Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri" 1862 and 1863 volumes reissued

It's possible that no single person knows more about ground level guerrilla violence across the entire geographical sweep of Missouri during the Civil War than Bruce Nichols.  Expensive hardcover editions of his two books remain available both new and used, but reasonably priced (the $25 price tag constituting a nice departure from the publisher's norm) paperback editions of  Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri, 1862 and Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri, 1863 have just been released. In nature, both books are better categorized as reference works (organized by season and geographical quadrant) than narrative histories. Nichols's research is impeccable and he does not glorify the exploits of bushwhackers nor does he get hung up on the most notorious of the bunch. Instead he's searched the literature and archives high and low in a mission to describe as many instances of guerrilla violence as possible, located in every nook and cranny of the state. It's my understanding that the third volume will combine 1864 and 1865, but I have no idea of its progress toward publication.


  1. I'm waiting for this 1864+ one. Bruce Nichols' books are my standard reference when trying to piece together what was happening in Missouri at any given time.

    Unfortunately, his 1862 and 1863 works seem underappreciated to me. Perhaps it is because he doesn't try to glorify the guerrillas?

    Once he is done I would like to see him summarize how many casualties and of what type, he has recorded based on his survey. I might try my hand ad classifying and compiling this.


    1. Red,
      I wanted to review the first book for one of the CW magazines, only to be told by the editor that the book was considered "dreadful" and wouldn't be reviewed. I found that dismissal of the work dismaying to say the least.

      Your last paragraph is intriguing. Some kind of analytical work that 'puts it all together' would be enormously useful, and Nichols would be a great candidate to do it.


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