The English Park area was the site of a battle between Union soldiers and the Partisan Rangers of the Confederate Army in September 1862, according to first-time author Derrick Lindow. In addition to detailing that battle, Lindow’s book more generally details partisan warfare in Western Kentucky during the Civil War.
Unlike typical groups, Lindow said the rangers were tasked with causing creating disarray within Union camps without getting into battle, as the rangers disable the equipment that would have been used to strike.
“(The Confederates) had no way of getting supplies from their own army to survive the lines. There was no Confederate supply that was coming in to give them new things. So every and all the weapons they have, all the ammunition they get, it all came from what the were able to take,” Lindow said.
What began as a group of three men grew into more than 1,000 over the course of 3-4 months, he said.
Lindow, who is an 8th-grade U.S. history teacher, said he’s always known about parts of Western Kentucky’s involvement in the Civil War. In 2017, he began cataloging things he learned that he thought would be a good addition to the book, titled We Shall Conquer or Die: Partisan Warfare in 1862 Western Kentucky.
Lindow said at first he wanted to make it solely based on the events in Daviess County; however, as he continued to research he found the breadth of this band of fighters exceeded the local area. The book fully captures areas as far north as Newburgh, Indiana to as south as Clarksville, Tennessee.
“Some of these other events are pretty well known in their own right, but they’ve never really been connected together to really see the big picture. So in a way, it’s the first time this has been put together in that way,” Lindow said.
An online description of the book reads, in part, “In 1862, the region was infested with guerrilla activity that pitted brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor in a personal war that often recognized few boundaries. The riding and fighting took hundreds of lives, destroyed or captured millions of dollars of equipment, and siphoned away thousands of men from the Union war effort.”
It continues, “… This deadly and expensive war behind the lines was fought by men who often found themselves thrust into unpredictable situations. Participants included future presidential cabinet members, Mexican War veterans, Jewish immigrants, some of the U.S. Army’s rising young officers, and of course the civilians unfortunate enough to live in the borderlands of Kentucky.”
Lindow said he thinks book will be available online this spring.
To learn more about the book or to stay updated on its availability, click here.