Guerrilla Hunters in Civil War Missouri. By James W. Erwin. Illustrated, photos, maps, bibliography, index, 144 pp., 2013, History Press,www.historypress.net, $19.99 softcover.
Most of the books on the guerrilla warfare in Missouri focus on the Southern partisans, men like William Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson.This book attempts to even the playing field a bit and reveal more about the men who fought the more well known Confederate guerrillas.
The author does a good job of explaining the different types of units operating in Missouri.From the beginning Missouri Governor Hamilton Gamble saw that units from other states were not quite suited to the task.There were many slave owning Unionists in Missouri but soldiers from other states tended to treat them roughly because of that.Gamble thought locally raised troops would be more sensitive to that demographic.He sought permission from Lincoln to raise the Missouri State Militia which would replace the poorly equipped Home Guards.The Missouri State Militia would be mostly run by Gamble, and used only for the defense of the state.These units would make up the bulk of the guerrilla hunters.Lincoln also stipulated though that the Union army department commander would also be the commander of the MSM.