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Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy

The aim of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the book Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy by Richard S . Brownlee . The major thematic preoccupation of the book is the history of guerilla warfare in the territory of Missouri during the Civil War .Missouri is notorious for its controversial role in the Civil War : being a border state , it was sending people and resources to both Union Army and Confederate Army . The situation was further complicated by the skirmishes between groups of irregulars in the northern part of the state , which later developed into full-scale guerilla warfare .The book ‘s name origins from the nickname of John Singleton Mosby , also known as Gray Ghost , a Confederate guerilla fighter and leaders of the Mosby ‘s Rangers . The word `Ghosts ‘ used in plural signifies the author ‘s desire to emphasize that Mosby was by far not the only prominent Confederate guerrilla leader .The book ‘s importance is amplified by the fact that the role of guerilla fighters in the Civil War is often underestimated , thus this thematic area is still underresearched . The book relies on a variety of credible sources . The author cites newspaper articles of those times as well as testimonies of people who witnessed or participated in the aforementioned events . He also uses scholarly secondary sources , such as Missouri Historical Review and government publications , in order to provide the reader with a comprehensive account of the historical developments of that era .The author attempts to analyze the historical relations between Confederate guerillas , Union partisans , and authority representatives on both sides . Since guerillas operated independently and almost without any official affiliation , they were free to choose their own agendas and choose means to accomplish their aims . Numerous atrocities were taking place , and the author cannot help condemning unnecessary cruelty ,especially towards non-combatant population :`Here there was ambush , arson , execution and murder warfare without rules , law or quarter . Thousands of innocent Missourians and Kansans were to pay a bloody and ruinous price for the intemperate prewar acts of a few radical men (Brownlee , 1984 , p .2 .Ambush tactics employed by the guerillas bred the feeling of pervasive insecurity and devastated relations between communities , friends , or even relatives . The author succeeds in painting the picture of a state town apart by different groups supporting different causes and trying to accomplish their own goals . In this regard , Missouri was representative of the whole country , which was also sharply divided in two enemy camps .At the same time , the author points out that many fighters preferred not to take sides but simply use guerilla methods to avenge for government ‘s wrongdoings .The author also tries to investigate cause-and-effect links between historical events of those times . The book shows how tense relations between Missouri and Kansas contributed to the advent of guerilla warfare and influenced the course of the Civil War . The author also showed how the military government ‘s ignorance of the civil law and suppression of the people ‘s rights and freedoms…

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