The Regularly Irregular War

Domestic Violation, Women, and Remembrance in Missouri’s Guerrilla Theater The sound of gunfire cracked the morning silence. News […]

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Domestic Violation, Women, and Remembrance in Missouri’s Guerrilla Theater

The sound of gunfire cracked the morning silence. News that another Confederate partisan had been bushwhacked in a barnyard soon broke upon a funeral procession of women decked out in black. If not tended to quickly, the victim, dead or alive, would “be devoured by the hogs.” So the women, as Mrs. William H. Gregg recalled, abandoned the burial of one southerner “ruthlessly murdered by Federal soldiers” and set off to forestall another funeral. They kept vigil over the wounded man all night but he died the next day (27-28).

Even as early as 1861 (the year of the incident described by Mrs. Gregg), this sort of encounter with guerrilla violence on the homefront was becoming common in western Missouri. The banks of the Missouri River here were a stronghold for slaveholders, though they were a minority of the state’s population overall and were never quite able to maneuver Missouri out of the Union. In fact, a clear majority of Missourians who enlisted in the regular armies remained loyal to the Union when hostilities broke out. Within this bitterly divided environment, the unnamed victim in the barnyard could stand for any number of bushwhacked men from all across a state teeming with irregular combatants. Historians generally categorize irregular combatants by their connection to the official war efforts of the Union or the Confederacy. Along this continuum, “cavalry raiders” such John Hunt Morgan or Joseph O. Shelby and “partisan rangers” such as John Singleton Mosby are distinguished from other, less-formal groups of men known as “guerrillas.” Rather than enlisting in the Union or Confederate armies, these guerrillas operated largely outside the formal chain of command. They took to the bush and formed bands to fight the war on their own terms and turf. Guerrillas, irregulars, partisans, bushwhackers, and Jayhawkers (a moniker specifically designated for pro-Union guerrillas from Kansas who occasionally spilled over into Missouri) plied their trade most effectively in isolated settings and domestic locales; in choosing the targets of their violence they typically made few allowances for age, noncombatant status, or culpability. As a result, arson, theft, torture, rape, murder, and massacre became hallmarks of Missouri’s wartime experience.

Violence in Missouri’s guerrilla theater was local and personal. Neighbor turned upon neighbor to settle scores long simmering, and children and the elderly found themselves in the line of fire. Terror dismantled entire communities, uprooted families, and put hundreds of refugees on the road, hunting for safer ground in Arkansas and Texas. Such violence came with long-lasting social and emotional consequences, producing a unique texture of trauma in the region.

Historians have debated endlessly whether the Civil War was the first modern war or the last Napoleonic-style conflict, but they have rarely situated it within a larger history of irregular warfare.

Sixty years after her wartime ordeal, Mrs. Gregg and fellow members of the Missouri Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy researched, compiled, and published Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties. They did so because—despite the success of the UDC in fundraising, policing school curriculums, and constructing monuments—they felt that the wartime experiences of Missouri women were being overlooked. Following the war, as the editors of Reminiscences explained it, they had spent years helping to transform a cause lost, by way of much ink and marble, into the Lost Cause. But that movement, as typically conceived, was not (then as now) designed to accommodate and commemorate the experiences of women like Mrs. Gregg. Instead, the Lost Cause slanted strongly toward a male pantheon of Confederate heroes like Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Jefferson Davis. It honored the valor and sacrifice of enlisted men who went to war not for the institution of slavery but to defend states’ rights against northern aggressors. And it proudly lamented that the Confederacy succumbed only to overwhelming manpower and material resources on well-known eastern battlefields. These narratives left little room for burning homes, for women and children fighting and dying as irregular combatants while their men hid in the bush. The mainstream Lost Cause had little use for Missouri’s guerrilla experience and, as a result, the record of the Missouri Daughters’ own participation in it had been ignored.

Thus, post-war patterns of remembrance and commemoration in Missouri would not—indeed, could not—adhere to those prescribed by the rest of the South. Domestic violation was the cornerstone of guerrilla violence, and it constituted the “regular war” as many Missourians knew and understood it. Unlike the homes of southerners caught in the crossfire in the Eastern Theater, Missouri dwellings were the command centers, communication hubs, and supply depots in this conflict—and so they also became battlefields. Women were in charge at home while their husbands, fathers, and brothers were off fighting; their households were targeted and destroyed while still occupied, the ruins of irregular fortresses. Children, like their mothers, morphed into soldiers, messengers, and spies as their homes militarized around them. In publishing Reminiscences, the Daughters were attempting to catalog a new set of memorial tropes that could better convey the themes of domestic violation they had experienced in Missouri in the 1860s.


"William Clarke Quantrill: The Guerrilla Chief," photograph taken from a tin-type made at the beginning of the war, frontispiece, Quantrill and The Border Wars, William Elsey Connelley, Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1910).
“William Clarke Quantrill: The Guerrilla Chief,” photograph taken from a tin-type made at the beginning of the war, frontispiece, Quantrill and The Border Wars, William Elsey Connelley, Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1910).

Domestic Violation Hits Home

Historians have debated endlessly whether the Civil War was the first modern war or the last Napoleonic-style conflict, but they have rarely situated it within a larger history of irregular warfare. Such a focus reveals the degree to which homes themselves were the constitutive element of the conflict. In any war in which soldiers’ mobility is their primary asset, adversaries will often attack immobile targets: civic and industrial buildings, and homes. For Missouri’s women, the Civil War came to their doorsteps with full force, and it was this experience they hoped to highlight in Civil War memory and memorialization.

In the wake of a Jayhawker raid on Osceola, Missouri, Mrs. M. E. Lewis remembered how many individual homes were destroyed, though her family was considerably luckier than most. “We were very much afraid,” she wrote, “that our house would be burned or catch fire from flying shingles which were on fire from other houses, but it was saved” (55). Others weren’t so fortunate. One Missouri woman recalled how a group of “lawless men” committed thefts and murders in her neighborhood under the “guise” of the Home Guard. “Before committing depredations,” she wrote, “drinking was always resorted to.” Men would be called to their doors at night and shot down without warning: “on Sunday afternoon, these fiends started out and by Monday morning had murdered three innocent men in their homes surrounded by their families” (19). Similarly, Julia Kern recounted multiple deaths occurring around her household. Her uncle, who was blind in one eye, was snatched by Union soldiers. According to Kern, they gouged out his good eye and shot him dead; later, a different man was “found secreted in his mother’s house,” dragged out into her yard, and hanged in front of her (248-249). Still another woman remembered how throughout Missouri, “hostile bands” had set out “burning homes” of all who dared to “side with the South.” These men, she added, were not of the “regular” Union army, but “their deeds were winked at by those in authority” (124).

Guerrillas not only targeted individuals; they also destroyed or confiscated property and the materials of war. For instance, Martha Horne recalled when, in February 1862, “the Jayhawkers came, and hitching up our wagons with the few remaining horses that had not been taken by the Redlegs or the Federal militia, loaded in supplies that we had hauled out from Kansas City for our winter’s use, and took negroes, provision stores and all out to Lawrence.” Horne even alleged that the Kansas guerrillas “dug up young orchards close to the line and reset them in Kansas” and that they “mounted houses on wheels and hauled them over into Kansas” (42). Another Daughter remembered that “families suspected of having money on the premises or valuables concealed were in peculiar danger of being raided upon” during the war (126). But the memories of a different contributor revealed that a well-stocked household could very easily find itself under siege by guerrillas from both sides—regardless of reputation or allegiance. She recounted how her family’s “hospitality, sympathy, and larder as well, were taxed beyond their limit by first one side and then the other.” One night, a group of guerrillas under the command of William Quantrill arrived and ordered dinner. The men “laid their side arms upon the piano and proceeded to get busy.” Less than an hour after the Confederates left, another group of guerrillas, this time Unionists, showed up. “So they, too, laid their arms on the piano,” and ate everything left in the already depleted pantry (236-37).

The physical destruction of houses, provisions, and farms also broke families apart by separating members from the homes, spaces, and objects that bound them to one another. According to Mrs. J. A. Adcock, after guerrillas targeted her family’s home, her family was forced to sleep outside in the brush; once it became too cold, however, they had to abandon their homestead until the end of the war. When they returned, she reported, the entire area was “a desolate waste,” with only “now and then a lone chimney to tell the story of a fire.” She considered her family lucky that the walls of their two-room brick house still stood and provided some semblance of shelter. “The saddest feature of all this war,” Adcock concluded in her essay, “was the breaking up of families” because “not all members of families ever returned” (91-92). Another Missouri woman and her family “were forced by threats, almost daily house searchings, robbed of stock, food, clothing, jewelry, silver—in fact, anything in sight, to give up our dear old home, three miles out from Kansas City.” Even after they moved, the harassment from guerrillas continued. Eventually, the death of the woman’s brother shattered the family: “Our home was broken up, and we, as refugees, were scattered here and there over the state” (236). Domestic violation left permanent scars on the homes and families of women in Missouri’s guerrilla theater; these scars served as an equally permanent reminder of the wartime experience the Daughters sought to commemorate in Reminiscences.


"Bill Anderson," wood engraving, p. 316 in Quantrill and The Border Wars, William Elsey Connelley, Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1910).
“Bill Anderson,” wood engraving, p. 316 in Quantrill and The Border Wars, William Elsey Connelley, Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1910).

Women Gone Guerrilla

The ruination of individual homes and family units was simultaneously a cause and effect of the guerrilla activities of women themselves. In many cases, by refusing to stand by as victims or non-combatants, they brought further destruction down upon their families. Like women in Virginia or Georgia or Tennessee, those in Missouri watched over homes and farms both large and small while their men were away. They fed and clothed themselves and their children and occasionally managed slaves. But the wartime service of Missouri women was also different. Guerrilla warfare prompted these women to stand in for men in ways they hardly could have imagined before the war, and in ways they refused to forget when it was over.

In the guerrilla theater women were not just mothers, wives, or heads of households—they became commanders of family units, real-time diplomats, and even hostage negotiators. Rich Hill resident Mrs. N. M. Harris remembered a pro-Confederate Kansas City banker (whose name is redacted throughout her story) who abandoned his home in 1861 under pressure from local Unionists. The following autumn, the rest of the banker’s family was asleep when a “squad of noisy soldiers” burst through the door of their home. Now in charge of the household and its occupants, the banker’s wife was responsible for communicating with the soldiers and negotiating a resolution that would preserve her life, the lives of her children, and enough of the material goods they required to survive (214-16). Mrs. J. A. Adcock, just a child during the war, similarly recalled how her father’s association with Confederate guerrillas forced him to live in the woods. The move left her mother alone to deal with the angry Federal authorities and prowling Unionist guerrillas that had driven him away (91-92). The consequences of encounters gone awry or failed negotiations with guerrillas were deadly serious; Harris also wrote of a woman “whom Jennison shot for attempting to shield her husband, helpless from illness.” The unfortunate woman was reportedly “crippled for life” and never able to walk again without crutches (216).

When a male relative left home to join the irregular ranks, the guerrilla conflict inevitably found its way back to mothers, wives, and daughters, who functioned as his commissary while he was out fighting in the bush. Mrs. Tyler Floyd, for example, recollected a special mission she undertook to procure cloth, quinine, and morphine for Confederate irregulars. After driving into town—which was itself a dangerous affair—she hid the medicine and strips of fabric in her dress. When stopped by Federal troops, she successfully lied her way through their checkpoint and returned with her payload (105-107). According to the reminiscence of Mrs. S. E. Ulstick, Union authorities often commanded women “not to give food to southern soldiers or Bushwhackers under penalty of death.” Though a widow (her husband had actually died before the war), Ulstick recalled that her house was searched on seven occasions by “drunken Jayhawkers.” The invaders, she alleged, “frequently ran their bayonets through all the clothing in the wardrobe” and with “pistols cocked they asked questions, blowing their drunken breath in my face, cursing the most bitter oaths until I was so frightened I could not tell my name” (35-36). Ulstick and other women took on “the responsibility of getting supplies for their families,” a function that undoubtedly allowed their men and boys to survive in the bush (142). Thus the Jayhawkers were, in some sense, applying military pressure where they knew it would be most effective. They were Sherman’s troops before Sherman’s troops ever lit a match or marched to the sea, waging a war against political will by making households howl.

In addition to serving a crucial military function by acquiring supplies, women also acted as emergency medical crews, pallbearers, and undertakers. After guerrilla engagements women picked up the debris of the battlefield: supplies, weapons, and bodies. Mrs. S. E. Lewis remembered the September 1861 sack of Osceola, Missouri, in which Senator James H. Lane and a brigade of Jayhawkers swept through and burned much of the town in an attempt to flush out Confederate sympathizers. “They [Lane’s men] passed our house on horseback,” she wrote, “their guns glistening in the moonlight.” Rather suddenly, a skirmish broke out; the town’s guerrilla defenders let loose a “tremendous volley of musketry.” Both sides suffered casualties. But when the fighting had ceased and the guerrillas melted back into the brush, they left the wounded and the dead not in the care of a medical corps but in the hands of local women (54-55).


"Jesse James," wood engraving, p. 318 in Quantrill and The Border Wars, William Elsey Connelley, Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1910).
“Jesse James,” wood engraving, p. 318 in Quantrill and The Border Wars, William Elsey Connelley, Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1910).

Where virtually no boundary existed between domestic and military realms, the absence of men from the household created uniquely difficult and traumatic scenarios for women. They, along with their families, watched as men were hunted, shot down, and hanged in front doorways and yards. But whenever possible, they fought back. This resistance was not limited to supplying, caring for the wounded and dead, lying, smuggling, or even spying. From broom to ax to gun to shovel, from charm to venom, women wielded whatever weapons were available to them to defend their families and their homes. Mary Harrison Clagett, for example, described the ordeal of a woman in Callaway County, Missouri, who “stood with ax in hand ready to fell the first one that entered” when a detachment of Union soldiers “swooped down” on her home. The invaders treaded lightly because the woman “was ready for battle inside, armed not with a broom but a dangerous ax” (125-127). Furthermore, Martha F. Horne recalled the trouble that arose after her husband, home from the service, stored a large load of fresh corn in their crib. She saw Union militiamen “helping themselves to our corn without so much as saying ‘by your leave.'” Enraged, she “grabbed a hand ax and a few nails and rushed down, arriving after the men had made off, each with an armful of corn.” By the time a second gang arrived to plunder the corn, Horne had nailed the crib door shut. An officer informed her that he must break down the locked door. According to Horne, she “took a step toward him, drew back the ax over my shoulder and told him if he struck that lock I would brain him.” At that, the startled foragers took their leave and Horne went home sobbing (43-44). Far from helpless, women like these met irregular violence with irregular violence, and they recounted these acts quite proudly in their Reminiscences.

A Hard-Knock Life in Missouri

With their parents and homes so directly entrenched in Missouri’s guerrilla war, the conflict left very little room for children to do the things that children normally do. Homes were not safe places to play; they were not even a refuge to shield children from the traumas of the war. But these children did more than just witness hardships and tragedies. They were rousted from warm beds on snowy evenings and threatened with all forms of violence, from intimidation and theft to rape and decapitation. Thus, like their mothers and other grown relatives, youths in guerrilla-torn sectors of Missouri participated directly in the war in this region.

Age was clearly no guarantee of insulation from guerrilla warfare in Missouri. Children witnessed a breakdown of social and political order in which their mothers, fathers, grandparents, and neighbors were often assaulted and killed. Maggie Stonestreet English wrote that her “bitter memories will be cherished so long as one remains whose tender sensibilities were so grossly violated when all should have been gay and joyous to the free and careless heart of a child.” She then recounted that her “most painful childish memories were of officers searching the house for my father, who was secreted there.” Once her father had been driven into exile, the raids did not stop. Her family was robbed—even of a locket containing a dead child’s hair—and “the house was burned and the plantation devastated” (125). Another woman remembered a young girl awakened by guerrillas in the middle of the night. When she began to cry, one of the guerrillas went to the girl and “holding a saber against her face, told her if she uttered another sound he would cut her head off.” Other girls sleeping in the same home ran downstairs to investigate. “The outlaws,” the woman continued, “turned their attention to the girls” and “using insulting terms” searched them for valuables, “all the while singing ribald songs or telling obscene jokes.” Before leaving, the raiders forced “three of the girls into the yard and marched back and forth in the moonlight, making most vicious threats and insinuations” (214-15). Mrs. J. M. Thatcher was equally terrified one evening when raiders stormed into her house and even threw “their loaded guns across [her] baby’s cradle.” “A young lady,” she recalled, “dared not refuse to take a ride with officers, and one [such] young girl died three days afterwards with a dread secret untold” (250).

But children weren’t always just the victims of guerrilla war—they, too, frequently answered the call of irregular service. In these cases, children were trusted with vital intelligence about family members, put to work in home-fortresses, and when necessary, expected to bear arms when their houses came under siege. Ann C. Everett summoned memories of an afternoon on which she and her two small children had gone to spend time with a nearby neighbor. After visiting only a short while, they “heard the firing of guns and the whooping and yelling of men.” Looking toward her home, Everett “soon saw that it was surrounded by a company of Federal soldiers.” She ran to the house with her children and discovered that a trio of Confederates had been shot there and the Union officer in charge planned to leave them unburied as good “food for the hogs.” Everett and children, ages five and seven, endured a nightlong vigil over the corpses before burying them in the morning (132-35). Another contributor to Reminiscences, Kate S. Doneghy, told the tale of the night she was home alone with her six little boys, the oldest of whom was just eleven. “All at once,” she wrote, “there was a dash and crash” from the outside of the small house. Soon she found her home surrounded by Federal soldiers with “guns and bayonets at every window.” Doneghy answered the door with a baby on her hip and the men rushed inside with revolvers drawn. According to Doneghy, in front of six children, the Federal soldiers told her to get whatever she could out of the house before they torched it. Only the scene of a six-year-old boy trying to save the family Bible shamed them into stopping (186-87). Mary Harrison Clagett recalled guerrillas trying to burn down her house in the middle of the night. When their attempts failed, she prayed inside as they dragged her son, Irvin, out in only his nightclothes and abused him in the yard. Even less lucky was another boy memorialized in the collection who, already in poor health, was “driven from home by threats upon his life” and soon after died apart from his family (126-27). Perhaps more than other memories published in Reminiscences, the recollection of the violated innocence of children underscored how the guerrilla front produced a unique strain of remembrance.

Remembering the Unimaginable

Throughout the pages of Reminiscences, the Missouri Daughters painted the portrait of a war largely unrecognizable to their eastern counterparts. They described a conflict in which homefront violence involving women and children as primary combatants and casualties was commonplace. Missourians’ households were epicenters of traumas that most families had never before experienced or imagined. Residents of Missouri’s guerrilla theater lived and fought through a different kind of war—one that set them apart from other Southerners. By publishing their accounts, the Missouri Daughters were not simply trying to insert their own personal remembrances of the Civil War into the Lost Cause; rather, they produced new kinds of memorial narratives that sorted, categorized, and laid bare their unique wartime experiences. And when critics questioned their intentions, contributor Mrs. N. M. Harris responded with a simple question of her own: “Why? Isn’t this part of the history of the Civil War?” (214)


"Map of Lawrence at the Time of the Massacre," pp. 335-336, Quantrill and The Border Wars, William Elsey Connelley, Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1910). Click image to enlarge in new window.
“Map of Lawrence at the Time of the Massacre,” pp. 335-336, Quantrill and The Border Wars, William Elsey Connelley, Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1910). Click image to enlarge in new window.

Despite their compelling case, the sort of memorial shift that the Daughters envisioned inReminiscences—one that might balance their own experiences with the Lost Cause in a way that could provide some sort of commemorative closure—never really materialized in the South. Indeed, it never materialized even in Missouri. The idea of a war fought without heroic generals and major pitched battles, involving women and children and the unpleasant realities of bushwhacking, never gained institutional traction. To be sure, in the 1920s (and beyond), members of the Missouri Division of the UDC remained prominent as local historians and brokers of Confederate tradition. They helped manage the Confederate Veterans’ Home at Higginsville, Missouri; spearheaded educational programs for children; maintained Confederate graves; and even sent birthday cards to elderly former Rebels. But they were never able to successfully integrate their own experiences into the Lost Cause narratives they helped administrate and disseminate because, in those accounts, women are not damsels in distress or stoic army wives. Instead, they are full-fledged partisans of the guerrilla theater. These women, along with the trauma they endured and the “other” war they represented, were commemorative competitors with Confederate veterans. Thus, Reminiscences threatened the mainstream versions of the war that best suited rank-and-file Confederates everywhere.

Today the most familiar of Missouri’s guerrilla-based memory narratives revolve around large-scale massacres at Osceola (September 1861), Lawrence (August 1863), and Centralia (September 1864). These wartime atrocities involved larger-than-life guerrilla chiefs, massive casualty counts, and a bevy of witnesses who spread fantastic (and often erroneous) descriptions of the violence. Popular narratives also focused attention on Union general Thomas Ewing’s General Order No. 11, which forcibly evicted civilian residents of Jackson, Cass, Bates, and Vernon counties in an effort to stamp out support for Confederate guerrillas in August 1863. The massacres and Order No. 11 are the best-remembered scenes from Missouri’s guerrilla theater because they offer a quick, easily processed glimpse of irregular warfare. Through them, we see the major figures and functions of bushwhacking, but in a form that conveys many of the traits that make the public comfortable with the Civil War: political orders, larger battles, and famous (or infamous) commanders.

Not unlike other collective remembrances of the Civil War framed around Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Ulysses S. Grant, conventional accounts of Missouri’s Civil War history are male-dominated. The usual suspects include William C. Quantrill, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, Senator James Lane, Charles “Doc” Jennison, the Younger brothers, and the James boys, among others. These men are the state’s most prominent Civil War exports, and most Missourians have latched onto them and the narrative they represent. Even in the few cases where women of the Civil War generation have received memorial attention in the form of specified, permanent monuments, such recognition has typically come up well short of commemorating the roles played by women in guerrilla warfare. Consider a monument erected in 2009 in Cass County, Missouri, remembering the “Burnt District” created by Ewing’s General Order No. 11. The structure—a lone, stone chimney—and corresponding placards hint at the domestic nature of irregular warfare in Missouri. But the memorial commemorates the order itself and does not highlight women as actual combatants.

This commemorative “comfort zone” was recently exemplified by a digital reenactment, staged via Twitter, of the Lawrence (Kansas) Massacre on its sesquicentennial anniversary. Under the hashtag QR1863, enthusiasts spent hours on August 21, 2013, producing a minute-by-minute stream of messages designed to recreate William Quantrill’s raid on the city in real time. But while the “tweet-enactment” did include women in its reportage of the massacre (and scenarios in which they faced mortal danger from guerrillas), it failed to provide the context or back story through which women of the guerrilla theater were directly involved in both the staging and waging of irregular warfare. Nor did the reenactment underscore how fervently many women desired to be remembered as something other than the victims of a caricatured, intoxicated “Bloody Bill” Anderson prowling the streets of Lawrence for scalps, loot, and vengeance. Instead, they wanted to be remembered as primary actors—not extras—in the broader conflict to which the Lawrence Massacre belonged.

As we now know, such emphasis on massacres, orders, and leaders actually misrepresents much of the guerrilla war in Missouri. Quantrill, Anderson, and company were all very active players on the guerrilla front, no doubt, but isolating the flashiest exploits of a handful of notorious men tells us very little about guerrilla warfare, or about the daily traumas Missouri’s women and children experienced. Many contemporary Missourians with an interest in the Civil War legacy of their state do have a basic understanding of guerrilla warfare as a “different” type of wartime experience. The same can generally be said of Civil War buffs outside of Missouri. More often than not, however, even a cursory conception of just how hard the guerrilla experience hit the individual homes remains buried in the state’s postwar commemorative strata.

As a result, most Missourians—and Americans, it seems fair to say—are curiously content to recognize the irregular features of the guerrilla war and then to continue to approach its memory and commemoration from a conventional (Eastern, male) perspective. This is a serious problem. Because whether we agree with their original cause or not, the stories of these women and their memories of a war waged from, on, and upon their homes must be integrated into the wider narrative of Civil War memory and commemoration. Otherwise, we will fail to comprehend how regular such irregularities really were in Missouri, and why these women refused so doggedly to forget them.

Further Reading

On the wartime function and impact of guerrilla warfare in Missouri see Joseph M. Beilein, “Household War: Guerrilla-Men, Rebel Women, and Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri,” dissertation, University of Missouri, Columbia (May 2012); Michael Fellman, Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War (New York, 1989); Daniel Sutherland, A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War (Chapel Hill, N.C., 2003); Don R. Bowen, “Guerrilla War in Western Missouri: Historical Extensions of the Relative Deprivation Hypothesis,” Comparative Studies in History and Society 19:1 (January 1979): 30-51; Richard Brownlee, Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy: Guerrilla Warfare in the West, 1861-1865 (Baton Rouge, La., 1958); Robert R. Mackey, The Uncivil War: Irregular Warfare in the Upper South, 1861-1865 (Norman, Okla., 2005).

For specific treatments of women in Missouri’s guerrilla theater see Joseph M. Beilein, “The Guerrilla Shirt: A Labor of Love and the Style of Rebellion in Civil War Missouri,” Civil War History 58:2 (2012): 151-179; LeeAnn Whites, “Forty Shirts and a Wagonload of Wheat: Women, the Domestic Supply Line, and the Civil War on the Western Border,” Journal of the Civil War Era 1:1 (March 2011): 56-78.

On women and the Civil War experience more generally, see LeeAnn Whites and Alecia P. Long, eds., Occupied Women: Gender, Military Occupation, and the American Civil War (Chapel Hill, N.C., 2009); Catherine Clinton, Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War (New York, 1992); George C. Rable, Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism (Champaign, Ill., 1991); Joan E. Cashin, The War Was You and Me: Civilians in the American Civil War (Princeton, N.J., 2002).

For examinations of memory and the legacies of Missouri women and guerrillas see Matthew C. Hulbert, “Constructing Guerrilla Memory: John Newman Edwards and Missouri’s Irregular Lost Cause,” Journal of the Civil War Era 2:1 (March 2012): 58-81; Matthew C. Hulbert, “How to Remember ‘This Damnable Guerrilla Warfare’: Four Vignettes from Civil War Missouri,” Civil War History 59:2 (June 2013): 142-167; LeeAnn Whites, “The Tale of Three Kates: Outlaw Women, Loyalty, and Missouri’s Long Civil War” in Berry, ed., Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War’s Ragged Edges (Athens, Ga., 2011): 73-94.


This article originally appeared in issue 14.2 (Winter, 2014).

Matthew C. Hulbert is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Georgia. His essays on the intersection of guerrilla warfare and social memory have appeared in Civil War History, Journal of the Civil War Era, and Journal of the West.

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