a guerrilla is
1. Unpaid
2. Does not wear a uniform or if he does it is a captured enemy uniform
3. Is not an enlisted member of the armed forces
4. Is not covered by the rules of war and may be executed if captured
5. Is not under the formal command structure of a military
6. Can receive military and logistical support from a military and can cooperate with a military in joint operations.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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@leftyhunter I thought they would be classed regulars during the war, but was unsure.
If they formally enlisted in the US Army, U.S. Volunteers i.e. the 7th Kansas Cavalry or the Missouri State Militia, or a militia recognized by the state of Kansas. If not then they are a party paramilitary and may be subject to arrest but not likely in Kn. In theory if they are caught by official US or Mo state militias while engaging in theft or arson they could be shot on sight.Not saying it happened just per the Leiber Code it could happen.
Leftyhunter
 

Berry Canote

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Understood. In that case, I cannot think of any Union guerrillas operating in Missouri. Well, there is the unique case of Harry Truman. Reading all the reports on him it is unclear, at least to me whether he held a commission in the Union Army and went rogue, or just claimed to hold a commission in order to get Federal backing. Maybe a good thread would be, "Regulars Gone Wild?" It would be about regular units, both Union and Confederate that behaved in ways less than acceptable to their superiors.
 

leftyhunter

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Understood. In that case, I cannot think of any Union guerrillas operating in Missouri. Well, there is the unique case of Harry Truman. Reading all the reports on him it is unclear, at least to me whether he held a commission in the Union Army and went rogue, or just claimed to hold a commission in order to get Federal backing. Maybe a good thread would be, "Regulars Gone Wild?" It would be about regular units, both Union and Confederate that behaved in ways less than acceptable to their superiors.
We have had at least one thread on Truman or Termain if memory serves me. Truman was more of a guerrilla hunter similar to Edwin Terrell of Kentucky. I and a few others have mentioned Terrell a real interesting individual. Guerrilla hunters were a unique subspecies. They were basicly authorized by their state govenors to hunt guerrillas but were not members of the Union Army or state militias. Overall as far as I know it was on the whole an unsatisfactory COIN solution. The guerrilla hunters were almost as bad as the guerrillas although Terrell did terminate Quantrill.
No doubt we could add plenty of rogue regiments to your proposed thread starting with the 7th Kansas.
Leftyhunter
 

Berry Canote

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The one thing I remember in reading about Truman was former Congressmen William Augustus Hall's comments on him. I cannot remember exactly what was said, but in Hall's opinion the people of Huntsville were more afraid of a visit by Truman and his men than they were bushwhackers. So perhaps a thread on rogue regiments and one on guerrilla hunters? One may exist already on guerrilla hunters. I have since I posted read one of the threads on Truman.
 

leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
The one thing I remember in reading about Truman was former Congressmen William Augustus Hall's comments on him. I cannot remember exactly what was said, but in Hall's opinion the people of Huntsville were more afraid of a visit by Truman and his men than they were bushwhackers. So perhaps a thread on rogue regiments and one on guerrilla hunters? One may exist already on guerrilla hunters. I have since I posted read one of the threads on Truman.
If folks in a given area were pro Confederate then yes the above would be true. I don't how many state sanctioned guerrilla hunters their were othe the Truman and Terrell's band of merry men.
There would be far more members of rougue or maybe a better description poorly disciplined regular enlisted regiments the guerrilla hunters.
Leftyhunter
 

Berry Canote

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If folks in a given area were pro Confederate then yes the above would be true. I don't how many state sanctioned guerrilla hunters their were othe the Truman and Terrell's band of merry men.
There would be far more members of rougue or maybe a better description poorly disciplined regular enlisted regiments the guerrilla hunters.
Leftyhunter

The thing is William Augustus Hall was a Union man as were most of the men of the town of the Huntsville. You really only saw pro-Confederate sentiment in the rural areas. Even then it was hit and miss. I think it more had to do with Truman's reputation for bad behavior. Anyway, I am getting the thread off topic. Tomorrow, since I have the day off I am going to try to get more numbers for guerrillas in my part of Missouri.
 

leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
The thing is William Augustus Hall was a Union man as were most of the men of the town of the Huntsville. You really only saw pro-Confederate sentiment in the rural areas. Even then it was hit and miss. I think it more had to do with Truman's reputation for bad behavior. Anyway, I am getting the thread off topic. Tomorrow, since I have the day off I am going to try to get more numbers for guerrillas in my part of Missouri.
No doubt bad or corrupt COIN personnel are a real problem in that they push people to the other side. I have done a fair amount of reading on Missouri and with a gun to my head I have no idea how many guerrillas their were in Missouri. By listing all the Union COIN regiments maybe we can make a reasonable guess.
Leftyhunter
 

Berry Canote

Private
Joined
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Location
Huntsville, Randolph County, Missouri
The Ft.Hamby incident presents an Interesting legal condrum. If a man deserts the Union Army he can be subject to the death penalty. On the other hand if he fights Confederate troops and or homeguards he is performing a useful service for the Union. Soldiers are not punished for forging so taking food is permissible . If the soldier and or a guerrilla takes a blanket that should be fine but if he takes say a watch that might be crossing the line or not since an argument can be made the guerrilla needs to know the time.
If a Unionist guerrilla and or a Confederate deserter is in an area not yet under Union control are they not entitled to take what ever means are necessary to ensure their safety and survival until Union soldiers can control the area?
Did the deserters and or Unionist guerrillas even know that Lee surrendered?
On the other hand is not the local population entitled to defend themselves against starvation and or other actions against the deserters?
Most likely once Union forces entered the area everyone got a pass and bygones be bygones.
Not saying I have the answers to the above questions
Leftyhunter

Now this is just my opinion as I am not well read, but I would think if a Unionist guerrilla or Confederate deserter were in an area not under control they would have the right to do whatever it took to ensure their survival provided they only took what they needed for survival. The watch for example as you said an argument could be made a guerrilla needs to know the time, but other items, lets say jewelry might not be acceptable to take as it really does not help one survive. At the same time, to answer your other question, I would think the local population would be entitled to defend themselves. It goes to show you how complex the American Civil War was. There was definitely a certain level of behavior expected of the regulars, but when you were alone, deep in enemy territory, do some of those rules apply?
 
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