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John Hanson McNeill
Personal Information
Born: June 12, 1815(1815-06-12)
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Died: November 10, 1864 (aged 49)
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Other Information
Allegiance: Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
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Branch: Confederate Army
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Rank: Captain
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Commands: Company E of the 18th Virginia cavalry
Battles: American Civil War
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John Hanson McNeill (June 12, 1815 – November 10, 1864) was a Confederate soldier who served as a Captain in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He led McNeill's Rangers, an independent irregular Confederate military company commissioned under the Partisan Ranger Act.

McNeill was born near Moorefield, Virginia (now West Virginia). In 1848, he moved himself, his wife, and son to Boone County, Missouri, where he operated a cattle business.[1]

In 1861, he formed and was named commander of a company in the Missouri State Guard, seeing action in Boonville, Carthage, Wilson's Creek, and Lexington. Although captured and imprisoned in St. Louis, he escaped on June 15, 1862, and made his way back to Virginia.

In Richmond, he obtained permission to form an independent unit in in the western counties of West Virginia and Virginia in order to disrupt Union activities in the area. This was granted, and on September 5, 1862, McNeill became captain of Company E of the 18th Virginia Cavalry, more commonly known as McNeill's Rangers. Along with raids on railroads and wagon trains, he first proposed the operation that became the Jones-Imboden Raid.

His final action occurred on October 3, 1864, in which he led his unit in an attack on Union soldiers near Mount Jackson, Virginia. Although it was a victory for his forces, he was severely wounded and taken to Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he died on November 10, 1864.

See also[]


  • Simeon Miller Bright, "The McNeill Rangers: A Study in Confederate Guerrilla Warfare", Volume 12, Number 4 (July 1951), pp. 338–387
  • Roger U. Delauter, "McNeill's Rangers (Virginia Regimental Histories Series)", H.E. Howard, 2nd edition (December 1986), ISBN 0930919343
  • Neil Hunter Raiford, "The 4th North Carolina Cavalry in the Civil War", McFarland & Company, 2003, ISBN 0-7864-1468-5, page 5.

External links[]