restricted access Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War (review)
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BOOK REVIEWS187 opinion also complained that able-bodied provost officers should be at the front and, while the author points to exceptions, his evidence indicates that a number of men did spend much of the war in "bombproof" positions. The treatment of martial law in the Confederacy's cities includes much colorful anecdotal material. The notes for this and other aspects are blessedly placed at the bottoms of pages. Among the illustrations is a striking portrait of John H. Winder who "seems to have functioned as defacto provost marshal general of the Confederate States of America" (33) but to whose position the author sometimes refers without that qualification. Useful to students of several aspects of history, including genealogy, is an appendix listing and providing specifics on over three hundred men whom Radley's sources showed as functioning at some time as provost guards. (Necessarily incomplete, the list omits such a well-known officer as Winder's subordinate Thomas P. Turner, who served as Provost Marshal of Lynchburg in 1862 and as commander of Richmond's prisons during much of the war.) Another appendix lists units which did provost duty, with a fair amount of detail on the activities of several. Withal, this is a book which will be very valuable to a specialized readership. Some aspects are likely to appeal to almost anyone interested in the Civil War. Frank L. Byrne Kent State University Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War. By Michael Fellman. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Pp. 352. $24.95.) This is an important book that will stimulate thought and controversy. Michael Fellman seeks nothing less than to capture the essence of guerrilla conflict in Missouri as experienced by combatants, civilians, and Union and Confederate authorities. He wants to describe "the ways in which ordinary nineteenth-century Americans, civilians as well as soldiers, experienced war, not just in terms of behavior but also in terms of inner responses" (xix). According to Fellman, all participants suffered stress unusual for even wartime conditions because the Missouri conflict was "a 'natural,' popular war rather than a planned disciplined one. The rules of conflict grew directly out of local circumstances and bore little relation to the history and traditions of martial order or to the dream of a Christian Confederacy. Little remained under control, little remained forbidden" (vi). In his search for how and why individuals responded to guerrilla war, Fellman mines a vast array of diaries, letters, depositions to military police, courtmartial transcripts, and military reports. Nowhere else will one find a more comprehensive assemblage of reactions to guerrilla 188erra war history warfare than in these pages, and his chapter on women in the war is a major contribution. Quoting frequently, Fellman skillfully weaves primary material into the fabric of his interpretation. He concludes that individuals lived in terror, and desired justice and security above all else. They drew upon their religious heritage to justify their actions and to explain their circumstances, told 'survival lies,' sought revenge against their enemies, were sometimes numbed by what they experienced, and sometimes panicked and fled from such chaotic conditions. Fellman's approach causes some repetition, but more importantly, produces a book that fails to suggest change in the intensity of experience over time and in different parts of the state, although the bulk of his examples come from the years 1863 and 1864, and many of them come from western and central Missouri. This static quality and these broad generalizations cry out for substantiation, and make the interpretation open to question. Statements such as "Though eventually most rural Missourians did become war refugees. . . " (49) and "Lynching of blacks commenced in Missouri at the end of the war" (70) without any footnotes or further commentary leave the reader wondering. Fellman also fails to get some of the little things right. The towns of Sedalia and Forsyth and the county of Nodaway are misspelled, and Sarcoxie, another town, is mislocated (chapter 3, note 104), as are Chariton county (27) and Reynolds county (placed by the author in both southwest [27] and southeast [234] Missouri). John C. Breckinridge's last name is also misspelled (5), and A. J. McRoberts (49...