Guerrilla Warfare and The Fight in Ashley

The word "guerrilla" is Spanish for "little war." Guerrilla warfare is a type of warfare fought by weaker nations or military organizations against a larger, stronger organization. It was fought allot by independent, small groups using hit and run tactics. Guerrilla forces tend to attack the weaker parts of their enemies forces, like outposts or lines of communication. Guerrillas strike suddenly then disappear into the countryside. This type of warfare has been used since the French and Indian War and the colonists started using the tactics to strike against the French. Guerrilla tactics were used allot in battles in Missouri.
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This is a picture of an old furnature store in Ashley. (Picture by Author)

The Fight in Ashley is a battle where guerrilla tactics were used. The Battle in Ashley consisted of a few enrolled militias that were stationed there and some brave citizens who helped defend the town against a guerrilla raid on August 28, 1861. The object of the raid was to get possession of the arms that were deposited there. A few people were stationed along the main roads leading to town to give notice of any hostile threats. There were only few people at the armory when the attack was made. The guerrillas surprised the town and barely had any time to get ready. There were around 130 guerrillas and o
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This is an old quick store that is now falling in but is still on the streets of Ashley. (picture by author)
nly about 19 union men in the town at the time. All the town members and unionists went to the top of J.C. Elmore's store, John McCormick's store, and a few went in a big brick building down the street. The rebels attacked from the north and came running down the streets, but were then slowed down by some shots coming from J.C. Elmore's store. The rebels hid behind anything they could, houses, fences, and even fence posts.

The Battle in Ashley lasted around 40 min. until J.C. Elmore had been taken prisoner by the rebels. The rebels sent Mr. Elmore out holding a white flag and a message asking them to surrender. Mr. Elmore was standing on t
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This is an old two story house that is know falling in but was around during that time. This house is located on the main street in Ashley.(picture by author)
he front porch of his own store waiting for an answer for the message. Mr. Elmore was fired upon by the guerrillas; he was hit but still made it back to the rebels with the message of them refusing to surrender. The fight came to an end with two deaths and nine wounded for the rebels. The guerrillas had five deaths and two wounded. Those were all the deaths and wounded that we know of. We know there were many other people wounded that they were unsure about what happened to them, they found large puddles of blood all around the streets of Ashley with no bodies around them.


This battle is important because some innocent citizens put their life's on the line to protect their home. There are also several Civil War buildings left in Ashley. The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War is coming up next year in 2011.