Since returning home, I have delved again into background reading about guerrilla warfare in Arkansas and Missouri. I have just finished reading Daniel E. Sutherland’s helpful article “Guerrillas: The Real War in Arkansas”. He concluded his article by suggesting some research topics for scholars. Although written in 1993, I think it is worth quoting the section:
“The complex organization of guerrilla bands must be explored; and a social profile of these partisan fighters, based on census reports, tax and court records, and similar sources of evidence, would make for a fascinating study. A systematic analysis of the impact of guerrilla warfare on the civilian population is in order, a study, incidentally, that could easily branch off into badly needed research on the refugee problem in Arkansas. More work on the river pirates, particularly their impact on the wartime economy of Arkansas, is needed, and on, and on. The history of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi remains largely untold. If, as suggested here, the guerrilla war is the key to understanding the Trans-Mississippi war, then the beginning of wisdom begins in the mountains and swamps of Arkansas” (p. 153).
Citation: Sutherland, Daniel E. “Guerrillas: The Real War in Arkansas” in Civil War Arkansas: Beyond Battles and Leaders. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2000, pages 133-153. The article was first published in the Autumn 1993 issue of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly.