Guerillas in Civil War Missouri

CREATED Mar. 14, 2012

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Guest: James W. Erwin

During the Civil War, Missouri was in constant turmoil from raids by heavily armed bands of marauders loosely affiliated with the Confederate army. Federal troops fought more than one thousand battles in Missouri--mostly with guerrillas. But these numbers mask the level of violence because they do not include attacks on civilians. Ordinary persons felt the dread of uncertainty when riders approached their homes. Were they Union soldiers or guerrillas in blue coats taken off soldiers they had ambushed? Sometimes it did not matter. Entire counties were given up to destruction because both sides were willing to turn to guns and torches if their demands for supplies and information were not met.

Listen to Nick's interview with James.

This author was featured on KSGF Mornings with Nick Reed on Thursday, March 29th.