Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri 1862 Part 2

So I got a little farther into the book, ( I am now about 75% of the way through it) and ran across more skirmishes that again just blows the whole theory that the southern guerrillas were actually elite, at least in 1862.  Again and again, the Union forces regularly inflicted more damage on the guerrillas, even when outnumbered.  It seems only when the guerrillas grossly outnumbered the Union forces, in the case where 500 men captured a garrison of 20 Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM) men (part-time soldiers); catch the Union totally unprepared as in the Battle of Independence; through trick of disguise by wearing captured Union uniforms which was a new tactic (although some times this was a problem for the guerrillas as they would approach an actual Union patrol thinking that they were fellow guerrillas only to be shot or captured); or finally the momentary lack of morale by the Union commander.  Also, I found it interesting that probably more times, it was the Union forces that caught the guerrillas or southern recruiting parties unprepared.  Time and time again the southern forces regularly failed to put out pickets for guards before going to rest.

Here is one more example of a skirmish at I found since my last entry. I am adding it because I found it humorous in a dark way.

Example of the "uniform" of the majority of the EMM.  Only those companies on duty would be wearing the blue uniform, if they had them in 1862.  The only thing missing is the white cloth band that was normally worn on the crown of the hat or on the arm.
There was a southern recruiter, Captain Crabtree, who went by his self proclaimed rank, "General."  He acted more of a guerrilla than a recruiter while rounding up recruits to take back to Arkansas, as he and his little band terrorized the northern civilians around central Missouri.  In late September, "General" Crabtree was once again back in Cole Country just south of Jefferson City.  One day, "General" Crabtree decided to go and terrorize a specific northern farmer.  The "General" not only stole the farmer's food, as he normally did, but also stole the farmer's wedding suit.  Unfortunately for "General" Crabtree, he stole the wrong man's wedding suit!  It turns out that this farmer was a member of local EMM and immediately set out to round up other members of local EMM after "General" Crabtree left.  Our little plucky band of EMM soldiers tracked "General" Crabtree's forces down to barn where they were relaxing (again, where are the pickets for security?)  The EMM soldiers took them by surprise and badly wounded "General" Crabtree and unknown others.  However, "General" Crabtree and his band escape in the fight.  But the EMM soldiers were determine to end the career of "General" Crabtree (I also have a vision of our hero even more determine to get his wedding suit back). After three days of hunting, the EMM soldiers finally found the body of "General" Crabtree in a cave laying in state wearing the stolen wedding suit!  Unfortunately, history has hidden the name of our poor unfortunate farmer and if he kept the wedding suit after that.  

Another ironic twist to this engagement show how bad the Union military intelligence was in Missouri at this time.  After the killing of Crabtree, the upper command either 1) never was told of his death, 2) was told, but refused to believe he was killed, or 3) knew that he was killed, but never could figure out the name of his replacement, because for the next two years, they accredit "General" Crabtree for what his former command did after his death.

Final note,  I also forgot that Redoubt Enterprise has a small number of Missouri Guerrillas, including some personalities, in 28mm.  Plus the 28mm Perry's plastic should work for some of the Federal troops.  The Rebels would be less so.  But Rebel cavalry officers could work for the southern recruiting officers as they normally wore their uniforms so not to be accused of be a guerrilla if caught.


Cheers,

Sapper

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