Partisan Ranger Leaders

"Tinker Dave" Beaty (Union) An illiterate tinker from eastern Tennessee, in 1862 he formed Beaty's Independent Scouts, a partisan group recognized and supplied by the Federal army. Ranging from a couple of dozen men to about 100, it attracted deserters from both sides. Beaty helped secure the roads from Confederate guerrillas, but spent much of his time harassing "enemy civilians"; he also murdered soldiers on both sides for their weapons, and ambushed supply wagons for loot. A bitter enemy of Champ Ferguson (q.v,), Beaty finally had the satisfaction of being a witness for the prosecution at Ferguson's postwar murder trial.

Nathan Bedford Forrest (Confederate) A wealthy plantation-owner and slave-dealer from Tennessee, Forrest enlisted as a private and rose to the rank of lieutenant-general. Nicknamed "The Wizard of the Saddle" for his daring raids and ability to trick, outmaneuver, and outfight his Union opponents, he earned a reputation as one of the best generals in American history and one of the first proponents of mobile warfare. He led his troops both as an independent command and as a part of larger armies. His deep raids into Union territory destroyed large amounts of supplies and tied up thousands of Federal troops. After the war he had an unclear association with the Ku Klux Klan, being named honorary Grand Wizard in 1867 before distancing himself from that organization.

Harry Gilmor (Confederate) A Baltimore City police commissioner before the war, Gilmor became a Confederate major and led "Gilmor's Raiders," a partisan group in Maryland and West Virginia. His most famous raid on July 9-11,1864 destroyed two trains and damaged a trestle at Magnolia Station, MD, and captured Union MajGen William Franklin. Gilmor himself was captured on February 4, 1865. Dr Charles Jennison (Union) Born in New York and raised in Wisconsin, Jennison moved to Kansas during the 1850s border war. In 1861 he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 7th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, known as " Jennison's Redlegs." He plundered the farms of Missouri secessionists and brought their slaves to freedom in Kansas. Jennison had a penchant for stealing horses; when horses went up for sale west of the Mississippi, their pedigree was often referred to as "out of Missouri by Jennison,"

James Lane (Union) Also known as the "Grim Chieftain," this Indiana politician moved to "Bleeding Kansas" and became a leader of the radical abolitionists, rising to become a senator. He was the most organized of the eariy Jayhawkers, leading numerous raids both before and during the war at the head of 3rd and 4th Kansas Volunteer Infantry and 5th Kansas Cavalry.

Col John Singleton Mosby led one Of the only partisan ranger units not to be disbanded by the repeal of the Partisan Ranger Act in February 1864. His record of success and firm discipline over his troops meant that he was more valuable In independent command than within the depleted Confederate army. The repeal did little to ease the Confederacy's shortage of troops; the partisan rangers were relatively few in number and some failed to rally, white guerrillas naturally ignored the order, (LoC)

Partisan Rangers
Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan was one of the South s greatest cavalry raiders in 1862, but suffered from an ove confidence that led him to raid deep into Indiana and Ohio the following July, resulting in theioss of his entire command. (LoC)

John McNeill (Confederate) A prosperous farmer, McNeill became a successful Confederate partisan in West Virginia, though rarely leading more than 100 men. Their main aims were to harass local Union troops, attack the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and bring livestock from the rich Shenandoah Valley to the Confederate Army; they also acted as guides for regular Confederate forces. McNeill died from wounds suffered during a raid on November 10,1864, His son Jesse took over leadership of the band, and gained notoriety for capturing two Union generals.

John Hunt Morgan (Confederate) Born in Alabama but raised in Kentucky, Morgan served as a cavalry private in the Mexican War before becoming a successful businessman. During the Civil War he rose to the rank of brigadier-general. His July 1863 raid through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio penetrated further north than any other Confederate force, but he and most of his men were captured. He escaped from prison with six of his officers and got back to the South, where he formed another cavalry unit and led more raids until he was killed on September 4, 1864.

John Singleton Mosby (Confederate) A Virginia lawyer known as the "Grey Ghost of the Confederacy," Mosby quickly rose from private to lieutenant-colonel. In 1863 he was authorized to raise the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry, a partisan ranger unit. He became increasingly independent as his area of operations in northwestern Virginia became isolated from Lee's army. His command kept a portion of Virginia out of Federal hands until the end of the war,

Joseph Porter (Confederate) Born in Kentucky and raised in Missouri, Porter was assigned in 1862 to gather recruits in northeast Missouri, an area cut off from the Confederate command in Arkansas, While initially successful, his force fought several running battles with Union forces and was scattered. He was killed on February 18, 1863,

Joseph Orville Shelby (Confederate) The most accomplished cavalry raider in the Trans-Mississippi theater, Shelby grew up in Kentucky before moving to Missouri and becoming a successful farmer and businessman. He was one of many Missourians who voted in the controversial Kansas elections, and when the war started he recruited a cavalry troop at his own expense. He later recruited and led the 5th Missouri Cavalry ("Iron Brigade") and conducted several independent raids. Fie rose to the rank of brigadier-general, and fled to Mexico rather than surrender to Federal forces.

Meriwether Jeff Thompson (Confederate) Nicknamed the "Swamp Fox," Thompson fought Union troops from his hideouts in the swamps along the Mississippi River in southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas, Born in Virginia and later a resident of Missouri, he became brigadier-general of the military district of Southeast Missouri. His men conducted hit-and-run raids on Federal outposts and boats, and occasionally gathered in numbers of more than 1,000 to fight small battles.

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