Current Gaming Projects

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri Pt 5

This is another short update on the Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri.  I just finished the second volume which covers 1863.  I am now starting the third volume, which covers January through August of 1864, which covers the period of time before General Price’s failed invasion of Missouri.  The final volume will cover September, 1864 to the end of the war and probably covers a bit of the post-war Missouri veterans and the banditry in the state in that Afterward chapter. 

After I finish reading this series of volumes, I am not sure what I will read, but I will probably get around to reading Sean McLachlan’s Civil War horror novel, A Fine Likeness, which is set in the guerrilla war in Missouri.  Also, Sean McLachlan just recently released the second book for that same series called, The River of Desperation.  So it might be worthwhile break from reading non-fiction, but keeping in the theme so that as soon as I finish those two novels, I will be going back to reading some more Civil War non-fiction as I recently ordered the new book on the Battle of Pilot Knob (my personal favorite battle to read about for the Civil War) by Bruce Suderow & R Scott House, The Battle of Pilot Knob: Thunder in Arcadia Valley.  This really is not a new book, but a revised 2nd edition of the long out of print book, Thunder in Arcadia Valley.  I am looking forward to reading this, but unfortunately it is not available on Kindle.  So I am going to have to read an actual hard copy...sigh.

So, getting back to the second volume, one of the more interesting thing that was covered in this volume was the Union reactions to northern derogation to southern sympathizers.  While there was more than enough examples of both sides committing derogations to civilians ranging from theft, robbery, arson, assaults, torture, and murder, the one thing that was brought up periodically was the Union reactions to their own soldiers committing these derogations.  Sadly, it was not covered in more detail, but maybe due the lack of surviving paperwork as that was an overall problem with the Union documents from this period.  The author points out that a lot of the time the individuals were unknown, but can be pointed towards northern soldiers or civilians who committed the acted because the victim was a known southern sympathizer or they were seen wearing Union uniforms.  However, it should be mention that the guerrillas by this time regularly wore captured Union uniforms to carry out ‘False Flag’ acts, so some of these acts may have been committed by guerrillas or even renegade deserters/bandits. 

It was mention a couple of times in the book of investigating Union officers sent out to follow up on reports of northern derogations and even mention a couple of reports were the Union investigators believed that the criminals were indeed Union soldiers or officers.  It also goes a long way to show that even the Union command realized that there was a serious issue of northern derogation that they armed two EMM regiments of southern sympathizers along the Kansas border, better known as the “Paw Paw” Militia which I was familiar with before this book.  However, things were getting so bad in central Missouri of southern families being attacked by northern criminals that the Union regional commanders requested that they allow the southern civilians to be allowed to armed themselves (at this time, civilians were not allowed to own firearms.)   I found this very interesting as shows that there were some attempts by the Union to protect southern civilians and find the culprits that committed crimes against them.  Of course, there are also cases were the local authority did nothing to prevent it or dismissed charges against those that may have been involved (as they never were tried, it can’t be proven that they were involved.)

This is a much different story from some of the information that I have read on the treatment of northern families in the southern states.  I know that there are now some books that have been released in the last few years that covers the northern sympathizers plights in the Confederacy and I am wondering which one to read that is fairly accurate and neutral.  I would like to see if the treatment was any better or worse than in Missouri.  I suspect that it probably was not as worst in the way of murders and robbery as there was the lack of an active guerrilla war like Missouri, but probably just as bad for civil rights violations.  One of the few things I missed seeing when I was in Texas was the monument to the Treue der Union (Loyalty to the Union) monument in Comfort, TX, were thirty-four German immigrants trying to flee Confederate Texas  were massacred by Confederate irregulars. 

Treue der Union monument, Comfort,TX
I know that I have discussed the low casualties numbers before on the some of the guerrilla battles and how to properly reflect gaming the guerrilla war, it should be more about morale, or to use a modern term, “shock and awe” instead of casualties.   The various game mechanics just don’t reflect the reality of the actually engagements.  I know that most people want to just play toys and “kill” things have games have outlandishly high casualties and everyone has John Wayne morale.  I guess that I am just being too anal about trying to reflect realistic results vs. playing with toy soldiers, especially about the Civil War west of the Mississippi.  I mean, how fun is it to have your most of your force route in the second turn?  (Hey, it has happen to me.) 

So, I am also starting to look into Wild West miniature skirmish rules too now.  I really have not started looking into it too hard yet, but some of the rules sets that I am going to seriously look into are the following:  Dead Man’s Hand, Gutshot!, and Legends of the Old West.  I am also thinking of looking at Peter Pig’s, Hey, you in the Jail!  Of course, I am also going to use the Two Hour Wargames ‘rules, Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory, for solo games and I ordered their Rifles & Rebels for solo unit actions…not that I get to do solo gaming either, but I want to have them if I would ever get the free time.  If anyone knows of some other rules sets for skirmishing for either the Civil War or the Wild West let me know.

Speaking of Wild West miniatures game rules, I started to get back in being interested into possibly doing Wild West skirmishing too.  Well, that and reading about all of the violence in Civil War Missouri some of the northern vigilance committees got me thinking about the post-Civil War Bald Knobbers vigilantes and the one figure that did up as a Bald Knobber.  I am sort of getting an itch to do up a posse of Bald Knobbers for gaming.  I would like to find figures that are mounted and dismounted that look the same for my posse.  I would like to get about six different characters.  I am going to have to look into that more later on.

Bald Knobber that I did many years ago
Also speaking of Western skirmishing, I am just over half way through listening to the unabridged audio book, Border War: Fighting over Slavery before the Civil War by Stanley Harrold.  It is a very good book a covers the conflicts, crimes, laws, and legal battles between pro-Slave and pro-Free State powers in the states that border each other.  It covers the period between the American Revolution up to the Civil War.  There was quite a bit of low level violence and skirmishing long before the Civil War that was never covered in any history classes or Civil War books that I have read before.  It goes a long way to show the reasons that when the fighting broke out in Civil War why the border states there was more horrible violence and derogations between the two factions.   I think that this is a must read book if you are a Civil War buff or anyone that wants to understands the reasons for the Civil War.

Finally, so I was making a list of what I have ordered from Company D and what I am fairly sure that I have from Foundry, so I should have a fairly good mix of forces.   When I was home last, I couldn’t find everything that is listed below, but I seem to remember buying them so many years ago.  Also I got my Company D order, so I am going to do a review of the figures soon.

For the Union:

20 mounted Missouri State Militia from Company D (I need to wait to for dismounted figures, but I have two horse holders to mark where the horses are located when dismounted)

12 mounted & dismounted Jayhawkers / 7th Kansas Cavalry from Foundry

6 dismounted Indian Home Guard from the Foundry’s Delaware Indians

For either side:

24 dismounted militia men from Foundry’s Filibusters and militia packs

For the guerrillas / Confederates:

12 mounted guerrillas from Company D

12 dismounted guerrillas from Company D (including 2 horse handlers)

24 mounted and dismounted guerrillas from Foundry

12 dismounted Cherokee warriors from Foundry

I might order another pack of Foundry’s Delaware Indians to get a 12 man unit of Indian Home Guard until Company D release some so to have every figure different.  I also might order another Foundry pack for the Scalp Hunters with the mounted & dismounted Jim Red Knife figure as I think that he would fit in well with the rest of the Native Americans.  I really need civilians and buildings now.  

Be seeing you


1 comment:

Pete. said...

Great overview sapper- you pick out some very interesting things that I'd love to look in to at a deeper level- sadly just a question of time.

I think that Wild West skirmish rules (with suitable morale additions as you discussed) would work. I think the extremes of morale results you mention would be bad in a one off game but would even themselves out in a campaign (which I think is the only way to really achieve what you want).