Civil War guerrillas offer lessons for Army in Iraq

I am currently finishing up some research for an article concerning the 11th Wisconsin and the Battle at Bayou Cache and part of it led me to some interesting research (well, reading) on irregular warfare. I’ll be sharing some of this later. But I happened to notice this interesting column from the newspapers today:

… U.S. Army is drawing lessons from the guerrilla raids, ambushes and skirmishes of 1860s Missouri to train its leaders to fight insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This is a laboratory. Missouri had more civilians killed by guerrilla warfare than any other state,” said David Chuber, a retired lieutenant colonel and now regimental historian with the U.S. Army Chemical School at Fort Leonard Wood in southern Missouri.

It’s the latest addition to a long-standing program called “staff rides,” in which soldiers study historic battles and role-play past military leaders during visits to the actual terrain.

In this case, the battlefield in the Missouri town of Centralia is the site of an 1864 massacre of Union soldiers by William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson and his pro-Confederate “bushwhackers,” including Jesse and Frank James.

Read more…

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