Black Flag: Guerrilla Warfare on the Western Border, 1861-1865

Overview

From 1861 to 1865, the region along the Missouri-Kansas border was the scene of unbelievable death and destruction. It was here also that some of the greatest atrocities in American history occurred. Yet in the great national tragedy of the Civil War, this savage warfare has seemed a minor episode. Black Flag is a horrifying day-by-day account of life, death, and war, told with unforgettable immediacy.

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Overview

From 1861 to 1865, the region along the Missouri-Kansas border was the scene of unbelievable death and destruction. It was here also that some of the greatest atrocities in American history occurred. Yet in the great national tragedy of the Civil War, this savage warfare has seemed a minor episode. Black Flag is a horrifying day-by-day account of life, death, and war, told with unforgettable immediacy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One of history's most bitter irregular conflicts was waged in Kansas and Missouri before and during the Civil War. Goodrich (Bloody Dawn) reconstructs its horror through extensive quotation from letters, diaries and reports. He depicts a situation wherein a conflict's original causes gave way to young men who kept fighting because they knew no other way of life. Whether Union or Confederate, they turned the concepts of mercy and honor into grisly jokes as reciprocal massacre, destruction of property and victimization of noncombatants reduced life on the Trans-Mississippi frontier to a Hobbesian state for all. This compelling work highlights the wisdom of the Confederacy's leaders in surrendering in 1865 rather than continuing what would now be called a low-intensity conflict and whose results would have been incalculably disastrous. Photos. (Mar.)
Library Journal
The Civil War on the Kansas-Missouri border was initially fought by Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers, guerrillas from Missouri and Kansas, respectively. Union troops mostly displaced the Jayhawkers by 1862, but the Bushwhackers remained active until Lee's surrender. Historian Goodrich describes the death and destruction the guerrilla war wrought on this region through excerpts from diaries, letters, local news accounts, and published articles, letting the victims do most of the talking. Citing cases that graphically underscore the terrorism, Goodrich captures the fear of the populace. He indulges in a few overly dramatic statements, and a book so dependent on excerpts should have endnotes. Still, a number of recent regional publications on this topic do not achieve Goodrich's scope. This title should be considered for public libraries with strong Civil War collections.-Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. Information Svcs., North Billerica, Mass.
Booknews
A grisly report of guerilla warfare between Union sympathizers and pro-slavery supporters of the Confederacy during the Civil War in the region along the Missouri-Kansas border. Draws on diaries, letters, and first-hand newspaper accounts by bushwhackers and Jayhawkers, soldiers, civilians, spies, runaway slaves, generals, and guerilla fighters. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253325990
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 6.33 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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