Units and Organizations

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Entries - Entry Category: Units and Organizations - Starting with J

Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers

aka: Bushwackers and Jayhawkers
aka: Guerrillas (Civil War)
Jayhawker and bushwhacker designate the principal warring parties in the Civil War’s guerrilla conflict, although the names were not unique to Arkansas and actually predated the war by many years. While their application and meaning were never precise—a problem compounded by being woven into postwar folklore—they generally bore negative connotations. Originally, “jayhawker” referred to Union sympathizers, “bushwhacker” to Confederate sympathizers, but the distinction lost much of its meaning in the chaos of war. “Jayhawker” originated in Kansas, and according to some authorities, it came into use in the late 1840s. The name was inspired primarily by the predatory habits of the hawk, but it implied, too, the noisy, mischievous nature of the jay. The combination became the “jayhawk,” a bird …