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In addition, they tolerated theft and violence against civilians by their subordinates, which created enormous resentment 26 The Civil War among the civilian populace, including Unionists. 26 Another reason for Unionist woes in Tennessee was the shortage of supplies among the counterinsurgency forces, the result of resource constraints and poor judgment and corruption at higher levels of command. Union troops sometimes received no more than a few crackers or an ear of corn per day, producing hunger so intense that they pilfered from the citizenry despite all threats of punishment and the actual harsh punishments meted out by higher commands.
With few exceptions, crafting remedies to leadership problems and the other problems of counterinsurgency requires keen analysis of local contexts and their relevance to counterinsurgency warfare. Books on counterinsurgency can actually undermine counterinsurgents by revealing counterinsurgency methods or principles to which the insurgents can then develop countermeasures. This book does not fit into that category. The insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq recognize the importance of leadership in counterinsurgency—which is why they are killing counterinsurgent leaders in regrettably large numbers.
31 The ability of local commanders in Arkansas to devise innovative counterinsurgency methods led to major Union counterinsurgency advances in the war’s final years. Marcus La Rue Harrison, an Indiana native who was one of the most creative Union commanders in Arkansas, developed fortified Unionist colonies in which residents were required to serve in home guard units. Depriving the insurgents of easy access to their supporters, the program seriously weakened the insurgency and freed up federal troops for action elsewhere.