WILLIAM C. QUANTRILL’S STRATEGY: THE RICHMOND VISIT

Richmond did not have an overall guerrilla strategy for the national liberation of the Confederacy in 1861. Several newspapers in leading articles had proposed guerrilla warfare to meet the Yankee invaders. Also private citizens wrote to the Secretary of War and proposed arming bands of citizen for warfare behind Federal lines. (1) The result was the creation of the Confederate Partisan Corps, a half hearted measure that was not enough followed up by Confederate military authorities.

In December 1862 Missouri Confederate guerrilla leader William C. Quantrill disappeared from the war scene in Missouri. It has been debated if he really went to Richmond, Virginia, in search of a commission as colonel in the Confederate States Army.

Underneath are two versions of the “possible” visit to Richmond.(2)

Albert Castel

Professor Albert Castel in his book on Quantrill (3) claims that in the middle of December 1862 the Missouri guerrilla leader left his command in Arkansas and traveled with Andy Blunt (4) to the Confederate capital. There Quantrill obtained an interview with Secretary of War James A. Seddon. There is according to Professor Castel only one source for what took place during the meeting: Major John N. Edwards. He in turn is to have received the information from Texas Senator Louis T. Wigfall, who was present during the interview.

Underneath are excerpts from Edward’s account: “Quantrell asked to be commissioned as a Colonel under the Partisan Ranger Act, and to be so recognized by theDepartment…Never mind the question of men, he would have the complement required in a month after he reached Western Missouri. The warfare was desperate, he knew, the service desperate, everything connected with it was a desperate fight.” (5)

To structure the conversation I have made a few changes in the original manuscript in dialogue fashion:

Seddon (S): “War had its amenities and its refinements. In the nineteenth century it was simple barbarism to talk of a black flag.”

Quantrill (Q): “Barbarism ! Barbarism, Mr. Secretary, means war and war means barbarism. Since you have touched on this subject, let us discuss it a little. Times have their crimes as well as men. For twenty years this cloud has been gathering; for twenty years…hates have been engendered and wrathful things laid up against the day of wrath. The cloud has burst. Do not condemn the thunderbolt.” (Seddon just bowed his head).

“Who are these people you call Confederates ? Rebels, unless they succeed, outcasts, traitors, food for hemp and gunpowder. There were no great statesmen in the South, or this war would have happened ten years ago; no inspired men, or it would have happened fifteen years ago. Today the odds are desperate…The ocean belongs to the

Union navy. There is a recruiting officer in every foreign port. I have captured and killed many who did not know the English tongue. Mile by mile the cordon is being drawn about the granaries of the south, Missouri will go first, next Kentucky, next Tennessee, by and by Mississippi and Arkansas, and then what ? That we must put gloves on our hands, and honey in our mouths, and fight this war as Christ fought the wickedness of the world ?…”

S: “What would you do, Captain Quantrell, were yours the power and opportunity ?”

Q: “Do, Mr. Secretary ? Why I would wage such a war and have such a war waged by land and sea as to make surrender forever impossible. I would cover the armies of the Confederacy all over with blood. I would break up foreign enlistments… I would win the independence of my people or I would find them graves.

S: “And our prisoners, what of them ?

Q: “Nothing of them; there would be no prisoners. Do they take any prisoners from me: Surrounded, I do not surrender; surprised, I do not give way to panic; outnumbered, I rely on common sense and stubborn fighting; proscribed, I answer proclamation with proclamation; outlawed, I feel through it my power; hunted, I hunt my hunters in turn; hated and made blacker than a dozen devils, I add to my hoofs the swiftness of the horse, and to my horns the terrors of a savage following….Meet the torch with the torch, pillage with pillage, slaughter with slaughter, subjugation with extermination. You have my ideas of war, Mr. Secretary, and I am sorry that they do not accord with your own, nor the ideas of the government you have the honor to represent so well.”

Edwards states that Quantrill did not receive a colonel’s commission. But Quantrill claimed he received a commission and signed dispatches with the title. He also had himself photographed in a Confederate colonel’s uniform. (6) But there is no documentary evidence of a promotion to colonel in the rolls.

William E. Connelley

There is a very negative book on Quantrill but Connelley. (7) According to Connelley Quantrill left the unit behind the Confederate lines in northwestern Arkansas and handed over command to his 1st lieutenant, William H. Gregg. He wanted to be a colonel in the Confederate army, and, as Connelley puts it “rise in the Confederate world”. He even dreamed of leading the Confederacy. Connelley calls Quantrill blood-mad, insane, a monster, a degenerate and depraved. The book is full of such invectives. According to Connelley Quantrill took with him Andy Blunt and Charles Higbee but accomplished little in Richmond. His call for a black flag for the Confederacy was rejected. Some say that he received a colonel’s commission, others that he did not but anyway bought a colonel’s uniform and had himself photographed with it on. His Blue Springs report was signed “Colonel”. But it is a fact that Quantrill’s men fought in the conventional campaigns in northwestern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri during the winter of 1862 – 1863.

Connelley claims that Quantrill returned from Richmond via Mississippi. He stopped there two or three days at the camp of some Missouri troops on Black River twelve miles east of Vicksburg. Quantrill came to his men, so Connelley, crestfallen and discouraged. He had hoped for promotions and honours and that he had well earned them. He was surprised that the eyes of the Confederacy were not fixed on him and his achievements. He wanted to be a hero and it hurt to think he was not so regarded. He should have been wined and dined in Richmond. But one must remember that Connelley was a harsh critic of Quantrill, and this seems to be part of the efforts to portray Quantrill as negatively as possible. One aspect of the material on Quantrill’s visit to Richmond is the question of the reliability of Senator Wigfall as a witness.

A South Carolinian, born in 1816, Wigfall entered the College of South Carolina but left to enlist at the outbreak of the Seminole War. Returning as a lieutenant he enrolled at the University of Virginia and studied law. Being admitted to the bar he moved to Texas and was elected to the house of representatives of the state and served 1849 – 1850. Later he was a state senator. When serving a second period he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1860. When the War Between the States started he became a member of the staff of General Beauregard and commanded the forces on Morris Island outside Fort Sumter. Wigfall was later instrumental in persuading the commander of Fort Sumter to surrender. In April 1861 Wigfall was commissioned colonel of the 2nd Confederate Texas Infantry and in October the same year made brigadier general.

His service ended in February 1862, when he resigned to take a seat in the Confederate Congress representing Texas. Wigfall served in the Confederate Senate until the close of the war, when he moved to England and remained there for several years. When returning in 1873 he settled in Baltimore, Maryland. While on a lecture tour he died in Galveston, Texas, on February 18, 1874. (8) There is in my opinion in the biography of Senator Wigfall nothing to indicate that he would not be trustworthy as a witness. There was in all probability a Quantrill visit to Richmond.It is then another matter if maybe John N. Edwards made some additions or changes when he wrote his account of the interview with Secretary Seddon. It is generally believed that Edwards used a flowery and romantic style and it is safe to assume that Quantrill did not use the phrasing suggested in the account.

Quantrill’s Strategy

Quantrill’s words might seem very tough, but compared to modern 20th century struggles for independence his views do not seem extreme. A nation and its people really wanting independence must be prepared to fight a bitter struggle accepting large losses in dead (even greater then the actual losses of the Confederacy on the battle field). The Confederate decision to fight as a de-facto nation-state waging conventional war might well have been a critical decision. Richmond could perhaps rather have waged the contest along the lines of national liberation movements of our century. A protracted irregular war could have sapped the strength out of the Union so superior in men, weapons and material. But perhaps Quantrill was a 100 years before his time. His recommendation of a policy of taking no prisoners would have been a breach of the laws of war in the eyes not only of the Union but also of the civilized gentlemen in Richmond.

Such a policy would also most likely had complicated the efforts of the Confederate government for recognition by European powers. The leaders of the South were probably not prepared for a struggle more revolutionary in context. It might, in their view, have hurt the stability of Southern society. The Southern constitutional model did not allow for widespread all-out irregular warfare across all of the widespread territory of the Confederate States of America.

But in reality, in some states the struggle against Federal occupation did take on the structure of a popular war of resistance which could almost be compared to European armed resistance against Nazi occupation during World War II: western Missouri, parts of Arkansas, and the state of Kentucky in 1864. At least parts of the strategy recommended by Quantrill during his legendary visit to Richmond in December 1862 did in effect become reality, but it would have been needed a much larger effort to turn the tide.

Perhaps it would have been possible to achieve peace negotiations. Perhaps not. It would have been a matter of how many dead the North would have find acceptable in ambushes, sneak assassinations, and small engagements, in sabotage and how much destruction of property.

Notes

1) See my URL “Confederate Irregular Warfare 1861 – 1865”, http://www.algonet.se/~jman/csa/
2) I have not had access to any of the books published in the 1990s on Quantrill.
3) Albert Castel, William Clark Quantrill: His Life and Times, New York: Frederick Fell Inc., Publishers, 1962.
4) Andrew “Andy” Blunt (Blount) was killed on 5 April, 1864, by Kansas cavalry. He was left unburied. Blunt, in their view, was not worthy of burial.
5) Castel, p. 101.
6) A copy of the photo was published, when another version of this article was published in “The Vanguard”, Newsletter of the North Texas Brigade, SCV.
7) William E. Conelley, Quantrill and the Border Wars, New York: Pageant Book Co., 1956. Chapter XXII, “Quantrill Goes to Richmond, Virginia”.
8) For more on Senator Louis T. Wigfall see: Manuscripts The collection of Wigfall Family Papers in the Library of Congress for letters to and from the Senator, his wife, and children during the period 1859 – 1874.
The War Department Collection of Confederate Records contain the Staff Officer’s File of Brigadier General Louis T. Wigfall. The Compiled Service Record of Colonel Wigall is also in the National Archives, Washington D.C.
Official Records and Documents
Senator Wigfall’s career in the Confederate Congress can be followed in the Journal of the Confederate Congress and “Proceedings of the Confederate Congress”. The latter has been published by the Southern Historical Society, Papers, XLIV – LII (1923 – 59).
Contemporary Accounts
Louise Wigfall Wright, A Southern Girl in ´61 (New York: Doubleday, Page, 1905).

Special Studies

John T. Trezevant, The Trezevant Family in the United States, Columbia, South Carolina, 1914 (with information about Wigfall’s family, 1685 – 1914).

Wilfred B. Yearns, Confederate Congress, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1960.
Articles

Sarah A. Wallace, editor, “Confederate Exiles in London, 1865 – 1870: The Wigfalls”, South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, LII (Apriol, 1952, pp. 74 – 87.

Alvy I. King, “Emergence of a Fire-eater: Louis T. Wigfall”, Louisiana studies, VII (Spring, 1968), pp. 73 – 82.

Clyde W. Lord, “Young Louis Wigfall: South Carolina Politician and Duelist”, South Carolina Historical Magazine, LIX, April, 1958.

Thesis

Clyde W. Lord, “Louis T. Wigfall”, M.A. Thesis, University of Texas, 1925 (does not go beyond Wigfall’s election to the U.S. Senate).

A search for a mention of Quantrill’s interview with Secretary Seddon in December 1862 in Wigfall material was in vain..

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IMPORTANCE OF HUNTERS: XENOPHON (c. 430 – 354) AND HUNTING AS PREPARATION FOR WAR

Dedicated to the South Carolina Unorganized Militia

Persian tradition regarded the hunt as an essential part of a prince’s education. Rostam trains the heir to the throne, Siyāvuš, “in all sorts of accomplishments” such as horsemanship, archery, the use of the lasso, the art of holding feasts and audiences, falconry and whatever concerned the profession of hunting, the law, the crown, oratory, and generalship (Šāh-nāma [Moscow], IV, pp. 10 f.). The education of the upper-class youths of the Achaemenid period is described by Xenophon (Cyropaedia 1.2.3-16; Anabasis 1.9.2-6) and Strabo (15.3.18). The Persian king went hunting “many times a month” and took with him a large number of young men in training (Xenophon, Cyr. 1.2.9, 8.1.38) as well as other companions (Cyr. 1.4.7). The hunters carried bow and arrows, two javelins, and a short sword (ibid.). The state, regarding the hunt as an education which gave “the best preparation for war,” provided all the expenses of such hunting parties out of the public treasury. The king was “not merely the leader in war” but also the leader in the hunt (Cyr. 1.2.10). His zeal in chasing the quarry or facing wild beasts was not to be surpassed. No one was allowed to throw his javelin at a beast before the king, even if the latter’s life was threatened (Ctesias, Persika). Exceptions might be made, as by Artaxerxes I (Plutarch, Moralia 173D 2; ed. and tr. F. C. Babbitt, vol. III, London and Cambridge, Mass., 1949) and the young Cyrus (Cyr. 1.4.14). Darius the Great once dislocated his ankle in the chase (Herodotus, 3.129), and his famous cylinder seal (now in the British Museum) represents him—in Mesopotamian fashion—standing in a chariot and shooting at a rampant lion, whose mate he has already killed (see EIr. VI, p. 501, Pl. LII). Cyrus the Younger overcame a bear singlehanded (Xenophon, An. 1.9.6), and other kings and princes faced wild beasts in the open (Xenophon, Cyr. 1.4.7-9, 14, 16-24; 3.3.3) or in walled parks (paradaisa > Greek paradeisos, Lat. para-dīsus, hence English “paradise”; Cyr. 1.3.14; 1.4.5, 11; 8.1.38; An. 1.2.7; Hellenica 1.4.15; Oeconomicus 4.13.21; see also Fauth; on the word see Hinz, p. 179). Quarry included lions, leopards, boars, bears, deer, all sorts of mountain sheep and goats, and wild ass (gōr) (Xenophon, Cyr. 1.4.7). Because of the speed of this last animal, hunters employed teamwork: they took up positions at intervals; then one chased the beast at full gallop, and, when his horse was exhausted, another began the pursuit until the prey was brought down (Xenophon, An. 1.5.2). Some Persian hunters used the lasso so well that it became their weapon of war (Herodotus, 7.85).

A more plausible explanation of the gentry feuds, which unlawful hunting often masked, is the argument employed by writers since the time of Xenophon that hunting was preparation for and simulation of war.

XII

With regard to methods of procedure in the hunting-field, enough has been said.1 But there are many benefits which the enthusiastic sportsman may expect to derive from this pursuit.2 I speak of the health which will thereby accrue to the physical frame, the quickening of the eye and ear, the defiance of old age, and last, but not least, the warlike training which it ensures. To begin with, when some day he has to tramp along rough ways under arms, the heavy infantry soldier will not faint or flag — he will stand the toil from being long accustomed to the same experiences in capturing wild beasts. In the next place, men so trained will be capable of sleeping on hard couches, and prove brave guardians of the posts assigned them. In the actual encounter with the enemy, they will know at once how to attack and to carry out the word of command as it passes along the lines, because it was just so in the old hunting days that they captured the wild game. If posted in the van of battle, they will not desert their ranks, because endurance is engrained in them. In the rout of the enemy their footsteps will not falter nor fail: straight as an arrow they will follow the flying foe, on every kind of ground, through long habituation.3 Or if their own army encounter a reverse on wooded and precipitous ground beset with difficulties, these will be the men to save themselves with honour and to extricate their friends; since long acquaintance with the business of the chase has widened their intelligence.

Nay, even under the worst of circumstances, when a whole mob of fellow-combatants5 has been put to flight, how often ere now has a handful of such men, by virtue of their bodily health and courage, caught the victorious enemy roaming blindly in some intricacy of ground, renewed the fight, and routed him. Since so it must ever be; to those whose souls and bodies are in happy case success is near at hand.

It was through knowledge that they owed success against their foes to such a training, that our own forefathers paid so careful a heed to the young. Though they had but a scant supply of fruits, it was an immemorial custom “not to hinder the hunter from hunting any of earth’s offspring”; and in addition, “not to hunt by night within many furlongs of the city,” in order that the adepts in that art might not rob the young lads of their game. They saw plainly that among the many pleasures to which youth is prone, this one alone is productive of the greatest blessings. In other words, it tends to make them sound of soul and upright, being trained in the real world of actual things [and, as was said before, our ancestors could not but perceive they owed their success in war to such instrumentality]; and the chase alone deprives them of none of the other fair and noble pursuits that they may choose to cultivate, as do those other evil pleasures, which ought never to be learned. Of such stuff are good soldiers and good generals made. Naturally, those from whose souls and bodies the sweat of toil has washed all base and wanton thoughts, who have implanted in them a passion for manly virtue — these, I say, are the true nobles. Not theirs will it be to allow their city or its sacred soil to suffer wrong.

Some people tell us it is not right to indulge a taste for hunting, lest it lead to neglect of home concerns, not knowing that those who are benefactors of their country and their friends are in proportion all the more devoted to domestic duties. If lovers of the chase pre-eminently fit themselves to be useful to the fatherland, that is as much as to say they will not squander their private means; since with the state itself the domestic fortunes of each are saved or lost. The real fact is, these men are saviours, not of their own fortunes only, but of the private fortunes of the rest, of yours and mine. Yet there are not a few irrational people amongst these cavillers who, out of jealousy, would rather perish, thanks to their own baseness, than owe their lives to the virtue of their neighbours. So true is it that the mass of pleasures are but evil, to which men succumb, and thereby are incited to adopt the worse cause in speech and course in action. And with what result?— from vain and empty arguments they contract emnities, and reap the fruit of evil deeds, diseases, losses, death — to the undoing of themselves, their children, and their friends. Having their senses dulled to things evil, while more than commonly alive to pleasures, how shall these be turned to good account for the salvation of the state? Yet from these evils every one will easily hold aloof, if once enamoured of those joys whose brief I hold, since a chivalrous education teaches obedience to laws, and renders justice familiar to tongue and ear.

In the one camp are those who, subjecting themselves ever to new toil and fresh instruction, have, at the cost of lessons and exercises painful to themselves, obtained to their several states salvation; and in the other are those who for the very irksomeness of the process choose not to be taught, but rather to pass away their days in pleasures unseasonable — nature’s abjects these. Not theirs is it to obey either laws or good instruction; nay, how should they, who never toil, discover what a good man ought to be?— in other words, wisdom and justice are alike beyond their power. Subject to indiscipline, they have many a fault to find with him who is well educated.

Through the instrumentality of such as these nothing can go well; whereas every blessing which mankind enjoys has been discovered by the efforts of the nobler sort. Nobler, I say, are those who choose to toil.

And this has been proved conclusively by a notable example. If we look back to the men of old who sat at the feet of Cheiron — whose names I mentioned — we see that it was by dedicating the years of their youth to the chase that they learnt all their noble lore; and therefrom they attained to great renown, and are admired even to this day for their virtue — virtue who numbers all men as her lovers, as is very plain. Only because of the pains it costs to win her the greater number fall away; for the achievement of her is hid in obscurity; while the pains that cleave to her are manifest. Perchance, if only she were endowed with a visible bodily frame, men would less have neglected her, knowing that even as she is visible to them, so they also are not hid from her eyes. For is it not so that when a man moves in the presence of him whom he dearly loves, he rises to a height above himself, being incapable of aught base or foul in word or deed in sight of him? But fondly dreaming that the eye of virtue is closed to them, they are guilty of many a base thing and foul before her very face, who is hidden from their eyes. Yet she is present everywhere, being dowered with immortality; and those who are perfect in goodness she honours, but the wicked she thrusts aside from honour. If only men could know that she regards them, how eagerly would they rush to the embrace of toilful training and tribulation, by which alone she is hardly taken; and so should they gain the mastery over her, and she should be laid captive at their feet.

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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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