The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board

New McNeill Ranger book

On DEc. 20, Kent State Univversity Press will release "Phantoms of the South Fork:Captain McNeill and His Rangers." The book describes in detail the adventures and exploits of a small band of partisans who roamed the Potomac Highlands of eastern WV and the Shenandoah Valley. Although originally from present-day WV., before the war Capt. John Hanson McNeill had moved his family to Missouri and established a prosperous cattle operation. He and his sons enlisted in the Missouri St.Guard and fought in the war's early battles. After being captured he and his son Jesse escaped and made their way back to their former home and organized a partisan band whose accomplisments, although not as well known, rivaled Mosby's Rangers. In the last year of the war, they were joined by Capt. Charles Woodson's Co. A. Ist Missouri Cav, an outfit made up of Missourians who, in 1863, had been brought to City Point, Va. and exchanged. Former Antietam NPS historian Ted Alexander has called it "one of the most important Civil War books to be published in years."