Guerrilla War in Western Missouri, 1862-1865: Historical Extensions of the Relative Deprivation Hypothesis
In the winter of 1861â62 there was a guerrilla uprising in WesternMissouri, directed in main against the Union Army and against localpro-Union sympathizers. The number of active participants was smallby more recent standards. At any given time the guerrillas in questionprobably numbered no more than 200 individuals. They had, however, an impact beyond that suggested by their size. In the ensuing three years the guerrillas managed to tie up more than 40,000 Union troops on stationary occupation duty. As in almost all classic cases of guerrilla warfare, the Union forces were rendered relatively immobile by the necessity to protect fixed points such as urban areas, supply depots, and lines of communication. In addition to their military effect, the guerrillas have become over time a fairly well known part of American folklore. Their leader through most of the period was William Quantrill. From their ranks came at least two of the more famous bandit gangs of frontier historyâthe James brothers and the Younger brothers. Their most famous exploit, the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, has been the subject of film and other commercial treatment.