A Savage Conflict

The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War

By Daniel E. Sutherland

456 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 16 halftones, 3 maps, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-0688-0
    Published: February 2013
  • Large Print ISBN: 978-0-8078-6603-0
    Published: June 2010
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-8867-4
    Published: July 2009
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8388-9
    Published: July 2009

Civil War America

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Awards & distinctions

2010 Tom Watson Brown Book Award, Society of Civil War Historians

2009 Jefferson Davis Award, Museum of the Confederacy

2010 Distinguished Book Award, Society for Military History

While the Civil War is famous for epic battles involving massive armies engaged in conventional warfare, A Savage Conflict is the first work to treat guerrilla warfare as critical to understanding the course and outcome of the Civil War. Daniel Sutherland argues that irregular warfare took a large toll on the Confederate war effort by weakening support for state and national governments and diminishing the trust citizens had in their officials to protect them.

About the Author

Daniel E. Sutherland is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. He is author or editor of thirteen books, including Guerrillas, Unionists, and Violence on the Confederate Home Front.
For more information about Daniel E. Sutherland, visit the Author Page.


"Sutherland places the 'Gray Ghost,' John Singleton Mosby; John Hunt Morgan; 'Bloody Bill' Anderson; bushwhackers; Red Legs; and jayhawkers, among many others, in the larger context of the 'irrepressible conflict' in this wide-ranging account."--Choice

"[A] very strong analysis of guerrilla warfare that is pertinent to counterinsurgency operations today. . . . Provide[s] excellent analysis."--Journal of Military History

"Perhaps the most comprehensive analysis of guerrilla warfare during the Civil War to date. . . . Well written and exhaustively researched. . . . Specialists and enthusiasts of the Civil War will enjoy this book as it is an excellent addition to any Civil War library."--On Point

"Sutherland's solid scholarship dispels the resilient image of guerrillas as colorful ancillaries of the 'real war' and integrates them into the broader narrative of the period. . . . An extremely valuable book."--Journal of American History

"No one has ever undertaken a survey this complete, this solidly based in an almost incredible array of primary sources, and this well rooted in the historiography. . . . Sutherland's achievement in compiling all this material and elucidating it with a convincing thesis is formidable."--Journal of Southern History

"Will surely invigorate discussion of guerilla conflict in the Civil War. . . . Sutherland has set the stage for further considerations on the place of guerilla warfare within American society."--Virginia Quarterly Review