Diagnosing Guerilla Warfare: Was William Clarke Quantrill Missouri's Francis Marion?
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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The use of guerilla warfare in an insurgency is a typical technique, but not all who use guerilla tactics share the same goals or strategies. For instance, guerilla activity during an insurgency with the goal of removing a government is different than a group using the same tactics to further criminal activity or settle old scores. There is a need to diagnose the guerilla activity in order to understand what is at the root of the visible violence. Misinterpreting a groups motivations and intentions can lead to flawed operations and polices in countering the guerilla activity. Guerilla warfare has its place in American history most notably during the American Revolution and Civil War. This thesis compares the actions of William Quantrill on the western border of Missouri during the American Civil War with that of Francis Marions during the American Revolution, using modern definitions of insurgency and the writings of 19th Century military theorists. Quantrills guerilla activities during the Civil War were not the actions of an insurgency. Rather, the groups actions were primarily opportunistic violence, a continuation of previous conflicts using the war as cover for criminal activity.
- Humanities and History
- Unconventional Warfare