Inside War
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Inside War : The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War

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Description

During the Civil War, the state of Missouri witnessed the most widespread, prolonged, and destructive guerrilla fighting in American history. With its horrific combination of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and swift and bloody raids on farms and settlements, the conflict approached total war, engulfing the whole populace and challenging any notion of civility. Michael Fellman's Inside War captures the conflict from "inside," drawing on a wealth of first-hand evidence, including letters, diaries, military reports, court-martial transcripts, depositions, and newspaper accounts. He gives us a clear picture of the ideological, social, and economic forces that divided the people and launched the conflict. Along with depicting how both Confederate and Union officials used the guerrilla fighters and their tactics to their own advantage, Fellman describes how ordinary civilian men and women struggled to survive amidst the random terror perpetuated by both sides; what drove the combatants themselves to commit atrocities and vicious acts of vengeance; and how the legend of Jesse James arose from this brutal episode in the American Civil War.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0195064712
  • 9780195064711
  • 1,295,277

About Michael Fellman

Michael Fellman is Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Canada. He is the author of three previous books on nineteenth-century American history.show more

Back cover copy

During the Civil War, the state of Missouri witnessed the most wide spread, prolonged, and destructive guerrilla fighting in American history. With its horrific combination of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and swift and bloody raids on farms and settlements, the conflict approached total war, engulfing the whole populace and challenging any notion of civility.show more

Review quote

Strips away the romantic nostalgia that surrounds the Missouri guerillas on both sides. * orld News Features * A detailed and well-written account of the guerilla fighting in Civil War Missouri...deserves enormous praise for this insightful look into the complicated nature of guerrilla warfare among ordinary Americans. * The Maryland Historian * Fellman utilizes a vast number of letters, diaries, depositions, court transcripts, memoirs, and other primary sources to produce a vivid picture of 'ordinary Americans caught inside the Civil War....Fellman's chilling account captures the anxiety, terror, and brutality of the sustained guerilla conflict better than any other book on the Civil War....An enlightening if disturbing study of the dark underside of the Civil War."-The Journal of Military History One of the finest of the recent parade of studies of the experience of the common men and women of the Civil War era. This book will disturb you. * Western Historical Quarterly * This is an important book that will stimulate thought and controversy....Fellman mines a vast array of diaries, letters, depositions to military police, courtmartial transcripts, and military reports. Nowhere else will one find a more comprehensive assemblage of reactions to guerrilla warfare than in these pages, and his chapter on women is a major contribution. * Civil War History * An important book that will stimulate thought and controversy....Nowhere else will one find a more comprehensive assemblage of reactions to guerrilla warfare than in these pages. * Civil War History * The best full-scale analysis of guerrilla fighting in any state during the Civil War. * Choice * Fellman...has a both a vivid narrative gift and a respect for firsthand documentation. * The New Yorker * The author provides a model that other historians could profitably emulate in studying other areas and aspects of the Civil War....Inside War makes an original and significant contribution, not only to its field of study, but to an understanding of the consequences paid when law and order give way to anarchy, and civilization yields to barbarism, as they did in Civil War Missouri. * Civil War Times Illustrated * Fellman takes readers within the war itself....Inside War strips away the romantic nostalgia that surrounds the Missouri guerrillas on both sides....A solidly researched, well-written book that gives a balanced account of the most traumatic, terrible years in Missouri history. * The Kansas City Star * Fellman takes readers within the war itself....Inside War strips away the romantic nostalgia that surrounds the Missouri guerrillas on both sides. * The Kansas City Star * An original and significant contribution to the study of American history and culture. It fills in the factual background of a neglected aspect of the Civil War, the guerrilla struggle in Missouri. But in so doing it also illuminates the origins of one of our major myths, the legend of social banditry associated with Jesse James. * Richard Slotkin, Wesleyan University * If war is hell, Fellman here opens to us one of its innermost rings: a conflict breaking beyond limits, one in which Confederate guerrillas become brigands and executioners, Union soldiers become purveyors of an identical violence and civilians become helpless victims of all armed men. He depicts with power and persuasiveness an aspect of the American Civil War about which we do not ordinarily wish to think. * Gerald F. Linderman, author of Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War * A powerful book, filled with some of the most immediate and unforgettable first-hand testimony available from nineteenth-century America. It brings the Civil War home front to life in a way no other book does, and does so with sophistication and subtlety. * Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia * The best account I know of this 'inside' war * in Missouri or in any of the other border regions where it flared with lesser but still powerful intensity. * A detailed and well-written narrative account of the guerilla fighting in Civil War Missouri....Fellman deserves enormous praise for this insightful look into the complicated nature of guerilla warfare among ordinary Americans. * The Maryland Historian * Most important....Imaginatively using the abundant civilian and military sources available, Fellman constructs a compelling analysis of the impact of Missouri's irregualr warfare on the federl military, the guerillas, and the civilian population....Engrossing. * Georgia Historical Quarterly *show more

Rating details

51 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 35% (18)
4 41% (21)
3 18% (9)
2 6% (3)
1 0% (0)
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