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Title: Violence and victimhood : the emotional consequences of guerrilla warfare in civil war era Missouri
Authors: Flood, Iain Anthony
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis addresses a gap in the scholarship of the American Civil War by examining the emotional consequences of Missouri’s guerrilla war. It argues that scholarship of guerrilla warfare must recognise its human costs. Whereas previous studies have tended to focus on pro-Confederate guerrillas, using their victims as little more than evidence, my approach treats guerrillas, soldiers, and non-combatants as complex individuals in their own right. Using Barbara Rosenwein’s emotional communities model, I show why knowledge of emotions is central to understanding the guerrilla war. Reconstructing the emotional worlds of Missouri and the Kansas border achieves several important results. It emphasises the importance of emotions in fomenting and sustaining a guerrilla conflict. This thesis places emotions at the centre of Missouri’s guerrilla war, demonstrating how fear, anger, and grief informed the actions of guerrillas and Union counterinsurgency policies. The guerrilla war was a direct result of these emotions, and the interpretations of them in the nineteenth century United States. Without the emotional communities of Missouri, Kansas, and the wider United States, the guerrilla war would not have been fought in the ways that it was. In extending discussion of these emotions to the victims of guerrilla warfare, this thesis also presents non- combatants as active historical agents, not merely as evidence of the activities of famous guerrillas. This rewrites otherwise overlooked individuals back into the historical narrative, a significant result that should be considered and built upon in future studies of the guerrilla war.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of History, Classics and Archaeology

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