American Civil War Guerrilla Tactics
by Sean McLachlan, Osprey
Confined largely to the sidelines and Western frontier regions of the embattled United States, the horse-riding guerrillas of the Civil War, North and South, had little strategic impact on the conflict’s outcome. But they did affect morale, thanks to their sometimes spectacular exploits, notable at some points for their brilliance and at others for their ruthlessness.
In this addition to Osprey’s “Elite” series, Sean McLachlan explores the partisan fighting in Bleeding Kansas, operations by irregular cavalry and mounted infantry in the Confederate Bushwhackers and Unionist Jayhawkers in Missouri, and the tactics of independent commanders such as John Hunt Morgan, John Singleton Mosby and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
He also looks at Union countermeasures. McLachlan goes on to survey the war’s aftermath for surviving guerrillas, some of whom continued on as Ku Klux Klansmen or, in the case of the James and Younger brothers, as outlaws.
Originally published in the February 2011 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here.