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Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War Reprint Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0195064711
ISBN-10: 0195064712
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Most important....Imaginatively using the abundant civilian and military sources available, Fellman constructs a compelling analysis of the impact of Missouri's irregualr warfare on the federl military, the guerillas, and the civilian population....Engrossing."--Georgia Historical Quarterly

"A detailed and well-written narrative account of the guerilla fighting in Civil War Missouri....Fellman deserves enormous praise for this insightful look into the complicated nature of guerilla warfare among ordinary Americans."--The Maryland Historian

"The best account I know of this 'inside' war--in Missouri or in any of the other border regions where it flared with lesser but still powerful intensity."--James M. McPherson, The New York Review of Books

"A powerful book, filled with some of the most immediate and unforgettable first-hand testimony available from nineteenth-century America. It brings the Civil War home front to life in a way no other book does, and does so with sophistication and subtlety."--Edward L. Ayers, University of Virginia

"If war is hell, Fellman here opens to us one of its innermost rings: a conflict breaking beyond limits, one in which Confederate guerrillas become brigands and executioners, Union soldiers become purveyors of an identical violence and civilians become helpless victims of all armed men. He depicts with power and persuasiveness an aspect of the American Civil War about which we do not ordinarily wish to think."--Gerald F. Linderman, author of Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War

"An original and significant contribution to the study of American history and culture. It fills in the factual background of a neglected aspect of the Civil War, the guerrilla struggle in Missouri. But in so doing it also illuminates the origins of one of our major myths, the legend of social banditry associated with Jesse James."--Richard Slotkin, Wesleyan University

"Fellman takes readers within the war itself....Inside War strips away the romantic nostalgia that surrounds the Missouri guerrillas on both sides."--The Kansas City Star

"Fellman takes readers within the war itself....Inside War strips away the romantic nostalgia that surrounds the Missouri guerrillas on both sides....A solidly researched, well-written book that gives a balanced account of the most traumatic, terrible years in Missouri history."--The Kansas City Star

"The author provides a model that other historians could profitably emulate in studying other areas and aspects of the Civil War....Inside War makes an original and significant contribution, not only to its field of study, but to an understanding of the consequences paid when law and order give way to anarchy, and civilization yields to barbarism, as they did in Civil War Missouri."--Civil War Times Illustrated

"Fellman...has a both a vivid narrative gift and a respect for firsthand documentation."--The New Yorker

About the Author


Michael Fellman is Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Canada. He is the author of three previous books on nineteenth-century American history.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (April 19, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195064712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195064711
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #919,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By K. Freeman on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a very interesting, useful study of mentalities in Civil War Missouri. It covers guerrillas (by which Fellman generally means Confederate guerrillas rather than Jayhawkers), civilians, and Union troops in all their various permutations.
I found Fellman's scholarship to be generally well-founded, though he is sometimes a little credulous of sources -- there's one case where he quotes an unsigned letter to a hostile newspaper as if it were good evidence for an event -- and he makes some mistakes with events outside his purview (misidentifying Early's raid on Washington as cavalry only). In general, though, I found the research credible.
What disappointed me here was the lack of conclusions. We have description, and some analysis, but the book seems short on results. Particularly in his analysis of the combatants' regular army and governmental reaction to guerrillas, Fellman seems to contradict himself: on the one hand he chastises the Confederates as elitist, perhaps prudish, for disapproving of guerrilla warfare, and on the other hand he makes every effort to show just how horrible such warfare really was. At times, he overanalyzes; I didn't find the characterization of Civil War Americans as "Manichaean" convincing. You don't need to be a Manichaean to dehumanize your enemies in a war.
Despite these quibbles, I found the book valuable, certainly worth looking at for the study of mentalities in a region where war was literally at every door.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Morris on December 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dr. Fellman has shown his expertise in the history field with this book. The author has done an excellent job of bringing to light the guerrilla conflict in Missouri. He has taken a previously unstudied event in history and made it available to all to study and become aware of. Backed up with innumerable quotes and primary documents, Dr. Fellman has provided the reader with undeniable evidence of his arguments and conclusions. "Inside War" is an excellent reference book concerning a specific aspect of the Civil War and can be read and understood by any college level student.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Charles Chaffin on March 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was a rather difficult book to read; not so much from any fault of the author, but rather resulting from an effort to comprehensivly cover a topic for which relatively little is known. I found this book provactive from an emotional point of view; the primary sources certainly make the reader appreciate the devastation that must have occured to the (not so?) innocent by-stander. However, the book suffers from a whopping lack of focus in areas, and becomes somewhat repetitive. In addition, the theses of particular sections are often obscure, as are the conclusions. Despite this, "Inside War" is a wonderful book to read, although I felt that it was stuck in a nether region between a descriptive listing of primary sources and a thesis driven examination.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Missouri Eagle on October 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Other reviewer's have covered this book and what it is very well. I do study Missouri Civil War History and in particular the Guerrilla's (i.e. Bushwhacker/bushwacker). Missouri families and communities did indeed suffer in that we truly had brother against brother against brother,(Union, confederate, and (bushwackers/guerrillas')in many families. Both union and confederate soldiers and sympathizers raided, burned, killed, conscripted throughout missouri. Many towns were literally deserted of people and buildings during or by the end of the war. Fellman is truly one accepted scholar on this area of the Civil war. In spite of my knowledge and experience/research, I found the book a little bit difficult to read for any length of time. So much detail is given (some with questionable 'documentation') that a novice would probably get lost in trying to read Inside War if he didn't already have a pretty good understanding of Missouri, it's part in the Civil war, and the events that lead to the rise of guerrilla warfare here. I will keep this important writing as a part of my references because it is so thorough and I do pick it up frequently in my studies and my own writing about the Guerrillas of Missouri.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on October 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Few have tackled the problem of atrocities on both sides of the Missouri-Kansas border disputes that preceded and continued through America's war between the states. For that reason alone, Mr. Fellman's work is worth careful study. It is a great resource for the historian but not an easy read for those who are not passionate about the subject. The content is invaluable and it is only the difficult reading that takes away from its overall rating. For depth of study, there are few like it and it is therefore very highly recommended for study.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Woodmansee on June 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Michael Fellman is a renowned author and historian in the area of 19th Century American history. He has written several books regarding this era, specifically the Civil War. These books include The Unbounded Frame: Freedom and Community in 19th Century American Utopianism (1973), Citizen Sherman: A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman (1995), and The Making of Robert E. Lee (2000). Fellman received his PhD. From Northwestern University in Illinois. He is currently a professor of history and director of the liberal arts program at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

The Civil War will probably always remain this nation's saddest saga. At no other time in United States history has the country so divided amongst itself. The issue was whether the federal government had the right to undermine the southern state's "right" to own slaves, an institution they saw as the southern way of life. The fighting was indeed bitter in the years 1860-1865, with families often being torn apart as sides were taken up. Innocent people often became casualties of war. Missouri's plight in this war was as bad as anywhere in the country. Missouri remained neutral officially during the war, but was full of Confederate sympathizers in both the civilian population and in the government. To combat this the federal government issued troops to move in and secure Missouri and a state militia was formed. Bands of Confederates both from Missouri and elsewhere performed raids against the Union all over the state; violent abolitionists and other pro-Unionists led similar raids against those Confederates and their sympathizers. Dr.
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