Yank and Rebel Rangers: Special Operations in the American Civil War

Yank and Rebel Rangers: Special Operations in the American Civil War

by Robert W Black


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The American internal war of 1861-65 was not civil. Those fighting for the Union called it the “War of the Rebellion” while the Confederacy viewed it as the “War of Yankee Aggression” or the “Second War of Independence." Armies fought great, sweeping battles over vast distances and are well recorded – Antietam, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg - but in the seams of the battlefield another, and much less known or publicized, war raged. Both the Union and the Confederacy employed small forces of bold and highly motivated soldiers for special operations behind enemy lines. Skilled in infiltration – sometimes disguising themselves as rural mail carriers - these warriors deftly scouted deep into enemy territory, captured important personnel, disrupted lines of communication and logistics, and sowed confusion and fear. Often wearing the uniform of the enemy, they faced execution as spies if captured. Despite these risks, and in part because of them, these warriors fought and died as American rangers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526744449
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 05/17/2019
Sales rank: 511,241
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Colonel Robert W. Black is a decorated US Army Ranger who fought in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Originally assigned to the 82nd Airborne, Black volunteered for the 8th Airborne Ranger Company and served as a Browning Automatic Rifle gunner in Korea.

In 1966 he was assigned to Military Advisory Command, Vietnam (MACV). Together with his Korean War experience Colonel Black saw combat actions in eight campaigns. Twice awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, he holds the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars (two for valor), the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and the Vietnam Cross of Honor.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Prologue ix

Preface xi


Opening Moves 3

Coming of Age 9

Part 1 The Rebels

Chapter 1 The Moccasin Rangers 23

Chapter 2 The Hatfields and the McCoys 27

Chapter 3 The Thurmond Brothers 29

Chapter 4 The Iron Scouts 33

Chapter 5 The Border Rangers 37

Chapter 6 John D. Imboden 39

Chapter 7 Turner Ashby 41

Chapter 8 Harry Gilmor 79

Chapter 9 Elijah V. White and the Comanchcs 131

Chapter 10 John Hanson 'Hanse' and Jesse McNeill 183

Chapter 11 The St Albans Raid 209

Chapter 12 Bushwhacker, Ranger and Guerrilla Bands 219

Chapter 13 The Raid to Bum New York City 227

Part 2 Yank Rangers

Chapter 14 Ranger Abraham Lincoln 243

Chapter 15 Loudoun Rangers 249

Chapter 16 The Snake-Hunters 261

Chapter 17 The Swamp Dragons 265

Chapter 18 Grant's Ranger 267

Chapter 19 Scouts 273

Chapter 20 Rangers and Indians 277

Chapter 21 The Blazer Scouts 283

Chapter 22 The Jessie Scouts 289

Chapter 23 Henry Harrison Young and Sheridan's Scouts 295

Epilogue 329

Endnotes 331

Bibliography 345

Index 351

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