Discussion Union vs CSA Guerrilla

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Forrest was causing problems with cutting

Forrest cut communication lines, etc. Got under Grants skin generally. Grant had to push his plans for moving on Vicksburg back as a result
Forrest is not a guerrilla. Forrest and his men wore uniforms and where regular Confederate enlisted. Please post anything about Forrest in one of our numerous Forrest threads.
Leftyhunter
 

Scott1967

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Location
England
Guerrilla's were they really fighting for a cause? Or a need to enrich themselves I've often wondered why guerrilla fighters never enlist in the regular armies and there reasons why.

Theirs a common parallel between modern insurgents and guerrilla fighters from the civil war most were poorly educated and had been in trouble with the law at some point, And problem of self esteem and moral values.

While I don't dispute the fact that many guerrilla's harboured family feuds and operated in their local areas you have to question the reasons why.

Good post Lefty it will be interesting to see some answers.
 

CSA Today

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Location
Laurinburg NC
Thanks! I'm no expert on secession , tariffs and slavery. I do know a little about partisan warfare on the east Tn and western NC border. I am old enough that my dad could remember vets from the war when he was very young . My grandfather knew many very well. Only wished I had ask more questions when he would talk on the front porch at night.

So do I, both my grandmothers lived until 1he 1980s My paternal grandmother's father was in the 19th Virginia inf and my maternal grandmother had three uncles in the Ist NC Inf. They did tell me a lot but I wished I had asked more. My late father told me stories his grandfather (40th NC, 3rd artillery), especially about Fort Fisher and Bentonville. Among my most treasured memories was having known an old lady who had as a child had witnessed the Battle of Olustee, Fla fought around her house.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
So do I, both my grandmothers lived until 1he 1980s My paternal grandmother's father was in the 19th Virginia inf and my maternal grandmother had three uncles in the Ist NC Inf. They did tell me a lot but I wished I had asked more. My late father told me stories his grandfather (40th NC, 3rd artillery), especially about Fort Fisher and Bentonville. Among my most treasured memories was having known an old lady who had as a child had witnessed the Battle of Olustee, Fla fought around her house.

My widowed paternal grandmother lived with us in the 1950's. That's when my interest began in the "late unpleasantness", as she always referred to it. Both her grandfathers died as prisoners of war in Danville, Virginia. They were both in the Union 8th TN Cavalry, captured the same day. As a girl, she could remember both her elderly grandmothers and the stories they told of how hard it was on the home front in East Tennessee. My maternal grandparents in turn, told me of relatives they had on both sides. I've seemingly been "hooked" ever since, leading to several years of genealogy research, and finding numerous veterans on both sides, even in my wife's family tree.
 

TnFed

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
March 31 18666. Gov. Jenkins. from J.C. Chastain JICFC, Union County
"The county of Fannin in which I reside and where I hold the office of Justice of the Inferior Court is in a most disorganized condition being controlled by murderers,bushwhackers,robbers and thieves- I am now a refugee from my home having been shot by a man by the name of James Morrow, leader of the band, who swears he will kill me if I do not die of the wounds he has already inflicted . I have to ask you to give me the protection to life and property which government afford to their citizens . This band numbers about two hundred. "
I find it hard to believe that Morrow had that many men. Though he had a sizeable force.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Guerrilla's were they really fighting for a cause? Or a need to enrich themselves I've often wondered why guerrilla fighters never enlist in the regular armies and there reasons why.

Theirs a common parallel between modern insurgents and guerrilla fighters from the civil war most were poorly educated and had been in trouble with the law at some point, And problem of self esteem and moral values.

While I don't dispute the fact that many guerrilla's harboured family feuds and operated in their local areas you have to question the reasons why.

Good post Lefty it will be interesting to see some answers.
A guerrilla is just a generic term for a hit and run fighter who is not enlisted in a regular armed force and generaly does not wear a uniform.A guerrilla may wear an enemy uniform. Per the Leiber Code Union soldiers and or militia could simply execute guerrillas on the spot. The Confederacy often did the same.
Has for motivations they are as varied as any other human endevor.
I wouldn't stereotype guerrillas in terms of motivation.
There are a number of reasons why a man would choose to become a guerrilla over an enlisted soldier;
1. Age- to young or to old or not in good physical condition.
2. Inability to cross enemy lines to enlist i.e. it was extremely dangerous to cross the mountains from East Tennessee to Kentucky to join the Union Army.
3. Not happy with conventional military service i.e. Frank James who was enlisted on the Missouri State Guard did not want to join the Confederate Army and fight out if state.
4. Protect one's family
5. No love of regimentation or the hard ships of military service.
Not to say there are not other reasons.
Guerrilla warfare is as old as the hills.
Arguably the first written account is the Jewish Book of Maccabee written well before the birth of Christ, concerning Jewish guerrillas who drove the Hellenic Syrians out of Biblical Israel.
Leftyhunter
 

TnFed

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Excellent reasons. Intercine warfare is not new in the American South. I Had Tory and patriot ancestors who were partisans in the American Revolutionary War. They called each other bandits, robbers and traitors. Same thing in the Civil War. While they fought for the causes mention above, in some cases, they were indeed bandits and rogues.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
March 31 18666. Gov. Jenkins. from J.C. Chastain JICFC, Union County
"The county of Fannin in which I reside and where I hold the office of Justice of the Inferior Court is in a most disorganized condition being controlled by murderers,bushwhackers,robbers and thieves- I am now a refugee from my home having been shot by a man by the name of James Morrow, leader of the band, who swears he will kill me if I do not die of the wounds he has already inflicted . I have to ask you to give me the protection to life and property which government afford to their citizens . This band numbers about two hundred. "
I find it hard to believe that Morrow had that many men. Though he had a sizeable force.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/east-tennessee-1865-an-eye-for-an-eye.115087/#post-1147546

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/reconstruction-tennessee-and-beyond.142827/page-2#post-1749204

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/10-26-1864-scott-county-s-w-virginia-in-the-or.145161/#post-1798502

Scott County, Virginia borders on my home County of Sullivan in east Tennessee. I'd like to know the identity of "Captain" Burleson and "Lieutenant" Gardner. Union partisans ?, Reb or Yank deserters ?, or local outlaws ?

This is probably the Palmer commanding "Palmer's Command", mentioned in the report ?

220px-William_Jackson_Palmer%2C_American_Civil_War.jpg

William Jackson Palmer, Colonel 15th PA Cavalry

On March 16 he was promoted to command of the 1st Brigade of the Cavalry Division, District of East Tennessee, consisting of the 15th Pennsylvania, the 10th Michigan, and the 12th Ohio Cavalry Regiments. A month later he assumed command of the division after General Alvan C. Gillem was promoted to command of the District of East Tennessee. Palmer was in the vanguard of Stoneman's (Union General George Stoneman) raid into Virginia and North Carolina in the last two months of the Civil War.
 

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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
The East Tennesseans that actually wanted to fight for the Union managed to do that in 61-62. Until the fall of Knoxville, East Tennessee units were organized and trained in Kentucky.
Yes but it is not like they could just stroll down to Kentucky and no one would bother them. The Confederate Army and home guard would track down and kill many potential volunteers. So yes it was very dangerous to attempt to join the Union Army from East Tennessee.
That is why some Unionists trapped behind Confederate lines became Unionist guerillas.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Yes but it is not like they could just stroll down to Kentucky and no one would bother them. The Confederate Army and home guard would track down and kill many potential volunteers. So yes it was very dangerous to attempt to join the Union Army from East Tennessee.
That is why some Unionists trapped behind Confederate lines became Unionist guerillas.
Leftyhunter

Well actually they "strolled" up and across mountains, (traveling only at night), to Kentucky. They put their lives on the line to fight for the Union. They were soldiers as opposed to bushwhackers.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Excellent reasons. Intercine warfare is not new in the American South. I Had Tory and patriot ancestors who were partisans in the American Revolutionary War. They called each other bandits, robbers and traitors. Same thing in the Civil War. While they fought for the causes mention above, in some cases, they were indeed bandits and rogues.
Not necessarily. If a guerrilla siezes food then he is foraging. If a guerrillas wife is about to go naked because she can't buy a dress and a guerrilla appropriates it oh well.
Put another way is the old Irish ( circa early 1970s based on another conflict) " One man's terrorist is another man's Freedom Fighter".
Concepts such has robbery , banditry etc are definitions based on one's political views.
In guerrilla/insurgency warfare legal norms get thrown by the wayside.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Well actually they "strolled" up and across mountains, (traveling only at night), to Kentucky. They put their lives on the line to fight for the Union. They were soldiers as opposed to bushwhackers.
My point is that attempting to cross into Kentucky from East Tennessee was both dangerous and physically very demanding. Many potential recruits were captured or killed.
Therefore no moral shame in Unionists becoming guerrillas. One man's bushwacker is another man's brave freedom fighter.
Leftyhunter
 

TnFed

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Not necessarily. If a guerrilla siezes food then he is foraging. If a guerrillas wife is about to go naked because she can't buy a dress and a guerrilla appropriates it oh well.
Put another way is the old Irish ( circa early 1970s based on another conflict) " One man's terrorist is another man's Freedom Fighter".
Concepts such has robbery , banditry etc are definitions based on one's political views.
In guerrilla/insurgency warfare legal norms get thrown by the wayside.
Leftyhunter
Well I certainly agree that in insurgent warfare legal norms get thrown to the side.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
A guerrilla is just a generic term for a hit and run fighter who is not enlisted in a regular armed force and generaly does not wear a uniform.A guerrilla may wear an enemy uniform. Per the Leiber Code Union soldiers and or militia could simply execute guerrillas on the spot. The Confederacy often did the same.
Has for motivations they are as varied as any other human endevor.
I wouldn't stereotype guerrillas in terms of motivation.
There are a number of reasons why a man would choose to become a guerrilla over an enlisted soldier;
1. Age- to young or to old or not in good physical condition.
2. Inability to cross enemy lines to enlist i.e. it was extremely dangerous to cross the mountains from East Tennessee to Kentucky to join the Union Army.
3. Not happy with conventional military service i.e. Frank James who was enlisted on the Missouri State Guard did not want to join the Confederate Army and fight out if state.
4. Protect one's family
5. No love of regimentation or the hard ships of military service.
Not to say there are not other reasons.
Guerrilla warfare is as old as the hills.
Arguably the first written account is the Jewish Book of Maccabee written well before the birth of Christ, concerning Jewish guerrillas who drove the Hellenic Syrians out of Biblical Israel.
Leftyhunter


All valid reasons Lefty, but I think you missed the most important one; revenge.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Did Daniel Elllis operate out of this Sullivan County area? I am not really as up on him as I would like.

He was from Carter County, but traveled to Sullivan many times. That was a "gathering place", to first get across the Holston River on their way to the mountains separating Kentucky and Tennessee. In all, Ellis made 20 expeditions, covering 8000 miles, leading approximately 4000 fugitives through the mountains. Over half of these joined the Union army. Ellis was a constant aggravation to Confederate authorities, and contributed incalculably to the morale of the beleaguered Unionist east Tennesseans. Toward the end of the war, when there wasn't that many to take through the lines, he was commissioned a Captain in the 13th TN Cavalry.
 

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