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William Quantrill

William Quantrill


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William Quantrill was born in Ohio on 31st July 1837. He had severe behavioral problems and as a teenager was convicted of murder. Released in 1855 he became a teacher at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Quantrill also tried his hand as a professional gambler but this was not successful and he found work as a teacher in Lawrence. However, accused of several crimes, he was forced to flee from the town in disgrace.

A strong supporter of slavery, Quantrill joined the Confederate Army on the outbreak of the American Civil War. He fought at Lexington but disliked the regimentation of army life and decided to form a band of guerilla fighters. As well as attacking Union troops the Quantrill Raiders also robbed mail coaches, murdered supporters of Abraham Lincoln and persecuted communities in Missouri and Kansas that Quantrill considered to be anti-Confederate. He also gained a reputation for murdering members of the Union Army that the gang had taken prisoner.

In 1862 Quantrill and his men were formally declared to be outlaws. By 1863 Quantrill was the leader of over 450 men. This included Frank James, Jessie James, Cole Younger and James Younger. With this large force he committed one of the worst atrocities of the Civil War when he attacked the town of Lawrence. During the raid on 21st August, 1863, Quantrill's gang killed 150 inhabitants and destroyed over 180 buildings.

The district Union commander, General Thomas Ewing, was furious when he heard what the Quantill Raiders had done. On 25th August 1863, he issued Order No 11. This gave an eviction notice to all people in the area who could not prove their loyalty to the Union cause. Ewing's decree virtually wiped out the entire region. The population of Cass County dropped from 10,000 to 600.

Quantrill found it difficult to keep his men under control and they tended to go off and commit their own crimes. By 1865 he had only 33 followers left. On 10th May 1865 Quantrill was ambushed by federal troops. William Quantrill was shot and died from his wounds on 6th June, 1865.


Historian claims Quantrill’s death greatly exaggerated

Others suspect Marilyn Monroe escaped death’s clutches and is living blissfully with John F. Kennedy.

Now, according to an Arkansas researcher, there’s proof William Quantrill, Lawrence’s historical archenemy, actually survived the Civil War and lived into contented old age.

David Kennedy, of Beebe, Ark., says after 15 years of research he can prove Quantrill staged his own death, went on to raise Cain with the notorious bank robbers Frank and Jesse James, and later married and settled down in Arkansas.

In a telephone interview Monday, Kennedy said he started coming across information that Quantrill had lived a long life under a different name after the Civil War.

“When I originally picked it up and started looking, I thought it would be real easy to bust the myth,” Kennedy said. “After four or five years I realized I failed. I kept generating information from every source that it was him.”

Kennedy, an amateur historian and retired police investigator, has little credence among Lawrence’s Civil War historians. They say Kennedy is just the latest in a long string of people who refused to accept that Quantrill died after being shot in the back in Louisville, Ky., in the waning days of the Civil War.

Quantrill gained infamy for leading 440 pro-slavery ruffians in a bloody attack on abolitionist Lawrence on Aug. 21, 1863, killing more than 150 people and torching more than 175 homes and businesses.

Almost two years later, according to the generally accepted version of the border ruffian’s fate, Quantrill and a handful of raiders were captured on a farm in Kentucky. Quantrill, then 27, was shot in the back while trying to escape. He later died in a military prison hospital in Louisville.

William Quantrill, who led a deadly 1863 raid on Lawrence, may have staged his death.

Wiggle room

However, there is a bit of wiggle room left in the historical record for disputing that version of events.

“There is no incontrovertible, scientific proof that Quantrill died in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1865,” said Quantrill biographer Ed Leslie, an Ohio resident whose 534-page book “The Devil Knows How to Ride,” is considered the best yet by Lawrence experts. “But the evidence is quite strong that he did. I’ve researched the question of his death as thoroughly as anyone, and I am 99 percent convinced he died in the prison infirmary.”

Not true, says Kennedy. He insists Quantrill didn’t die until 1917, a full 52 years after the Civil War ended. Quantrill lived under the name Leonard Joseph Crocker, or L.J. Crocker, Kennedy said.

Kennedy said his research had turned up a “handwriting sample, photos, Masonic records, and related evidence,” proving that Quantrill lived until 1917.

In defending his research, he said he thought other historians just found the story “too far-fetched” and didn’t pursue it far enough.

Death was confirmed

But it is clear that in some ways the Civil War continues.

“(Quantrill) lingered in a hospital bed for 30 days before he died. I assume that was plenty of time to confirm who he was,” said Lawrence-area historian Karl Gridley.

Lawrence High School history teacher Paul Stuewe, an expert on Quantrill, said most historians note that after Quantrill’s death, a childhood friend, W.W. Scott, convinced Quantrill’s mother to have her son’s remains exhumed in 1887 from an unmarked grave in Louisville.


Fifty years after William Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, many of the survivors gathered to recall the devastating day in 1863. The group gathered on Aug. 21, 1913, in front of the Eldridge House at Seventh and Massachusetts streets. The location was the home of the Free State Hotel when Quantrill's Raiders sacked and destroyed the city.

Quantrill’s mother identified her son’s skull because it had a chipped molar that matched his.

“That’s the story that most historians accept,” Stuewe said.

Also true, according to Leslie:

  • Federal forces paid the spy who tipped authorities to Quantrill’s masquerade after collectively confirming Quantrill’s identity.
  • Quantrill’s wounds left him paralyzed below the shoulders.

This image depicts the scene of William Quantrill's raid in 1863. Historian David Kennedy, of Beebe, Ark., says after 15 years of research he can prove Quantrill staged his own death, went on to raise Cain with the notorious bank robbers Frank and Jesse James, and later married and settled down in Arkansas.

In his book, Leslie devotes a chapter to the rumors surrounding Quantrill’s survival.

“This is not a new phenomena — it’s actually quite American,” he said, noting that rumors also have long had American icons Kennedy, Monroe and Elvis Presley being quite alive.

“In the half-century that followed Quantrill’s death there were all kinds of rumors published in newspapers all over the country, often under the headline, ‘Quantrill lives!'” Leslie said.

One of the rumors, he said, proved fatal.

“There was a man, sort of a beachcomber, in British Columbia, who claimed to be William Quantrill. He had scars that matched Quantrill’s known wounds, and he carried a pistol with the initials W.C.Q. carved in the handle,” Leslie said.

“Apparently, a couple men from Lawrence believed the man, tracked him down and beat him to death.”


Quantrill’s legacy differs on each side of border

One hundred and forty-two years ago today, William C. Quantrill and his band of more than 300 Missouri ruffians rode into Lawrence, murdered most of the menfolk and set fire to all but a few homes and businesses.

In a span of three hours, 85 women were widowed, and 250 children lost their fathers.

For Lawrencians – then and now – Quantrill personified evil.

“In and around 1863, certainly, if you lived in Lawrence, you lived in fear of Quantrill. He was the devil incarnate,” said Virgil Dean, editor of Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains and director for publications for the Kansas State Historical Society.

“A lot of people still feel that way,” said Dean, who lives in Lawrence.

Not so in Missouri. Then or now.

“Quantrill was a savior to a lot of people,” said Donald R. Hale, president of the William C. Quantrill Society. “He stood up for Missourians. He kept the Jayhawkers – people like Jim Lane and Charles Jennison – from riding roughshod in Missouri.”

Hale, 74, said Kansans are quick to forget that on Sept. 25, 1861, Lane-led free staters wreaked Quantrill-like havoc on Osceola, Mo.

Tom Mendenhall, of Columbia, Mo., cheers on MU at a recent Kansas University basketball game. While William Quantrill is reviled in Lawrence, he is hailed as a folk hero in many parts of Missouri.

“They literally destroyed the town. They set fire to every building,” said Richard Sunderwirth, an Osceola native. “They didn’t kill everybody, but they had a mock trial, and they ended up executing nine men in the town square.

“When they left,” Sunderwirth said, “Osceola was in ruins – and, really, it’s never recovered. So around here, people tend to think there was some justification to Quantrill’s going into Lawrence because what Lane did in Osceola was completely unjustified.”

In 1863, Lane was living in Lawrence. He escaped Quantrill’s early morning wrath by hiding in a cornfield that covered what are now the 700 and 800 blocks of Illinois and Alabama streets.

“I don’t think Quantrill was as bad as he’s been portrayed,” said Rose Mary Lankford, author of the 400-page “Encyclopedia of Quantrill’s Guerrillas.”

“When I give speeches, I like to ask people to look at what (Union) Gen. (William Tecumseh) Sherman did. He burned towns, he killed people, and he’s a hero,” Lankford said. “So if the South had won the war, would Quantrill be the hero and Sherman be the villain?”

Kansans also tend to overlook that eight days before Quantrill’s men rode into Lawrence, four women arrested in Leavenworth and jailed in Kansas City for being Southern sympathizers had died after the building they were in collapsed.

Among them were infamous bushwhacker “Bloody” Bill Anderson’s sister and a cousin of future outlaw Cole Younger.

Younger and Anderson both took part in the raid on Lawrence.

“For a a lot of Quantrill’s men,” Lankford said, “revenge was a factor.”

Hollow excuses

In Lawrence, the notion that Quantrill was a “savior” or that the gunning down of 200 men was somehow justified rings hollow.

“There were raids on both sides, that’s true,” said Lawrence historian Katie Armitage. “But nothing that went on in Missouri matched the slaughter of unarmed people in Lawrence.”

Fred Six, a Lawrence historian and a former justice on the Kansas Supreme Court, compared the Missourians’ rationalizations to “Civil War societies in the South” that continue to pledge blind allegiance to the Confederacy.

“I’m not surprised,” Six said. “One tends to embellish military history in keeping with where one is from.”

Six’s view of Quantrill: “A petty thief who blossomed into a brigand – a brigand in the full sense of the word.”

Guerrilla war

But Edward E. Leslie, author of “The Devil Knows How to Ride: The True Story of William Clarke Quantrill and His Confederate Raiders,” said Quantrill’s legacy is neither all-good nor all-bad.

The true villain, he said, was – and is – guerrilla warfare.

“Nothing justifies the (Lawrence) raid,” he said, “and I think it’s a mistake to try to justify anything that goes on in a guerrilla war, which, by its very nature, is unusually brutal and degenerative.

John Jewell, of the Watkins Community Museum, above, talks Saturday about William Quantrill's raid on Lawrence during a walking tour of sites involved in the raid. Jewell is in front of the Eldridge Hotel, which originally was the Free State Hotel and was burned down by Quantrill in the raid.

“I’m not a fan of drawing historical parallels, but I just saw in the news that in Iraq, some Iraqi children were blown up for taking candy from Americans,” he said. “So here we have Iraqis – guerrillas, essentially – killing Iraqi children. This is what happens in a guerrilla war: On both sides, the brutality becomes increasingly cruel, increasingly senseless.”

In Quantrill’s defense, Leslie said there’s reason to believe the Lawrence raid’s brutality was more than he intended.

“He took more than 400 into Lawrence,” Leslie said, “but less than 100 belonged to his band. So along the way, he had collected this rag-tag force of guerrilla bands and civilians intent on revenge and plunder. Once the massacre began, he couldn’t control them.”

Many of the ruffians, he said, were soon drunk.

“There was a large quantity of liquor in Lawrence – a lot of saloons, a lot of beer and whiskey, and homemade wine made from berries,” Leslie said.

According to eye-witness accounts, Quantrill apologized to several Lawrencians during the raid, admitting he had lost control of the situation.

“And no one said they saw Quantrill actually kill someone in Lawrence,” Leslie said. “Of course, that doesn’t mean he didn’t. It just means, if he did, no one saw him.”

¢ Lawrence was an “auctioneering center,” Leslie said, that openly sold “plunder taken in Missouri,” a fact that angered many raiders whose families’ farms had been looted by Lane’s troops.

The Eldridge Hotel was originally the Free State Hotel, which was burned down by Quantrill in the raid.

¢ In August 1863, Quantrill was 26 years old. His band, Leslie said, “was made up almost entirely of teenagers,” adding, “We all know what happens when teenagers get together without adult supervision.”

¢ Among the raiders, the Kansas City jail’s collapse and women’s deaths stirred a hornet’s nest.

“It was a definitely a factor (in the raid’s brutality),” Leslie said. “The guerrillas believed the collapse had been engineered to kill the women.”

Some of the victims, he said, were young girls.

Still, Leslie said, Quantrill was hardly blameless.

“He led the raid. He thought of himself as a Confederate officer,” he said. “So he has to be held responsible.”

And there’s plenty of evidence, he said, that Quantrill could be a cold-blooded opportunist who wasn’t above using politics to cover his atrocities.

“I’ll put it this way,” Leslie said, “you wouldn’t want him to marry your sister.”

Charlie Harris, a Wichita lawyer who has studied Quantrill and whose great-great-great-aunt was one of the women killed in jail collapse, wasn’t as kind in his assessment.

Richard Spacek, of Leavenworth, gets a forge ready for some blacksmithing demonstrations at the Civil War encampment Saturday at South Park. Re-enactors educated people about life during the Civil War as part of the Civil War on the Western Frontier events.

“Quantrill was a psychopath,” Harris said. “He was a manipulator, he found a niche wherever he went. There are accounts of him, when he was living in Lawrence, stealing slaves and then taking them back to Missouri and selling them.

“And on one of these raids, he set up the four men he was with. All four were killed,” Harris said.

Harris and Leslie agreed that even by guerrilla-war standards, the Lawrence raid was heinous.

“After Lawrence, the best of Quantrill’s men left him. They were so appalled,” Leslie said. “Cole Younger left for California. He’d had enough.”

Living debate

For several years, Lawrence historian and history teacher Paul Stuewe has monitored the debate over Quantrill’s legacy.

“It’s hard to find too many redeeming qualities in Mr. Quantrill,” he said.

But the debate, he said, clearly underscores the importance of history.

“It’s like I tell my students, ‘history matters,'” said Stuewe, who left Lawrence High School earlier this year for a teaching position at Blue Valley West High School.

“These are feelings that have been handed down from generation to generation. They define us, they tell us who we are,” he said.

“Unfortunately, perception sometimes takes precedence over reality.”

Hale, of The Quantrill Society, also has grown accustomed to the debate.

“The war is still going on,” he said. “We may not be killing each other – Kansans and Missourians – but the war is still going on.”


Legends of America

By Paul R. Petersen, author of Quantrill of Missouri

Loved and respected by his men, hated and feared by his enemies, adored by the young Southern women who he met, and befriended by those who sought justice and protection.This is William Clarke Quantrill.

— Paul R. Petersen on Quantrill

William Clarke Quantrill was a product of his times. He was a man made up by the personalities, the passions and the politics that surrounded him. Without the issue of slavery that ignited the nation and the turbulent individuals like John Brown and James Henry Lane that inflamed the border of Kansas and Missouri, history would never have recorded his name. To study the history of the border warfare between Kansas and Missouri is to also study the character of the people living there at the time. A slight provocation, however meaningless, was taken as a personal insult and could wind up in a feud or a personal duel or a lifetime of personal hatred between offending parties. There was a conflict along the border long before there was hatred and bloodshed. It was here that men, controlled by personal pride and patriotism lived, and in whose homes, hospitality and generosity were a way of life. Conflict arose between those already established in the region and those Northern emigrants from the large cities of the North who came west in hopes of an easy life and quick fortune. Most of the settlers along the border at this time were opportunists. Life was hard and a chance to earn money in order to stay alive didn’t come along every day. Many sought opportunities in honest endeavors while others sought a dollar in any way that offered a lucrative deal. Some sought their fortune in the new political future along the border and some sought their fortune in the law. But for everyone who sought an honest living, there were ten others looking to make a quick dollar by jumping someone else’s land claim or by larceny or deceit. These incompatible sectional differences only made the growing conflict between Missourians and Kansans more unenduring.

Most stories about Quantrill are merely lies. How could a single human being be written about in history as the devil incarnate, without love for either of his parents or family and whose own mother was declared to be a mother in name only, showing no love for her son? Author William Elsey Connelley said that Quantrill’s father was an embezzler and thief and was looked down upon by his neighbors. Quantrill was described as being fiendish for skinning neighbor’s cats and shooting pigs through their ears just to listen to them squeal. Connelley reported that when Quantrill courted young women his talk would turn sadistic as he commented how many men he could hang from certain tree limbs. In his life in Kansas before the Civil War, he was described as being shiftless and without a visible means of support, even stealing from his neighbors and local merchants. He was called a bloodthirsty killer, murdering and stealing from those in Missouri as well as Kansas.

Connelley said that no one in Quantrill’s band trusted him and he made them nervous and edgy. It was said he had a mistress and after the war, she opened a house of prostitution in St. Louis. When the war was coming to a close, Quantrill was even said to have made plans to go to Washington D.C. to kill President Lincoln. Historical evidence has never supported these accounts. Many scholars, who knew of Connelley’s intent and had read portions of his manuscript before publication, warned him against his “extreme statements,” but they were simply ignored. The contradictions that are discovered were based on hearsay, lies, half-truths, and outright distortions.

How could this so-called fiend have been a respected schoolteacher? How could he have organized and led up to 400 men in the most noted band of guerrilla fighters known in history? Why did regular Confederate army officers who outranked him yield to him and place themselves subordinate to his command? How could he be so hated by his own men and still lead them in the van of the most renowned battles throughout Missouri, winning victories over superior Union forces?

Mothers entrusted their sons to him. Citizens served him as spies. Women willingly nursed him and his men while his followers were intensely loyal to him even guarding him in battle. Most of his followers were God-fearing farmers trying to live a Christian lifestyle. Critics may point out that mere association with upright righteous people wouldn’t necessarily make Quantrill the same. But from experience, God-fearing, righteous people would not have followed a depraved, degenerate, psychotic killer.

One of Quantrill’s men stated after the war “You who were not there can not realize for a moment the dreadful passions that were roused in the hearts of men during those fearful years.” The Missouri border during the Civil War was the scene of the greatest savagery in American history. Never before or since have, Americans exhibited such brutality on their fellow Americans. The controversy surrounding William Clarke Quantrill is nothing less than a scandal. At the time the Northern press conspired to blacken his name and those of his followers, a conspiracy that continues even today.

Captain William Gregg, Quantrill’s adjutant, reported in a letter after the war that, “Quantrill and his men have been unjustly slandered by the people of the North, a people who, even to this day, know nothing of them, except what they have read in irresponsible books and newspapers.” Gregg goes on to say that, “It is not enough that their valor is recognized, it is not enough that their honesty be confessed. We ask of our Northern brother, we ask of all mankind and all womankind a recognition of their patriotism, their love of country, and of liberty…we cannot remain silent, so long as any aspersion is cast by the pen of the historian, or the tongue of the orator upon their patriotic motives, or the loftiness of their purposes throughout that mighty struggle. We make no half-hearted apologies for their acts. It is justice for which we plead, not charity.”

Colonel R. H. Hunt, who served in the Union army fighting against Captain Gregg, said of him after the war, “That in so far as his memory serves him his statements can be depended upon absolutely. He is a man who would not willfully misrepresent.”

Quantrill did not act alone, and his followers have suffered a similar mischaracterization. According to the Northern press, every guerrilla was a bloodthirsty, brutal, psychotic killer. Their relatives were low-class individuals and criminally natured and their women were said to have loose morals. Historians refuse to acknowledge that Quantrill and his men were soldiers instead, they refer to them as outlaws. From this perspective, Quantrill’s partisan ranger band could not be credited with winning a military victory in open battle, so they became bloodthirsty killers who murdered and massacred their victims. These were the accounts carried down through history, written by a victorious enemy over a beaten but unbowed foe. John McCorkle, one of Quantrill’s men, wrote a book about his experiences with Quantrill, explaining that it was “not published in any spirit of malice or hatred, but in order that the truth may be known, that the world may know that Quantrill and his band were justified in nearly all of their acts and that they were not altogether bad that they were driven to desperation by brutal outrages committed against them and their friends…”. Likewise, Captain Gregg wrote that “History after history has been written of Quantrill and his men, none of which can be characterized as true. And that which is not true, is not history.”

Our understanding of the Civil War is largely viewed through the eyes of the victors but the majority of the inhabitants along the western border, however, were Southern sympathizers and their viewpoint has been generally ignored. There is no way to clearly understand the surroundings and character of the men on the western border by today’s standards of conduct and values. Ideals such as chivalry and good manners, including kindness towards those younger and weaker was an ideal that kept the fabric of their society together. Integrity was paramount for a respectful character. Pride, honor, devotion: these intrinsic values which have all but lost their importance, except to a chosen few in today’s society, meant everything to the men who had but these values to fight and die for. Everything else they held dear and sacred was taken from them by the very government that was supposed to protect them.

Everything about Quantrill’s life has been greatly distorted by prejudicial historians and journalists. The hatred of his Kansas enemies and of those he fought against during the war were manifested in writings and were grossly exaggerated by those who had never come face to face with him. Only sensational claims previously heard by those who had cause to try to blacken his name because of their own political views and sectional feelings have been noted for history. Quantrill’s critics have painted him in the worst possible light and have collectively and in collusion told unfounded and unproven stories of him.

Many past writings on Quantrill have been written by Kansas and Northern writers and others, without military backgrounds or experiences to draw upon, merely capitalizing on the sensationalism of fictionalized accounts about Quantrill and his men. Many repeat the same worn-out rumors and inaccuracies and still claim that they have done exhaustive research. A modern military saying is: “For those who fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected never taste.” This experience is much more beneficial when books are written by actual combat veterans compared with those authors who have never had any military experiences or those who have never walked over the same ground or are familiar with the area known as “Quantrill Country”.

By viewing Quantrill through different eyes we can see him as he really was: an educated and moral young man who began his career protecting the lives and property of the people who were daily being robbed and killed by an enemy who were hiding their criminal deeds behind the cloak of a flag that they used for their own selfish greed and ambitions. We should seek to dignify his life, not to romanticize it.
Loved and respected by his men hated and feared by his enemies adored by the young Southern women who he met, and befriended by those who sought justice and protection: this was William Clarke Quantrill. This is the truth behind the man and the soldier.

© Paul R. Petersen, December, 2004.

Perhaps the author of this article would be interested to know that Will Gregg, a relative my Grandpa Purcell knew (Grandpa was born in 1900), is not well respected in our family. Grandpa referred to him as the meanest S.O.B. he’d ever known. By contrast, that same grandpa remembered Cole Younger (also a relative) being at a family picnic and his sister being bounced on his knee – thought him to be a very kind old man. So we’re hardly misguided Kansans out to smear Quantrill and his men, nor are we apologists for them – Cole is well-liked in our family (he did his time and was returned to society) but Gregg is not… and both were relatives. I doubt Gregg’s word can be trusted as to the character of Quantrill… and trying to dismiss the raid on Lawrence as the writer does is hardly good historical scholarship. – Tom Miller, May 2013

About the Author: Paul R. Petersen is a lifelong resident of Jackson County, Missouri, the same area in which William Clarke Quantrill’s partisan rangers operated. A highly decorated Master Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and a combat infantry veteran of Vietnam and Desert Storm, Petersen is uniquely qualified to interpret the nature of guerrilla warfare that characterized the Civil War along the Missouri-Kansas border. He lives in Raytown, Missouri. His recent book Quantrill of Missouri by Cumberland House Publishing is his first book in a trilogy concerning Quantrill during the Civil War.


William Quantrill - History

William C. Quantrill was one of the most well known of The Missouri Partisan Rangers. And some of his raids were the most daring and recorded of the war. Although many times his manuevers were intentionally misplayed by the Federal media, his legend in Missouri is one of greatness and honor.

William Clarke Quantrill, a school teacher from Canal Dover Ohio, came to Kansas in 1857 to farm. He later joined a regiment of Missouri Confederate troops just before the Civil War.

Dissatisfied with a lack of aggressiveness after the battle of Lexington, Missouri, in September 1861, Quantrill left the army to organize his group of Partisan Rangers.

His rides and missions are legendary. Most famous was the "Pay Back" at Lawrence, Kansas on Aug. 21, 1863. Here he led somewhere between 300 - 400 Missouri Partisan men to avenge the dastardly killing of many of his men's female relatives in the collpase of a makeshift jail in Kansas City, Missouri.

The collapse of the hotel, hastily (and sabotaged by Federals) turned jail, occured a scant week earlier on August 14, 1863. This was facilitated by the weakening of support beams and structure by the Federal of the old 3 story jail. Premeditated murder of women and children, to be certain.

In the end, William Clarke Quantrill was shot and later died in 1865.

Captain Quantrill was trapped in barn on the James H. Wakefield farm, about one mile from Smiley, Kentucky by Edward Terrell and his cavalry detachment of hired assassins on May 10, 1865.

While attempting to escape, he was struck by two Spencer balls, one in the hand, the other paralyzing him from the waist down.

Captain Quantrill was then transferred to a Federal military hospital in Louisville, then to a Catholic Hospital in Louisville. After almost a month of fighting for his life, Captain Quantrill died at the Catholic Hospital in Louisville at 4pm, June 6, 1865.

He was buried in the old Portland Catholic Cemetery at Louisville. In 1887, his mother had his bones brought back to Ohio. The man she paid to remove the body stole some of the skeleton, and years later, parts of it showed up in the hands of a Kansas collector.

Eventually, these stolen parts were moved to the Old Confederate Veteran's Home & Cemetery at Higginsville, MO.

On October 24, 1992, William C. Quantrill was re-interred in the Old Confederate Veteran's Home Cemetery with full Confederate honors due him by the Missouri Division of the Sons Of Confederate Veteran's.

True Missourians and patriots will never forget your courage and honor.

God bless you Captain Quantrill. Rest in peace.

This is the actual wax reconstruction of the head of Captain William Clarke Quantrill, CSA. Captain Quantrill's reconstructed wax head is stored in a refrigerator in the historical museum of Captain Quantrill's hometown of Dover, Ohio.

  1. Composite With Confederate Uniform.
  2. Purportedly From An Early Life Image.
  3. Composite With Confederate Uniform.


Fourth Street Cemetery, Dover, Ohio
Body minus arm, shinbone, ribs and spine.


Confederate Cemetery, Higginsville, Missouri
Arm, shinbone, ribs and spine.


William Quantrill - History

Both William Clarke Quantrill and John Singleton Mosby were the South's most recognizable and daring guerrilla leaders. Both their careers took similar turns. Quantrill began the war as a private rising in rank to sergeant after fighting at Wilson's Creek, Lexington, the First Battle of Independence and the Battle of Lone Jack. Then after being directed by General Sterling Price to organize his own company he was later commissioned a captain on August 12 , 1862. Mosby started the war as a cavalryman under Jeb Stuart after gaining his fighting experience at Manassas and Antietam before setting up his own band of some 300 men in January of 1863. Quantrill too normally operated with 300 men. At the height of his success Quantrill commanded over 450 men during his Lawrence, Kansas raid.

Both guerrilla leaders were regarded as outlaws by the Federal military though both operated under the Confederate government's Partisan Ranger Act. Quantrill as well as Mosby was forced to fight under the "Black Flag." The "Black Flag" meant "no quarter" for prisoners and was the most feared Confederate battle flag to Union soldiers. This was not a practice supported by the Confederacy, which condemned the killing of prisoners. However, pro-Confederate guerillas were often given "no quarter" when they surrendered and that was more than enough reason for them to fly the "Black Flag" in retaliation.

In Virginia, Union General Philip Sheridan raised the "Black Flag" when in September 1864 he captured seven of Mosby's men and hung them as outlaws. Mosby was forced to respond in kind, executing five Union prisoners. As the situation escalated, Mosby wrote to Sheridan asking for a return to the fair treatment of prisoners, which was granted. In Missouri General Henry Halleck raised the "Black Flag" by outlawing all guerrillas and issued orders to execute all guerrillas when captured. On April 15 , 1862 after the Lowe House fight Federals captured two of Quantrill's men and immediately shot them both. Wounded guerrillas were treated with the same brutality. In May Quantrill sent a message to the Union command seeking an exchange of prisoners to which he was curtly rebuffed. During the Lawrence raid Quantrill's surgeon Dr. John Benson was credited with saving numerous lives of those in Lawrence. Upon returning to his home citizens pleaded for him to surrender, that he would be treated as any other prisoner. After giving himself up Benson was convicted for being a Quantrill man and shot on October 15, 1863.

The guerrilla groups under Quantrill and Mosby operated in the same fashion. The men had no camps nor fixed quarters, and never slept in tents. When they wanted to eat they stopped at a friendly farm house, or went into some little town and bought what they needed. For Mosby, his area of operations embraced in general two counties in Virginia, Fauquier and Loudoun, totaling some 1,200 square miles known as "Mosby's Confederacy." In contrast, Quantrill controlled over 3,200 square miles in a five county area surrounding his base of operations in Jackson County, Missouri, known as "Quantrill Country."

During the war local government was suspended. There were no courts or officers to keep the peace or to make sure the law was obeyed. The people looked to Quantrill and Mosby to make the necessary laws and to enforce them. Mosby would not permit any man to commit a crime, or even a misdemeanor, in his domain. In like fashion Quantrill caught a deserter from Price's army, George Searcy, just before Christmas 1861. Searcy had gained a reputation as a thief and robber who made no distinctions between his victims. When captured he had in his possession a large quantity of horses and livestock. Searcy was tried and condemned to death and hung. Quantrill returned the horses, mules, and other property to their owners, some of whom were Union men. Guerrilla Harrison Trow commented, “The execution acted as a thunderstorm. It restored the equilibrium of the moral atmosphere.”

The arms and accoutrements carried by both forces were in most part the same. Each of Mosby's men was armed with two .44 caliber Colt Army revolvers. Some few who could afford it, or who had succeeded in capturing extra pistols wore an extra pair in saddle holsters or struck into their boot legs. Both groups prime battle strategy was open battle in close combat with unerring marksmanship. Mosby's skirmishes were fast and furious and quickly over, one or the other side withdrawing at a dead run when their pistols were empty. Though cleverly executing well planned ambushes and skirmishes Quantrill was known for leading the van in numerous stand up battles.

Quantrill's men were armed with a variety of weaponry. Most carried a shotgun or carbine slung across their back in addition to the pistols they carried. Most common was the Colt or Remington revolver in .36 or .44 caliber. Most guerrillas carried a brace of revolver with some carrying up to four to six apiece. While "something gray" was the one requisite for Mosby's men, Quantrill's men became famous for what came to be known as the "guerrilla shirt." It was a large comfortable blouse with two broad breast pockets. They were immediately recognizable, a distinguishing mark of these men as was the "gray" for Mosby's men. These “guerrilla shirts” also demonstrated a kind of flamboyance, pride, and esprit-de-corps. In battle the soldiers would open their jackets to reveal their bright-colored shirts. Given the practicality of wearing scavenged Union uniforms to be able to operate behind enemy lines, the flaunting of their "guerrilla shirts" in combat revealed who was friend or foe amid the dust and smoke of close combat. Guerrilla shirts were more than mere decoration. The shirts were highly functional and practical. Designed for close pistol combat on horseback, they were made large enough to be nonbinding. The two large breast pockets were sewed at an angle, without pocket flaps, so the wearer could extract or dispose of extra pistol cylinders without difficulty. Both Quantrill and Mosby's men, when mounted on the finest of horses, certainly gave a ‘Knightly’ appearance.

The chief distinction was that the mode of warfare differed somewhat between the two guerrilla leaders. Mosby’s operations were limited to disrupting the enemies supply lines. He did this by operating behind the enemies lines taking prisoners and capturing horses and mules from enemy supply trains, the mules and horses badly needed for replacements for Lee's army. The number of enemy killed in combat during a whole season of campaigning under the command of Colonel Mosby wouldn’t equal what Colonel Quantrill killed in combat in one engagement. The enemy soldiers whom Mosby encountered were usually captured and after the war went home to be with their families. The enemy soldiers whom Quantrill encountered went home to be with their God.

The South owed a debt of gratitude to both these exemplary guerrilla leaders. At the end of the war, though having served as an honorable Southern officer Mosby had a $5,000 reward on his head. He eluded capture until January 1866, when General Grant intervened directly in his case and paroled him. Quantrill had a reward of $50,000 on his head by his enemies in Kansas. He knew if he stayed in Missouri, he and his men would eventually be caught and hanged. Quantrill understood that the best option for him and his men was to head east to join with General Robert E. Lee’s army or another Southern general and seek reasonable surrender terms when the end of the war came.

In January 1865, Quantrill crossed the Mississippi River into Kentucky with forty handpicked men. The going was slow and treacherous and by March 29, Lee's army was forced to abandon Petersburg, Virginia. After the collapse of Petersburg the Confederate government fled the capitol of Richmond. Quantrill proceeded as far east as Spencer County, Kentucky and waited to see what would happen. Shortly after April 9, Quantrill received news that Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Quantrill continued skirmishing with Federal troops until he was shot and mortally wounded on May 10.

After Quantrill's death many of his men were hunted down and murdered by Union vigilantes. While some escaped to places like Texas some were driven into outlawry. Mosby went on to become a campaign manager in Virginia for President Ulysses S. Grant. Grant appointed him as U.S. consul to Hong Kong. Because of Mosby's friendship with Grant he regularly received death threats, his boyhood home was burned down, and at least one attempt was made to assassinate him.

Article by: Paul R. Petersen - Author of Quantrill of Missouri, Quantrill in Texas, Quantrill at Lawrence and Lost Souls of the Lost Township.

References: The Blue and The Gray - Henry Steele Commager, The Fairfax Press

Below is a previously unpublished image Mosby in a uniform of a Yankee private.


William Quantrill - History

William Clarke Quantrill (1837–65) earned infamy during the Civil War for his atrocities against citizens and guerrilla warfare against Union soldiers. He served the Confederacy and perhaps hoped to secure high rank and recognition from its leaders. But Quantrill's activities indicated that he fought for plunder and personal revenge rather than from any commitment to the South. Born in Ohio, Quantrill headed to Kansas Territory at age eighteen and became embroiled in hostilities between free-state and slave-state forces. At that early date Quantrill easily changed sides, his sole concern being pillage. After the firing on Fort Sumter, guerrilla warfare rocked the border between Kansas and Missouri.

Quantrill retreated to Missouri in early 1861 and lived with one Marcus Gill. When Gill left for Texas, Quantrill followed. Quantrill soon moved on to Indian Territory where he befriended Joel B. Mayes, the future principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Quantrill stayed with Mayes, learned Cherokee guerrilla tactics, and in August witnessed the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri. He returned to the region around Jackson and Cass counties in Missouri and organized a group of irregulars. Because he could read and was an excellent shot and horseman, he became the gang's leader. Throughout 1862 Quantrill and his band of nearly two hundred men raided around Kansas City, Independence, and Olathe. They left Missouri and Kansas during the winter of 1862–63 to quarter in Indian Territory, in Arkansas, and in Texas.

In 1863 Quantrill undertook the raids that made his name feared in the region. On August 21 his band torched Lawrence, Kansas, where they murdered some 150 citizens. Afterward, he and his men retreated to Texas via the Texas Road. En route they surprised Union troops under Gen. James G. Blunt at Baxter Springs, Kansas, in early October, killed about eighty Federals, and wounded eighteen. Quantrill reached Fort Gibson in Indian Territory on October 10, and his men killed twelve Union soldiers there. His band then joined forces with Col. Daniel McIntosh and Gen. Douglas H. Cooper. Here Quantrill wrote his only official report of the war. He claimed that he had killed 150 Negroes and Union Indians in the Cherokee Nation, and he signed the report "W. C. Quantrill, Colonel Commanding."

Quantrill and his men camped near Sherman, Texas, in late 1863 and mercilessly plundered the inhabitants. Confederate Gen. Henry McCulloch sent them into Indian Territory. In mid-December Quantrill and his men joined with Gen. Stand Watie for an attack on Fort Gibson. This foray achieved nothing, and it is doubtful that the raiders saw combat. About one week later Quantrill, Watie, and Col. William Penn Adair attempted to assault Fort Smith, Arkansas. Again, little action resulted, and Quantrill returned to Texas for the winter.

McCulloch lost patience with the outrages committed by Quantrill's men and arrested him. However, he escaped, took his band into Indian Territory, and joined General Cooper, who was plotting to take Fort Smith. They arrived near Fort Smith on April 6, 1864, but had no intention of assisting Cooper. Quantrill moved toward Fort Gibson and ordered nine civilians killed at the Creek Agency. A Confederate force raided near Fort Gibson on April 17, but Quantrill avoided the fight he later outmaneuvered Union troops and escaped into southwestern Missouri.

Quantrill made an excursion into Texas in May 1864, believing that Confederate charges against him had been dropped and that he might be given a formal command. But a command was not forthcoming, and he went back to his band, whose leadership he had lost. He eventually took a small group to Kentucky to engage in guerrilla activities there he was shot on May 10, 1865, and died in a Louisville prison on June 6, 1865. In August 1864 an action occurred above Fort Gibson between Federal troops and remnants of Quantrill's raiders. In this battle Jesse James was wounded and began his outlaw career.

Quantrill's reputation was made in the border war between Missouri and Kansas. His Indian Territory operations lacked importance and exhibited none of the dash that he had showed in Kansas. The reasons are twofold. First, Quantrill and his men needed familiar surroundings to implement their guerrilla tactics. Indian Territory was alien to them, and they avoided conflict there. Second, Indian Territory did not have Unionist population centers that were ripe for his kind of terrorism. For Quantrill and his men, Indian Territory served as an escape route, not a field of action.

Bibliography

Albert Castel, William Clarke Quantrill: His Life and Times (Reprint ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999).

LeRoy H. Fischer and Lary C. Rampp, "Quantrill's Civil War Operations in Indian Territory," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 46 (Summer 1968).

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William Quantrill - History

William Clarke Quantrill was a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War. Having endured a tempestuous childhood before later becoming a schoolteacher, Quantrill joined a group of bandits who roamed the Missouri and Kansas countryside apprehending escaped slaves. Later on, this group joined the Confederate Army and were referred to as the “Quantrill’s Raiders.” Take a look below for 27 more strange and interesting facts about William Quantrill.

1. Quantrill’s Raiders was a pro-Confederate partisan ranger outfit best known for their often brutal guerrilla tactics, which made use of effective Native American field skills.

2. Quantrill’s group included the infamous young Jesse James and his older brother Frank James.

3. Quantrill is often noted as influential in the minds of many bandits, outlaws and hired guns of the Old West as it was being settled.

4. In May, 1865, Quantrill was mortally wounded by Union troops in Central Kentucky, in one of the last engagements of the Civil War.

5. Born in Dover Canal, Ohio, in 1837, Quantrill moved often during his early adulthood in search of adventure and, more importantly, money.

6. By 1859, his travels had brought him to Stanton, Kansas.

7. Quantrill had spent some time in this little town in Douglas County two years earlier and he returned to get a job teaching school and to settle down.

8. He soon changed professions from being a schoolteachers to the more lucrative and exciting career of horse-thief and slave trader.

9. Quantrill’s new career began with a scheme of stealing slaves and horses from Missouri and reselling them to the highest bidder, preferably not their previous owner.

10. In December, 1861, he organized his infamous guerrilla band, which included William “Bloody Bill” Anderson, George Todd, Fletcher Taylor, Cole Younger, and Frank James, to name a few.

11. They claimed to be fighting for the Confederacy, but in fact, their murdering and looting benefited only their pocketbooks.

12. Quantrill’s tactics were ruthless and unmerciful the best example being the well-known raid on Lawrence in 1863. It was on August 31, when his band attacked this free-state stronghold and after a four-hour siege they destroyed the town.

13. Businesses and homes were looted and the town was burned, but the most heinous part of the raid was that the marauders rounded up the men and boys into the middle of the town.

14. As their wives and daughters watched, they were executed by the guerrillas.

15. This massacre had the distinction of being the worst perpetrated during the Civil War.

16. Toward the end of the war, Quantrill led his men first to Texas to prey on unprotected wagon trains headed West.

17. From Texas, they moved through Missouri to Kentucky. The plan was to surrender to Union forces in Kentucky disguised as a regular Confederate unit, and receive a pardon from the North.

18. In May of 1865, Quantrill’s plan was foiled when a Union unit, led by Captain Edward Terrill, intercepted his band.

19. While in Texas, Quantrill and his 400 man quarreled.

20. His once-large band broke up into several smaller guerrilla companies. One was led by his lieutenant, “Blood Bill” Anderson. Quantrill joined them briefly in the fall of 1864 during fighting north of the Missouri River.

21. In the spring of 1865, now leading only a few dozen pro-Confederates, Quantrill staged a series of raids in western Kentucky.

22. On May 10, when Quantrill and his band were caught in a Union ambush at Wakefield Farm, unable to escape on account of a skittish horse, he was shot in the back and paralyzed from the chest down.

23. He was brought by wagon to Louisville, Kentucky, and taken to the military prison hospital, located on the north side of Broadway at 10th Street.

24. He died from his wounds on June 6, 1865, at the age of 27.

25. Quantrill was buried in an unmarked grave, which is now marked, in what later became known as St. John’s Cemetery in Louisville.

26. A boyhood friend of Quantrill’s, newspaper reporter William W. Scott, claimed to have dug up the Louisville grave in 1887 and brought Quantrill’s remains back to Dover at the request of Quantrill’s mother. These remains were supposedly buried in Dover in 1889.

27. In the early 1990s, the Missouri division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans convinced the Kansas State Historical Society to negotiate with authorities in Dover, which led to three arm bones, two leg bones, and some hair, all allegedly Quantrill’s, being buried in 1992 at the Old Confederate Veteran’s Home Cemetery in Higginsville, Missouri. As a result of these events, there are grave markers for Quantrill in Louisville, Dover, and Higginsville.


William Quantrill

William Clarke Quantrill (July 31, 1837 – June 6, 1865), was a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War. After leading a Confederate bushwhacker unit along the Missouri-Kansas border in the early 1860s, which included the infamous raid and sacking of Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, Quantrill eventually ended up in Kentucky where he was mortally wounded in a Union ambush in 1865, aged 27.

Quantrill, the oldest of 8 children, was born at Canal Dover (now just Dover), Ohio, on July 31, 1837. His father was Thomas Quantrill, formerly of Hagerstown, Maryland. His mother, Caroline Cornelia Clark, was a native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. They were married on October 11, 1836, and moved to Canal Dover the following December. Thomas Quantrill died December 7, 1854, apparently of tuberculosis.

Little is known of Quantrill’s life in Dover, though it appears that he was raised by his mother in a Unionist family. However, he always had a loathing for its Free-Soil beliefs. After several years working as a teacher in Mendota,Illinois, Quantrill traveled to Utah Territory with the Federal Army as a teamster in 1858 as part of the Utah War, but left the army there to try his hand at professional gambling. In 1859, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and again taught school.

When the Civil War began in 1861, Quantrill claimed he was a native of Maryland and may have joined the Missouri State Guard. However, his dislike of army discipline led him to form an independent guerrilla band by the end of that year. This bushwhacker company began as a force of no more than a dozen men who staged raids into Kansas, harassed Union soldiers, raided pro-Union towns, robbed mail coaches, and attacked Unionist civilians. At times they skirmished with the Jayhawkers, undisciplined Union militia from Kansas who raided into Missouri. The Union commanders declared him to be an outlaw, even though Quantrill apparently did secure a Confederate commission as a captain of partisan rangers. When the Union Army ordered all captured guerrillas to be shot, Quantrill ceased taking prisoners and started doing the same. He quickly became known to his opponents as a feared Rebel raider, and to his supporters as a dashing, free-spirited hero.

The most significant event in Quantrill's guerrilla career took place on August 21, 1863. Lawrence had been seen for years as the stronghold of the anti-slavery forces in Kansas and as a base of operation for incursions into Missouri by Jayhawkers and pro-Union forces. It was also the home of James H. Lane, a Senator infamous in Missouri for his staunch anti-slavery views and also a leader of the Jayhawkers. Moreover, during the weeks immediately preceding the raid, Union General Thomas Ewing, Jr., had ordered the detention of any civilians giving aid to Quantrill's Raiders. Several female relatives of the guerrillas were imprisoned in a makeshift jail in Kansas City, Missouri. On August 14, the building collapsed, killing four young women and seriously injuring others. Among the casualties was Josephine Anderson, sister of one of Quantrill's key guerrilla allies, William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson. Another of Anderson's sisters, Mary, was permanently crippled in the collapse. Quantrill's men believed the collapse was deliberate, and the event fanned them into a fury.

Many historians believe that Quantrill had actually planned to raid Lawrence in advance of the building's collapse, in retaliation for earlier Jayhawker attacks as well as the burning of Osceola, Missouri.

Early on the morning of August 21, Quantrill descended from Mount Oread and attacked Lawrence at the head of a combined force of as many as 450 guerrillas. Senator Lane, a prime target of the raid, managed to escape through a cornfield in his nightshirt, but the bushwhackers, on Quantrill's orders, killed 183 men and boys "old enough to carry a rifle", Quantrill, known to be armed with several French pinfire revolvers, his favorite weapon of choice, carried out several personally, dragging many from their homes to execute them before their families. The ages of those killed ranged from as young as 14 all the way up to 90. When Quantrill's men rode out at 9 a.m., most of Lawrence's buildings were burning, including all but two businesses. His raiders looted indiscriminately and robbed the town's bank.

On August 25, in retaliation for the raid, General Ewing authorized General Order No. 11 (not to be confused with General Ulysses S. Grant's General Order of the same name). The edict ordered the depopulation of three-and-a-half Missouri counties along the Kansas border (with the exception of a few designated towns), forcing tens of thousands of civilians to abandon their homes. Union troops marched through behind them, burning buildings, torching planted fields and shooting down livestock to deprive the guerrillas of food, fodder, and support. The area was so thoroughly devastated that it became known thereafter as the "Burnt District". Quantrill and his men rode south to Texas, where they passed the winter with the Confederate forces.

While in Texas, Quantrill and his 400 men quarreled. His once-large band broke up into several smaller guerrilla companies. One was led by his notable lieutenant, William "Bloody Bill" Anderson, whose men came to be known for tying the scalps of slain unionists to the saddles and bridles of their horses. Quantrill joined them briefly in the fall of 1863 during fighting north of the Missouri River.

In the spring of 1865, now leading only a few dozen men, Quantrill staged a series of raids in western Kentucky. He rode into a Union ambush on May 10 near Taylorsville, Kentucky, armed with several French pinfires which bore his name, and received a gunshot wound to the chest. He died from it on June 6 at the age of 27.

Claim of post-1865 survival

In August, 1907, news articles appeared in Canada and the United States claiming that J.E. Duffy, a member of a Michigan cavalry troop that dealt with Quantrill's raiders during the Civil War, had met Quantrill at Quatsino Sound, on northern Vancouver Island while investigating timber rights in the area. Duffy claimed to recognize the man, living under the name of John Sharp, as Quantrill. Duffy said that Sharp admitted he was Quantrill and discussed in detail raids in Kansas and elsewhere. Sharp claimed that he had survived the ambush in Kentucky, though receiving a bayonet and bullet wound, making his way to South America where he lived some years in Chile. He returned to the United States, working as a cattleman in Forth Worth, Tex. He then moved to Oregon, acting as a cowpuncher and drover, before reaching British Columbia in the 1890s, where he worked in logging, trapping and finally as a mine caretaker at Coal Harbour at Quatsino.

Within some weeks after the news stories were published two men, "obviously from the South," came to British Columbia, travelling to Quatsino from Victoria, leaving Quatsino on a return voyage of a coastal steamer the next day. On that day Sharp was found severely beaten, dying several hours later without giving information about his attackers. The police were unable to solve the murder.

During the war, Quantrill met thirteen-year-old Sarah Katherine King at her parents' farm in Blue Springs, Missouri. They married and she lived in camp with Quantrill and his men. At the time of his death, she was seventeen.

Quantrill's actions remain controversial to this day. Some historians view him as an opportunistic, bloodthirsty outlaw James M. McPherson, one of America's most prominent experts on the Civil War today, calls him and Anderson "pathological killers" who "murdered and burned out Missouri Unionists." Others, such as Missouri biographer Paul R. Petersen, continue to regard him as a daring horse soldier and a local folk hero. Some of Quantrill's celebrity later rubbed off on other ex-Raiders – Jesse and Frank James, and Cole and Jim Younger – who went on after the war to apply Quantrill's hit-and-run tactics to bank and train robbery. The William Clarke Quantrill Society continues to research and celebrate his life and deeds.

Dark Command (1940), in which John Wayne opposes former schoolteacher turned guerrilla fighter "William Cantrell" in the early days of the Civil War. William Cantrell is a thinly veiled portrayal of William Quantrill.

Renegade Girl (1946) deals with tension between Unionists and Confederates in Missouri.

Kansas Raiders (1950), in which Jesse James (played by Audie Murphy) falls under the influence of Quantrill.

Woman They Almost Lynched (1953), featuring Quantrill's wife Kate as a female gunslinger.

The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953), in which a former Quantrill Raider becomes bank robber until his old comrades catch up with him.

Gunsmoke 's first television season episode Reunion '78 features a showdown between cowboy Jerry Shand, who has just arrived in Dodge City, and long-time resident Andy Cully, hardware dealer (a one-time character.) Cully turns out to have been one of Quantrill's Raiders, and Shand, hailing from Lawrence, Kansas, has an old score to settle with him.

Quantrill's Raiders (1958), focusing on the raid on Lawrence.

A 1959 episode of the TV show The Rough Riders entitled "The Plot to Assassinate President Johnson", as the title suggests, involves Quantrill in a plot to assassinate President Andrew Johnson.

Young Jesse James (1960), also depicts Quantrill's influence on Jesse James.

Arizona Raiders (1965), in which Audie Murphy plays an ex-Quantrill Raider who is assigned the task of tracking down his former comrades.

The TV series Hondo featured both Quantrill and Jesse James in the 1967 episode "Hondo and the Judas".

In 1968's "Bandolero!", Dean Martin plays Dee Bishop, a former Quantrill Raider who admits to participating in the attack on Lawrence. His brother Mace, played by James Stewart, was a member of the Union Army under General William Tecumseh Sherman.

The Legend of the Golden Gun (1979), in which two men attempt to track down and kill Quantrill.

A Belgian comic series, Les Tuniques Bleues ("The Blue Coats") depicts Quantrill as twisted, even psychotic.

Lawrence: Free State Fortress (1998), depicts the attack on Lawrence.

The 2000 episode entitled "The Ballad of Steeley Joe" on the series The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne depicted both Jesse James and William Quantrill.

The USA Network's television show Psych, in an episode entitled "Weekend Warriors", featured a Civil War re-enactment that included William Quantrill. The episode spoke about Quantrill's actions in Lawrence, but the reenactment featured his death at the hands of a fictional nurse Jenny Winslow, whose family was killed at Lawrence.

In the novel Gone to Texas, by Asa (aka Forrest) Carter, Josey Wales is a former member of a Confederate Raiding Party led by "Bloody Bill" Anderson, Quantrill's Lieutenant. The book is the basis of the Clint Eastwood film The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Quantrill's Lawrence Massacre of 1863 is depicted in Spielberg's mini-series Into the West (2005)

Depicted in Robert Schenkkan's play The Kentucky Cycle.

The novel Woe To Live On (1987) by Daniel Woodrell was filmed as Ride With The Devil (1999) by Ang Lee. The film features a harrowing recreation of the Lawrence massacre and is notable for its overall authenticity. Quantrill, played by John Ales, makes brief appearances.

In the novel True Grit by Charles Portis, and the 1969 and 2010 film versions thereof, Rooster Cogburn boasts of being a former member of Quantrill's Raiders, and LaBoeuf excoriates him for being part of the "border gang" that murdered men, women, and children alike during the raid on Lawrence, Kansas.

In Bradley Denton's alternate history tale "The Territory", Samuel Clemens joins Quantrill's Raiders and is with them when they attack Lawrence, Kansas. It was nominated for a Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award for best novella.


William C. Quantrill

William Quantrill is perhaps Dover&rsquos most infamous native son. Fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War he developed a national reputation for his ruthlessness.

Born July 31, 1837 in Dover and educated in the local schools, Quantrill&rsquos father, Thomas, was Dover&rsquos first Superintendent. Shortly after his father&rsquos death in 1854, Quantrill moved west for the first time. He would eventually spend time travelling the western frontier of the United States in what is today Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming, Colorado, and even Salt Lake City, Utah.

After the outbreak of the United States Civil War, Quantrill joined the Confederate side serving first as a Captain. He would eventually end up as a Colonel leading one of the war&rsquos most ruthless bands of guerilla fighters. He is most famous for his raid on Lawrence, KS in 1863 when he had nearly eight hundred men under his command. During the raid Kansas&rsquo capital city was burned to the ground. Two years later, Union troops cornered Quantrill in Kentucky and he was mortally wounded. He died a month later on June 6, 1865.