Yank and Rebel Rangers (Hardback)
Special Operations in the American Civil War
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The American internal war of 1861-65 was not civil. Those fighting for the Union called it the “War of the Rebellion” while the Confederacy viewed it as the “War of Yankee Aggression” or the “Second War of Independence”. Armies fought great, sweeping battles over vast distances and are well recorded – Antietam, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg - but in the seams of the battlefield another, and much less known or publicized war raged. Both the Union and the Confederacy employed small forces of bold and highly motivated soldiers for special operations behind enemy lines. Skilled in infiltration – sometimes disguising themselves as rural mail carriers - these warriors deftly scouted deep into enemy territory, captured important personnel, disrupted lines of communication and logistics, and sowed confusion and fear. Often wearing the uniform of the enemy, they faced execution as spies if captured. Despite these risks, and in part because of them, these warriors fought and died as American rangers.
As featured on Civil War Books and AuthorsCivil War Books and Authors
As featured byVaeVictis - n° 144 - mars/avril 2019
Black (The Battalion), a veteran of the U.S. Army Rangers, extrapolates a lineage of the special forces group back to the American Civil War in this accessible history. The book focuses primarily on those who led Confederate units that performed missions behind the lines of conventional armies, harassing and impeding operations, such as Confederate cavalry commander Turner Ashby, whose forces stopped trains and blew up a canal dam. Black describes how these operations were organized, planned, and executed, and how they caused problems for more conventional commanders. The author stretches the term “ranger” further than most historians would condone (including both conventional cavalry, on the one hand, and guerilla fighters, on the other—and even the Blackhawk service of future president Abraham Lincoln). But this entertaining book’s tales of unconventional Civil War adventure will appeal to the general reader.Publisher Weekly
The term Special Forces has come to encompass all highly trained special operations units from the British Commandos in 1940, but Special Forces go back through history to the ancient civilizations and were an important element during the American Civil War. – Very Highly RecommendedFiretrench
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It would be expected that given the sometimes informal territorial boundaries and the absence of a language barrier, the American Civil War would be fertile ground for covert operations. This book describes the talented men who dared to go behind enemy lines for reconnaissance and disruption. It is a thoroughly good read.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide