Rebel Raider: The Life of General John Hunt Morgan

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"The first full biography of the famous Confederate cavalry leader from Kentucky. It provides fresh, unpublished information on all aspects of Morgan's life and furnishes a new perspective on the Civil War. In a highly original interpretation, Ramage portrays Morgan as a revolutionary guerrilla chief. Using the tactics of guerrilla war and making his own rules, Morgan terrorized federal provost marshals in an independent campaign to protect Confederate sympathizers in Kentucky. He killed pickets and used the enemy uniform as a disguise, frequently masquerading as a Union officer. Employing civilians in the fighting, he set off a cycle of escalating violence which culminated in an unauthorized policy of retaliation by his command on the property of Union civilians. To many southerners, Morgan became the prime model of a popular movement for guerrilla warfare that led to the Partisan Ranger Act. For Confederates he was the ideal romantic cavalier, the "Francis Marion of the War," and they make him a folk hero who was especially adored by women. Discerning fact from folklore, Ramage describes Morgan's strengths and weaknesses and suggests that excessive dependence on his war bride contributed to his declining success. The author throws new light on the Indiana-Ohio Raid and the suspenseful escape from the Ohio Penitentiary and unravels the mysteries around Morgan's death in Greeneville, Tennessee. Rebel Raider also shows how in the popular mind John Hunt Morgan was deified as a symbol of the Lost Cause.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"James Ramage was awarded the 2002 Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal for his research of Col. John Singleton Mosby in Gray Ghost and General John Hunt Morgan in Rebel Raider by the United Daughters of the Confederacy." —

"Greatly revises the traditional view of Morgan." — American Historical Review

"A superb and timely book...offering a fresh and balanced interpretation of its subject." — Chicago Tribune

"A model of how deep research and fresh insights can breathe new life into the much-cultivated field of Civil War history." — Civil War History

"A delightful biography." — Journal of American History

"The best biography of Morgan yet." — Military Review

"Morgan emerges as a pioneer in modern guerilla tactics... an intriguing and unsung aspect of the war." — Richmond Times-Dispatch

"One of the best analyses of Morgan's tactics, the armies he raised and the battles they fought." — The Washington Times

"A well-researched biography about one of the Confederacy's most celebrated leaders…. Gray Ghost is a must read for those that have had a passing interest in John S. Mosby, but have never had an opportunity to read about him." — Matthew Rector, Bits and Pieces (Hardin Co. Historical Society)

From Barnes & Noble
Describes the life & career of the Confederate general who harassed the Union for almost three years & won the admiration of the Southern people. "A superb and timely book..."-- Chicago Tribune.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813108391
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,021,093
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hurrah for the Thunderbolt of the Confederacy

    I a very enlightening book on the life and military career of General John Hunt Morgan. Brought many unknown facts as to the personality of the General, the devotion to his wife Mattie, his men and the Southern cause. Excellent insights to the partisan warfare that was so widely used during the war. It brought out the short comings as well as the greatness of General Morgan. A must read book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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