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A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War
     

A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War

by Daniel E. Sutherland
 

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While the Civil War is famous for epic battles involving massive armies engaged in conventional warfare, A Savage Conflict is the first work to treat guerrilla warfare as critical to understanding the course and outcome of the Civil War. Daniel Sutherland argues that irregular warfare took a large toll on the Confederate war effort by weakening support for

Overview

While the Civil War is famous for epic battles involving massive armies engaged in conventional warfare, A Savage Conflict is the first work to treat guerrilla warfare as critical to understanding the course and outcome of the Civil War. Daniel Sutherland argues that irregular warfare took a large toll on the Confederate war effort by weakening support for state and national governments and diminishing the trust citizens had in their officials to protect them.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A remarkable book based on stunningly exhaustive archival research . . . . Both lay readers and scholars will find this work indispensable in understanding the true nature and complexity of America's Civil War.--The Historian

Sutherland offers a near encyclopedic survey of Confederate use of guerilla tactics and of Union efforts to combat them. . . . [His book] powerfully underscore[s] the ugliness and moral complexity of the uncivil war that divided Americans between 1861 and 1865.--American Historical Review

Sutherland's solid scholarship dispels the resilient image of guerrillas as colorful ancillaries of the 'real war' and integrates them into the broader narrative of the period. . . . An extremely valuable book.--Journal of American History

The most comprehensive analysis of Civil War guerrilla warfare to date. . . . Intriguing. . . . Will surely captivate general readers and seasoned academics alike, as well as undergraduate and graduate students.--West Virginia History

The author's narrative style is neither pedantic nor theatrical, and probably about right for a scholarly work accessible to the public. . . . An excellent foundational work valuable to the Civil War or Irregular War historian, and a high mark for other scholars to match.--Military History of the West

An impressive new study of the impact of guerrilla warfare on the course of the American Civil War.--Indiana Magazine of History

[A] very strong analysis of guerrilla warfare that is pertinent to counterinsurgency operations today. . . . Provide[s] excellent analysis.--Journal of Military History

Perhaps the most comprehensive analysis of guerrilla warfare during the Civil War to date. . . . Well written and exhaustively researched. . . . Specialists and enthusiasts of the Civil War will enjoy this book as it is an excellent addition to any Civil War library.--On Point

A comprehensive survey, well written and very readable. . . . A needed view of the war that is seldom seen.--TOCWOC: A Civil War Blog

The most comprehensive investigation of the topic to date. . . . Sutherland's impeccably researched study is long overdue and certain to become essential reading for anyone attempting to understand the effect of guerrillas on the Civil War and especially on Confederate defeat.--Virginia Magazine

Sutherland places the 'Gray Ghost,' John Singleton Mosby; John Hunt Morgan; 'Bloody Bill' Anderson; bushwhackers; Red Legs; and jayhawkers, among many others, in the larger context of the 'irrepressible conflict' in this wide-ranging account.--Choice

Provides comparative analysis of the forces that motivated guerrilla operations, along with analysis of their effectiveness, in a chronological timeframe that is inclusive of virtually all regions of the nation. . . . Simply a banquet for Civil War buffs eager to learn more. . . . Written in engaging prose abundantly sprinkled with exciting anecdotes, this book will be useful to the scholar just as it will entertain the general reader. Skillfully constructed to educate, rather than pontificate, Sutherland's study raises the bar of Civil War scholarship.--H-Net Reviews

A book no serious student of the Civil War can do without.--Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Sutherland largely eschews the salacious rendering of individual acts of violence, choosing rather to bring sense and order to a tumultuous chapter of Civil War historiography.--North Carolina Historical Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469606880
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
02/01/2013
Series:
Civil War America Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
456
Sales rank:
735,510
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Sutherland argues that the Civil War cannot be truly understood unless one examines the brutal guerrilla fighting that spread across the Confederacy and even into the Midwest. In scope and breadth, A Savage Conflict approaches the encyclopedic, stretching from Florida to Iowa. There is nothing like it in Civil War studies.--Kenneth W. Noe, Auburn University

Meet the Author

Daniel E. Sutherland is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. He is author or editor of thirteen books, including Guerrillas, Unionists, and Violence on the Confederate Home Front.

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