BLOODY BILL ANDERSON – THE SHORT AND SAVAGE TIMES OF A CIVIL WAR GUERRILLA

Bloody Bill Anderson – The Short Life and Savage Times of
a Civil War Guerrilla
by Albert Castel and Thomas Goodrich,
Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1998.

For most interested in WBTS irregular warfare Capt. Bill
Anderson, C.S.A. of Missouri is no stranger indeed. The family
came from Kentucky. One of the reasons for the furious
struggle against Union occupation of Missouri was the
fate of his sisters. They had been arrested near Kansas
City in August, 1863, and jailed. The building they were
kept together with other female prisoners collapsed
and Anderson’s sister Josephine was killed. The collapse
of the prison was one of the reasons for the Lawrence raid
on 21 August, 1863.

Relatively little has been written on Bill Anderson, the
best biography being the short _They Called Him Bloody
Bill – The Missouri Badman That Taught Jesse James
Outlawry_ by Donald R. Hale, privately printed, 1975
(reprinted 1982). It was Hale and his father, Lester C.
Hale, who in 1967 (not in 1969 as it says in the new biography)
placed a government marker on the grave of Anderson
in Richmond, Missouri.

The new biography of Castel-Goodrich ought to have been a
welcome addition to the history of Missouri Confederate
guerrillas. The book provides much facts on the life
of this famous Missouri guerrilla but sometimes the
evidence is treated questionably. There is much speculation
and fiction in the book.

The authors make claims in the book that seem doubtful,
for instance that Quantrill and Bill Anderson were enemies.

Both Missouri and Arkansas did not see many great battles
during the WBTS. Confederate Missouri guerrillas most
of the time operated in commands of between 20 and 50 men.
The technique was to ambush patrols, attack outposts, and
cut communication lines. They were excellent horsemen
and crack shots. The favourite weapon was the revolver and
the guerrillas often carried from four to a dozen of them. Thus they
could keep up a high volume of firepower without having
to reload.

Of Bill’s men most were between sixteen and thirty years old.
They were mainly from Clay, Jackson, Lafayette, Cass and
Johnson Counties.

Those who buy the Castel-Goodrich book about Bill Anderson
should keep in mind that it is more a work of fiction than
of history.

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NÅGOT OM SVENSK RÄTTVISA 1684 – BRÖDERNA MÅNSSONS ÖDESÅR

Avrättningen

Den 28 april 1684 fördes bröderna Per, Sven och Nils Månsson (tre av sju bröder) till en plats vid Loshults kyrka vid den gamla landsvägen mellan Loshult och gränsen till Småland. Här väntade skarprättaren Johan Stifson och hans bödelsdrängar. Pers huvud skulle enligt häradsrättens dom avhuggas med yxa och sättas på en påle. Sedan skulle kroppen läggas på stegel och hans gods och tillhörigheter ansågs förbrukade och hemfallna åt kronan. De två andra bröderna, Sten och Nils, skulle också mista huvudet.

Domarna

Sven och Nils hade i Kristianstad redan 1680 dömts i en rättegång. Sven och Nils hade då dömts till döden och deras bror Olof dömdes till tre års arbete i kronans smedjor. De två dödsdömda lyckades dock fly ur fängelset.

Den 27 februari 1684 hölls rannsakning med Per, Sven och Nils Månsson (de tidigare dödsdömda bröderna hade gripits på nytt). Det skedde i Knislinge och fortsatte den 23 februari.

Efter fortsatta vittnesförhör och rannsakan den 3 och 4 mars avkunnades domen mot de tre bröderna. Det skedde dock inte i Broby utan i Knislinge.

I Östra Göinge häradsrätts dom antecknades att domen skulle överprövas av Göta Hovrätt i Jönköping. Det rörde sig dock inte om en prövning i dagens mening utan var en granskning, för att utröna om häradsrätten begått något fel. Någon försvarsadvokat hade bröderna inte.

Lagen

Den lag som tillämpades var Kung Kristoffers landslag, som hade stadfästs år 1442. Den kom 1608 att nytryckas med en stadfästelse av Kung Karl IX.

I häradsrätten åberopades 42 kapitlet Edsöresbalken (EdsB) och 9 kapitlet Högmålsbalken (HgB).

Man kan fråga sig varför svensk rätt över huvud tillämpades i målet. Vid freden i Roskilde 1658 utlovades från svensk sida att skånsk rätt skulle fortsätta att gälla i Skåne även under svenskt styre. Kung Karl XI hade dock verkat för att svensk lag skulle tillämpas i Skåne och häradsrätterna hade övertalats att göra detta. Enligt Kristoffers landslag gällde i grova saker Guds lag, alltså den mosaiska lagen i den heliga skrift (bibeln).

Edsöre var ett begrepp, som användes av svearna (före medeltiden) om den som det uttrycktes ”förde avog sköld mot kung och fädernesland”. Straffet för brott mot Edsöresbalken var förlust av liv och egendom. Ett liknande begrepp fanns också i götarnas lagstiftning (bland annat Västgötalagen).

I Sverige bestraffades också grova brott med skärpt dödsstraff. I målet mot Uggleherarna innebar skärpningen att deras kroppar skulle spikas upp på stegel vid avrättningsplatsen som varning till andra (så kallad stegling).

Vid förhandlingen i häradsrätten var kronans befallningsman Burchard Hiebener åklagare. Vid granskningen i Göta Hovrätt var de tilltalade inte närvarande.

Bakgrunden

Längst norrut i Glimåkra socken ligger Uggletorpet. Där bodde Måns och Kitta Månsson med sju söner: Trued, Per, Sven, Nils, Erik, Olof och Karl. Våren 1677 hade svenska soldater bränt ner deras torp. Trued stupade vid den intilliggande Kungsgården i Örkeneds socken. Olof hade förts till Kalmar för att avtjäna sitt straff från 1680.

Efter 1677 hade Per, Sven och Nils jagats som vilda djur. De kunde enbart livnära sig genom plundring. Många bönder i Loshult, Örkened och Glimåkra socken hjälpte dem dock. Vintern 1683 – 1684 var kall och snörik. Bröderna livnärde sig genom att jaga i skogarna. Då och då fann de skydd i avlägsna lador och tände eld i markerna för att värma sig.

Var finns brödernas kvarlevor?

Det är inte känt var de avrättade bröderna begravdes men sannolikt skedde det någonstans i närheten av avrättningsplatsen längs gamla landsvägen. Det bör inte vara svårt att med dagens moderna teknik finna kvarlevorna.

I häradsrättens dombok finns en anteckning om att domen verkställts:

Anno 1684 d. 28 Aprilis äre dhesse Trenne Bröder Per, Sven och Nils Månssöhner aff Uggletopet justificerade wijdh Landzwägen emillan Looshult och gamble gräntzen och effter hög. Götha Riketz Hoffrättz ankombne resolution Hwar aff dem på 5 stegell lagde.

Den 3 september 1685 hade kronans länsman i Knislinge specificerat sina kostnader för fångarna ”som blevo steglade vid Loshult.” Räkningen befanns riktig och den attesterades med häradssigillet.

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SOUTHERN AUTHOR WILLIAM G. SIMMS ON CONFEDERATE STRATEGY AND TACTICS 1861 – 1865

Bertil Haggman has recently published a review on a new American book on Confederate strategy 1861 – 65.

Lexington Books is to be congratulated on publishing an excellent book by Professor Jeffery J. Rogers of the Gordon State College, Georgia. A Southern Writer and the Civil War – The Confederate Imagination of William Gilmore Simms, 2015, 209 pages) is a fine contribution to the extensive writing during 2011 to 2015 in the United States on the Civil War. It is unfortunate that it is published so late during the celebrations of the sesquicentennial.

Simms was probably the leading novelist and poet of the South when the Civil War started in South Carolina, his home state. Born already in 1806 during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson he survived the war for a number of years. Although destitute (his plantation was burned down) he continued to write after the war.

Although Simms was a Confederate patriot he did not turn a blind eye to the problems of the Confederacy. He was critical of the conduct of the war by the South Carolina and Confederate leaders. Thus his views are of great interest and as a Southern intellectual he made suggestions in the form of strategic and technical advice.

From the start of the war he produced a number of fine poems, of which I would like to mention “The Border Ranger”. It connected to the ongoing conflict but also spoke of brave frontiersmen protecting their families from the dangers of the wilderness. These dangers of the forest were however transported to the invading Union army.

Before the Civil War William Simms had published many books on the American Revolutionary War in South Carolina. His first work, The Partisan: A Tale of the Revolution, was published already in 1835. It was extended into a series of eight novels that were published during thirty-two years. They all featured partisan/guerrilla warfare on the Southern front of the American Revolutionary war. There were also the biographies of Francis Marion and Nathaniel Greene, both central Southern war leaders from 1775 to 1782.

Writing in the Charleston Mercury he took on a role as military adviser. He was critical of the Iron Battery at Cummings Point on the tip of Morris Island:

It presents too long a plane surface to a plunging fire. Besides the rails are not spiked down. I counselled that they should be spiked, but loosely, so as to allow some working of the rail under the shock of shot and shell”.

Simms’ own design featured a protrusion which would in his view have made it so that no shell or shot could without glancing upward & over, or, if striking in front, beneath the angle, the recoiling into the sands, below.” During the summer and fall much of Simms attention was concentrated on the defence of the South Carolina coast. He warned that there was a danger of invasion along the coast.

It should be noted here that before the war Simms had advocated an Indian style of warfare. He had recommended that the Confederate Army should have ten men in every company. They would be assigned to guerrilla operations armed with rifle, bowie knife and hatchet, These guerrillas would cause terror in the ranks of Northern soldiers. During the governorship of Milledge L. Bonham in South Carolina not much was done to implement preparations for partisan warfare. Governor Andrew G. Magrath, who succeeded Bonham at the very end of the war, even offered a proposal to form a South Carolina guerrilla force to resist “the vandal foe” with every weapon. The ambush ought to be an important tactic against the invaders.

Many men in the beginning of the war wrote to military authorities in Richmond and asked to be allowed to form guerrilla companies for partisan warfare.
The debate on guerrilla warfare and partisan ranger units continued but it was not until 1862 that the Confederate Congress acted. On 21 April 1862 the Partisan Ranger Act was passed the CSA congress:

An Act to Organize Bands of Partisan Rangers.

Sec.1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President be, and he is hereby authorized to commission such officers as he may deem proper with authority to form bands of partisan rangers, in companies, battalions or regiments, to be composed of such members as the President may approve.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That such partisan rangers, after being regularly received in the service, shall be entitled to the same pay, rations, and quarters during their term of service, and be subject to the same regulations as other soldiers.

Sec.3. Be it further enacted, That for any arms and munitions of war captured from the enemy by any body of partisan rangers and delivered to any quartermaster at such place or places as may be designated by a commanding general, the rangers shall be paid their full value in such manner as the Secretary of War may prescribe.

Approved April 21, 1862.

It should be noted that in section 3 of the act were laid down special rules as to arms and munitions captured by the Partisan Rangers. Full value was to be paid to weapons and munitions captured and delivered to quartermasters. This was a powerful incentive indeed to enlist in a partisan ranger unit instead of joining the regular Confederate army.

Soon the attraction of the Partisan Ranger Corps was so great that the Confederate authorities had to prohibit transfer from the line to the Partisan Ranger Corps. By mid-September the records of the Adjutant and Inspector General´s Office in Richmond recorded units in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia of in all six regiments and nine battalions. Partisan units of company size existed in Florida and Mississippi.

In the North the Federal General-in-Chief Halleck, asked a university professor, Dr. Francis Lieber, in the summer of 1862 to make public his views on guerrilla warfare. Professor Lieber presented, as a result of his studies, an essay, “Guerrilla Parties Considered with Reference to the Laws and Usages of War”.

In this essay guerrillas were described as bands of armed men engaged in conducting irregular warfare because of their irregular origin. The Partisan Ranger Corps, on the other hand, was an organization which sought to injure the enemy by action separate from that of the own main army, and by operating in the rear of, on the flanks of the enemy, and against his lines of communication. The partisan was thus part of the army and considered entitled to the privileges of the laws of war, so long as he did not transgress them. Therefore the North, at least on paper, was willing to respect the status of the Confederate Partisan Ranger Corps as belligerents. The Partisan Ranger Act was, however, repealed in 1864.

Compared to a number of other Confederate states South Carolina had few guerrilla/partisan units. Simms recommendations from early in the war were not followed in his own home state.

One can only hope that the new book by Professor Rogers will be followed by more studies of Simms writings during the Civil War.

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N0. 366 CIW CHAPTER 17 VIRGINIA BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

The 8th Virginia Cavalry occasionally operated as an irregular unit (see Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry, Lynchburg, Va.: The Virginia Regimental Histories Series). Further on the 12th Virginia Cavalry in Dennis E. Frye, The 12th Virginia Cavalry, 1989, 2nd edition, same series as above. Also the 16th on occasion operated as an irregular warfare organization (see Jack L. Dickinson, 16th Virginia Cavalry, Lynchburg, Va.: The Virginia Regimental Histories Series). The same goes for the 18th (see Roger U. Delauter Jr.,18th Virginia Cavalry, Lynchburg, Va.: The Virginia Regimental Histories Series). On White’s Battalion see Frank M. Myers, The Comanches (Baltimore, Kelly, Pieland Company, 1871). The 36th and 37th battalions are treated in J.L.Scott, 36th and 37th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, 1986). A volume on Thurmond’s and Swann’s Battalions has been published by Jeffrey C. Weaver, Thurmond´s Partisan Rangers/Swann´s Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Lynchburg, Va., The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, 1993). On the 22nd Cavalry see Jeffrey C. Weaver, 22nd Virginia Cavalry, Lynchburg, Va., The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, 1992). Count’s Battalion is treated in The Civil War in Buchanan and Wise Counties – Bushwacker´s Paradise (Lynchburg: H.E.Howard Inc. 1994)b y Jeffrey C. Weaver. For a history of the 62nd see Roger U. Delauter, 62nd Virginia Infantry, Lynchburg, Va., The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, 1988).

On the State Rangers and the State Line see Randall Osborne & Jeffrey C. Weaver, The Virginia State Rangers and State Line, Lynchburg Va, The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, 1994).

For a complete roster of the McNeill Rangers and further information see the article “The McNeill Rangers: A Study in Confederate Guerrilla Warfare”, West Virginia History, July 1951, Vol.12, Issue 4, pp. 338-387.

Also on this ranger unit see R.U. Delauter, McNeill’s Rangers (Virginia Regimental History Series, H.E. Howard, 2nd edition, 1986).

For unit histories see 45th Battalion Virginia Infantry – Smith and Count´s Battalions of Partisan Rangers (Lynchburg: H.E.Howard Inc. 1994) by Richard C. Weaver, 34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry by Scott C. Cole (Lynchburg: H.E.Howard Inc. 1993) and 64th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg: H.E.Howard Inc. 1992) by Jeffrey C. Weaver.

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N0. 365 CIW CHAPTER 17 VIRGINIA MOBBERLEY’S CONFEDERATE GUERRILLA COMMAND

Commanding officer: Captain John W. Mobberley

As Northern Virginia guerrilla leader Mobberly earned a reputation as the “meanest” Confederate east of Missouri. Originally a member of White’s 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Mobberly ended up leading an independent unit in his own home neighborhood during the war’s last 2 1/2 years.

With Union deserter French Bill and an elusive band of “ruthless horsemen”, he fought irregularly in Loudoun County and the Harpers Ferry area with lightning raids from their mountain hideouts. Mobberly was known for miraculous feats of horsemanship, a very full social life, foolhardy risk-taking and narrow escapes. A comrade wrote in “Prince of the Daredevils”, XXVII Confederate Veteran 288, that this young man was the bravest of the brave, and probably personally killed more Yankee soldiers than any man in Lee’s army. Though reviled by Unionists as an illiterate, illegitimate bandit, no gentleman, and perhaps a Jew, Mobberly was “mourned as a romantic hero” by impressive crowds of Confederate ladies when “assassinated” at the war’s end.

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N0. 364 CIW CHAPTER 17 VIRGINIA WHITE’S CONFEDERATE GUERRILLA COMMAND

Commander: Captain (?) White

The command operated in the South Branch and Shenandoah Valley areas.

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N0. 363 CIW CHAPTER 17 VIRGINIA FOLEY’S CONFEDERATE FLAT TOP COPPERHEADS (151ST VIRGINIA MILITIA, CO F)

Commanding officer: Capt. Richard B. Foley

This unit was organized by Richard B. Foley of Flat Top in August 1861 in Mercer County of what is now West Virginia. This Home Guard unit also known as Co. F of the 151st Confederate Virginia Militia, scouted for the Confederate States Army and participated in the Battle of Clark House, Mercer County, on May 1, 1862, in which Captain Foley was wounded in the shoulder. This wound never healed properly and eventually was the cause of his death.

The Confederate force in that battle was led by Major Henry Fitzhugh. The Federal forces were part of General Jacob B. Cox Ohio command. In the Federal forces Lt. Col. Rutherford B. Hayes (the future 19th President of the United States, 1877-1881) was commanding.

When reorganized in March 1862 the men of Captain Foley took this oath:

”We, the undersigned do hereby constitute ourselves into a company of guerrillas, known by the name of Flattop Copperheads, for the purpose of defending our immediate country, and western Va., against the invasion of the Yankeys (sic). We bind our selves by every obligation of honor and paternage, to obey the command of our officers, and be true and faithful to the Confederate States of America, and to be true to our selves and families, and serve for the during term of six months except sooner discharged. March 28th 1862.”

Before the Clark House battle the Flat Top Copperheads were hidden in the forest at Camp Creek and protected by darkness they before sunup converged with other companies on the Clark House, where Union troop under Lt. Botsford of the 23rd Ohio had barricaded themselves. His force was part of a Federal regiment originally stationed in Raleigh County, but now on the offensive. After some fighting the Confederates gained the upper hand and were preparing to storm when Yankee reinforcments appeared led by Lt. Col. Hayes and opened fire. The Confederates had to retreat.

Captain Richard B. Foley was born in Patrick County, Virginia, in 1818. In 1848 he married Parshandatha McAlexander and they had ten children. The family moved to Flat Top, Mercer County, where they had purchased land. After the war Foley was Mercer County Clerk from 1873 to 1879. He died in 1882 and is buried on his home place on Flat Top Mountain. A military marker was erected in 1988.

Information on this little known Confederate unit for protection of home and land (designating themselves guerrillas) has been provided by 1st Lt. Commander Richard D. Lockhart of SCV ”Flat Top Copperheads” Camp # 1694, who is related to Captain Foley via his daughter.

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