Discussion Union vs CSA Guerrilla

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Lusty Murfax

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Thanks for posting this. I've downloaded and saved the PDF and I'm most of the way through it. It's not written in any excruciating detail, nor does it reveal any new information, but it's a real good overview, and it's an easy read. It collapses more than five years of conflict into about 30 or 45 minutes of reading, and it does a pretty good job of it. Take it in that spirit and it's not bad at all!
This narrative might have been posted/linked here before or maybe I found it elsewhere. It is not a detailed study of individual incidents, but an overview. IMO, it is simplistic and tilted toward the Union viewpoint.
 

USS ALASKA

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Thanks for posting this. I've downloaded and saved the PDF and I'm most of the way through it. It's not written in any excruciating detail, nor does it reveal any new information, but it's a real good overview, and it's an easy read. It collapses more than five years of conflict into about 30 or 45 minutes of reading, and it does a pretty good job of it. Take it in that spirit and it's not bad at all!
Thank you for the concise review, sir. So for someone like myself who is just beginning to learn about this - it seems to be worthwhile.
21295

Thanks again,
USS ALASKA
 
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leftyhunter

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Thank you for the concise review, sir. So for someone like myself who is just beginning to learn about this - it is worthwhile.
21295

Thanks again,
USS ALASKA
I haven't read the whole article but in defense of Price the author seems to be critiquing Price unfairly. Price did not have a means such has easy access to the telegraph or radios to coordinate with Confederate guerrillas. The author seems to be referencing the British SAS cooperation with the French Resistance just prior to D-DAY in which the SAS could carry out compound warfare. The closest thing we have to a radio in 1864 is a German Physic paper detailing the theoretical basis on the principles of radio communications.
Leftyhunter
 
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Patrick H

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This narrative might have been posted/linked here before or maybe I found it elsewhere. It is not a detailed study of individual incidents, but an overview. IMO, it is simplistic and tilted toward the Union viewpoint.
It does seem tilted toward the Union perspective at times. I chalked that up to being written by a fairly new student of the MO/KS guerrilla war, and as a thesis for the US Army Command and General Staff College requirements.

I had arrived at the last chapter at the time of my posting yesterday. This is the chapter that will pay it off...or fail to pay it off. The concept of better use of the guerrilla forces in combination with regular forces is interesting. It would probably have been impossible to closely coordinate all the forces by the autumn of 1864. I'll be back after I've had time to read his conclusions.
 

Patrick H

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Coming back another day to report that I've been over some of the paper twice and I've finally finished the last chapter. I think the author's concept is a fascinating one for study and speculation, but I am not at all sure that it would have been possible to achieve--especially by the autumn of 1864.

To begin with, the Missouri guerrilla fighters were never given much respect by most of the regular Confederate army brass. Price and Shelby were willing to use these guys for scouting and the like, and Shelby seems to have folded some of them into his own cavalry force for a time. After the Lawrence raid, most of the Confederate brass wanted nothing to do the guerrillas. Ironically, the best chance to properly use and coordinate guerrilla forces was probably while Quantrill was in command. By the summer of 1864, he had lost control of Anderson's and Todd's groups, and Anderson was so far off the hook by then that I doubt anyone could have controlled him.

The author speculates on two possibilities regarding Price's famous order to Anderson to destroy the N. Missouri railroad "as far east as practicable." On the one hand, he has Price ordering Anderson to prevent the Union's use of that railroad to shadow Price's right as he works his way west. On the other hand, He had Price ordering Anderson to go as far away from him in the opposite direction as he can get--physically distancing Anderson from his own army. I write these words about two blocks away from the location where Price wrote his order, and I am one of those who tends to favor the second explanation.

I simply don't have an opinion about whether the guerrillas were in greater danger because of their close proximity to Price leading up to the battle of Westport. Perhaps this is true, but I think it's one of those things we can never know. Could they have operated better as a harassing force BEHIND the massing federal troops? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps they'd have been overwhelmed by the sheer size of the force, or perhaps they'd have been unable to nip at it. Remember that they were accustomed to choosing their own time and place for a battle--usually when they had superior numbers over a relatively small patrol.

I'll come back to my first assessment: It's not a bad overview, but it contains quite a few suppositions and I think a few inaccuracies, too. I would not recommend anyone accepting it as a true history of the border war. Think of it sort of like a movie trailer. There's plenty here to grab your interest, but the meat of the story is not here. The source material is sound. I think anyone who's interested and would like to understand the border war should look into the source material. None of it is too dry and it's all pretty interesting--especially to one who knows the locales.
 
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Booner

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Having read the thesis, I'd say that in general, it's...... OK. Just OK.
It guess I expect more from a military officer in the regions of fact checking; he's lucky I wasn't on his thesis review board.

He mentions several times where the border ruffians of "Bleeding Kansas" later became guerrillas, and going so far as to call Quantrill and Anderson border ruffians. I can't agree with this as I believe the border ruffian period ended around 1858 when it was a for-gone conclusion that Kansas would enter the union as a free state. From 1858 to 1861 it was a period of Jayhawker interdictions into Missouri. And I would never include Quantrill or Anderson as border ruffians-they would have both been too young for that time period.

This one is a minor mistake that few would catch; in the summer of 1864 Anderson's band had a battle with the 7th Illinois Cavalry where they kill several of the Illinois troopers. My g g grandfather was in the 7th Illinois Cavalry, and in 1864 his regiment was in Tennessee, not central Missouri. In his order of battle, the author does mention the correct Illinois cavalry unit, the 17th Illinois.

The author mentions a change of Union command in the "Central Missouri District, also known as the Burnt District." No, Central Missouri is about 75 miles east of the Burnt District which happens to be in a string of Missouri counties that border on Kansas. Perhaps the Central Missouri District went as far west as to include the Burnt District, but he should have made that clear.

At the end of the 5th section, the author says something to the effect that it was the guerrilla's fault that's Prices raid was a disaster because the guerrillas didnt work in consort with Price. Then in the 6th section, it was Prices fault that his raid was a disaster because he didn't use the guerrillas effectively. So, which is it? How about this; Prices' raid into Missouri in 1864 was flawed from the beginning, that it was a for long hope of an old man with the meagerest of chance for success, with no hope of holding on to the state for the confederacy if he, Price, had been successful. 200 Guerrillas wouldn't have changed the outcome.

There are several more areas where the thesis is sloppy, including grammatical errors, and I find it remarkable that this paper was submitted in this state.

The paper did, however, support my ideas of the independent nature of the Missouri guerrilla, that he fought not for some lofty idea of an independent country, but for a real world, personal need to protect his family and property, and for revenge.
 
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Booner

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Let me know if any of you folks can point to an example of" Compound warfare" prior to the D- Day Invasion.
Leftyhunter
The author gives two examples of Compound Warfare prior to D-Day in the beginning of section 6, that of the American Revolution, and Frances invasion of Spain in the early 1800's. but he didn't go into much detail. More modern day examples was Vietnam and the Soviet Union-Afgan war.

Just to be clear, those are his examples, not mine.
 

leftyhunter

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The author gives two examples of Compound Warfare prior to D-Day in the beginning of section 6, that of the American Revolution, and Frances invasion of Spain in the early 1800's. but he didn't go into much detail. More modern day examples was Vietnam and the Soviet Union-Afgan war.

Just to be clear, those are his examples, not mine.
I will have to go over his article in more detail. Perhaps the author has a looser definition of Compound Warfare.
Leftyhunter
 
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leftyhunter

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The author gives two examples of Compound Warfare prior to D-Day in the beginning of section 6, that of the American Revolution, and Frances invasion of Spain in the early 1800's. but he didn't go into much detail. More modern day examples was Vietnam and the Soviet Union-Afgan war.

Just to be clear, those are his examples, not mine.
I was able to read Chapter 4 and much if Chapter 5. Problem being my bug fat fingers move the pages around and I have to find them all over again.
Anyway the author does make an interesting point about compound warfare. Still without modern communications and up to date reconnaissance compound warfare is difficult at best.
Leftyhunter
 

Booner

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I was able to read Chapter 4 and much if Chapter 5. Problem being my bug fat fingers move the pages around and I have to find them all over again.
Anyway the author does make an interesting point about compound warfare. Still without modern communications and up to date reconnaissance compound warfare is difficult at best.
Leftyhunter
8

I'm thinking that if Price really wanted to make the best use of the guerrillas, why didn't he send a couple of officers to ride with them to help coordinate their activities with those of Price? That would seem like a simple thing to do.
 

leftyhunter

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8

I'm thinking that if Price really wanted to make the best use of the guerrillas, why didn't he send a couple of officers to ride with them to help coordinate their activities with those of Price? That would seem like a simple thing to do.
If I had to guess by late 1864 there just were not that many competent experienced officers left in the Confederate Army to be spared.
The counter argument is during WW2 both the US ,UK and the Soviet Union did send military officers to lead or at least guide local guerrilla leaders. Of course all nations equipped their officers with radio's so they could coordinate their movements with conventional forces and all three nations could supply their guerrilla allies reliably by ship or plane.
I would still argue that without modern communications it's just to much to expect Price to coordinate something resembling compound warfare with a large degree of success.
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archieclement

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Having read the thesis, I'd say that in general, it's...... OK. Just OK.
It guess I expect more from a military officer in the regions of fact checking; he's lucky I wasn't on his thesis review board.

He mentions several times where the border ruffians of "Bleeding Kansas" later became guerrillas, and going so far as to call Quantrill and Anderson border ruffians. I can't agree with this as I believe the border ruffian period ended around 1858 when it was a for-gone conclusion that Kansas would enter the union as a free state. From 1858 to 1861 it was a period of Jayhawker interdictions into Missouri. And I would never include Quantrill or Anderson as border ruffians-they would have both been too young for that time period.

This one is a minor mistake that few would catch; in the summer of 1864 Anderson's band had a battle with the 7th Illinois Cavalry where they kill several of the Illinois troopers. My g g grandfather was in the 7th Illinois Cavalry, and in 1864 his regiment was in Tennessee, not central Missouri. In his order of battle, the author does mention the correct Illinois cavalry unit, the 17th Illinois.

The author mentions a change of Union command in the "Central Missouri District, also known as the Burnt District." No, Central Missouri is about 75 miles east of the Burnt District which happens to be in a string of Missouri counties that border on Kansas. Perhaps the Central Missouri District went as far west as to include the Burnt District, but he should have made that clear.

At the end of the 5th section, the author says something to the effect that it was the guerrilla's fault that's Prices raid was a disaster because the guerrillas didnt work in consort with Price. Then in the 6th section, it was Prices fault that his raid was a disaster because he didn't use the guerrillas effectively. So, which is it? How about this; Prices' raid into Missouri in 1864 was flawed from the beginning, that it was a for long hope of an old man with the meagerest of chance for success, with no hope of holding on to the state for the confederacy if he, Price, had been successful. 200 Guerrillas wouldn't have changed the outcome.

There are several more areas where the thesis is sloppy, including grammatical errors, and I find it remarkable that this paper was submitted in this state.

The paper did, however, support my ideas of the independent nature of the Missouri guerrilla, that he fought not for some lofty idea of an independent country, but for a real world, personal need to protect his family and property, and for revenge.
One of the odd things about pieces such as these thesis, is they don't even provide an estimate of the irregular forces......the main guerrilla forces usually mentioned in conjunction with prices raid concentrated at Centralia......they numbered 3-400 men.......

How much compound warfare could be expected from such a limited force?
 

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
@Dullknife ,
Enjoy
Leftyhunter
 
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Borderruffian

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One of the odd things about pieces such as these thesis, is they don't even provide an estimate of the irregular forces......the main guerrilla forces usually mentioned in conjunction with prices raid concentrated at Centralia......they numbered 3-400 men.......

How much compound warfare could be expected from such a limited force?
Price was using the various partisan bands essentially as scouts and light cavalry . They served the purpose of a force multiplier, not a main battle force.
 

archieclement

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Price was using the various partisan bands essentially as scouts and light cavalry . They served the purpose of a force multiplier, not a main battle force.
IMO the biggest problem with Prices raid was it was at least year to late, the writing was on the wall so there would be no uprising, based on guerrilla and recruiter success it would have had more support in 62-63. But it was to just do something, and letters say it saved Mobile
 
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leftyhunter

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IMO the biggest problem with Prices raid was it was at least year to late, the writing was on the wall so there would be no uprising, based on guerrilla and recruiter success it would have had more support in 62-63. But it was to just do something, and letters say it saved Mobile
How did Price save Mobile? The battle of Mobile Bay was concluded August 23 1864 several weeks before Price's Raid on Missouri.
Leftyhunter
 

archieclement

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How did Price save Mobile? The battle of Mobile Bay was concluded August 23 1864 several weeks before Price's Raid on Missouri.
Leftyhunter
Ummmm because Mobile didn't fall until April 12th 1865 after the battles of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. There is correspondence between Grant and Sherman, A J Smiths division would have launched a mobile campaign after Atlanta if it hadn't been diverted to Missouri in response to Prices Raid
 
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