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Title: Charles W. Quantrell
 - A True Report of his Guerrilla Warfare on the Missouri and Kansas Border During the Civil War of 1861 to 1865
Author: Trow, Harrison
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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 - A True Report of his Guerrilla Warfare on the Missouri and Kansas Border During the Civil War of 1861 to 1865" ***

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  1861 TO 1865







[Illustration: CHARLES W. QUANTRELL]




  Introduction                                                    11

  The False Jonah                                                 13

  Early Life of Quantrell                                         15

  Why the Quantrell Guerrillas Were Organized                     23

  Quantrell’s First Battle in the Civil War                       29

  Fight at Charles Younger’s Farm                                 35

  Fight at Independence                                           37

  Second Fight at Independence                                    39

  Flanked Independence                                            41

  Fight at Tate House                                             43

  Fight at Clark’s Home                                           51

  Jayhawkers and Militia Murdered Old Man Blythe’s Son            59

  The Low House Fight                                             63

  Quantrell and Todd Go After Ammunition                          69

  A Challenge                                                     73

  The Battle and Capture of Independence                          77

  Lone Jack Fight                                                 85

  The March South in 1862                                         97

  Younger Remains in Missouri Winter of 1862 and 1863            105

  The Trip North in 1863                                         121

  Jesse James Joins the Command                                  131

  Lawrence Massacre                                              141

  Order Number 11, August, 1863                                  155

  Fights and Skirmishes, Fall and Winter, 1863–1864              159

  Blue Springs Fight, 1863                                       163

  Wellington                                                     165

  The Grinter Fight                                              171

  The Centralia Massacre                                         175

  Anderson                                                       187

  Press Webb, a Born Scout                                       193

  Little Blue                                                    205

  Arrock Fight, Spring of 1864                                   207

  Fire Bottom Prairie Fight, Spring of 1864                      209

  Death of Todd and Anderson, October, 1864                      213

  Going South, Fall of 1864                                      223

  The Surrender                                                  229

  Death of Quantrell                                             237

  The Youngers and Jameses After the War                         253

                    Do not loan this book out to
                       neighbors and friends
                If You Do You Will Never Get It Back

                      Keep it in your Library
                    When You Are Not Reading It

                      If You Want One Send to

                      J. P. BURCH, VEGA, TEXAS

                  And He Will Mail You One At Once


Captain Harrison Trow, who will be eighty years old this coming
October, was with Quantrell during the whole of the conflict from
1861 to 1865, and for the past twenty years I have been at him to
give his consent for me to write a true history of the Quantrell
Band, until at last he has given it.

This narrative was written just as he told it to me, giving
accounts of fights that he participated in, narrow escapes
experienced, dilemmas it seemed almost impossible to get out of,
and also other battles; the life of the James boys and Youngers as
they were with Quantrell during the war, and after the war, when
they became outlaws by publicity of the daily newspapers, being
accused of things which they never did and which were laid at their

Captain Trow identified Jesse James when the latter was killed at
St. Joseph. He also was the last man to surrender in the State of

                                        JOHN P. BURCH.


Captain Harrison Trow was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October
16, 1843, moved to Illinois in 1848, and thence to Missouri in
1850, and went to Hereford, Texas, in 1901, where he now resides.
At the age of nine years, he, having one of the nicest, neatest and
sweetest stepmothers (as they all are), and things not being as
pleasant at home as they should be (which is often the case where
there is a stepmother), and getting all the peach tree sprouts for
the whole family used on him, he decided the world was too large
for him to take such treatment, and one day he proceeded to give
the stepmother a good flogging, such as he had been getting, and
left for brighter fields.

In a few days he made his way to Independence, Missouri, got into
a game of marbles, playing keeps, in front of a blacksmith shop,
and won seventy-five cents. Then and there Uncle George Hudsbath
rode up and wanted to hire a hand. Young Trow jumped at the job and
talked to Mr. Hudsbath a few minutes and soon was up behind him and
riding away to his new home. Young Trow proved to be the lad Uncle
George was looking for and stayed with him until the war broke out.

The False Jonah

Early in the year of 1861, about in January, Jim Lane sent a false
Jonah down to Missouri to investigate the location of the negroes
and stock, preparing to make a raid within a short time. This Jonah
located first at Judge Gray’s house at Bone Hill, was fed by Judge
Gray’s “niggers” and was secreted in an empty ice house where they
kept ice in the summer time. He would come out in the night time
and plan with the “niggers” for their escape into Kansas with the
horses, buggies and carriages and other valuables belonging to
their master that they could get possession of. But an old negro
woman, old Maria by name, gave the Jonah away.

Chat Rennick, one of the neighbors, and two other men secreted
themselves in the negroes’ cabin so as to hear what he was telling
the negroes. After he had made all his plans for their escape
Chat Rennick came out on him with the other two men and took him
prisoner and started north to the Missouri River. Securing a skiff,
they floated out into the river and when in about the center there
came up a heavy gale, and one of these gentlemen thought it best to
unload part of the cargo, so he was thrown overboard. As for the
negroes, they repented in sack cloth and ashes and all stayed at
home and took care of their master and mistress, as Jonah did in
the olden times. As for the Jonah, I do not know whether the fish
swallowed him or not, but if one did he did not get sick and throw
him up. This took place at my wife’s uncle’s home, Judge James

Early Life of Quantrell

The early life of Quantrell was obscure and uneventful. He was born
near Hagerstown, Maryland, July 20, 1836, and was reared there
until he was sixteen years of age. He remained always an obedient
and affectionate son. His mother had been left a widow when he was
only a few years old.

For some time preceding 1857, Quantrell’s only brother lived in
Kansas. He wrote to his younger brother, Charles, to come there,
and after his arrival they decided on a trip to California. About
the middle of the summer of 1857 the two started for California
with a freight outfit. Upon reaching Little Cottonwood River,
Kansas, they decided to camp for the night. This they did. All was
going well. After supper twenty-one outlaws, or Redlegs, belonging
to Jim Lane at Lawrence, Kansas, rode up and killed the elder
brother, wounded Charles, and took everything in sight, money,
and even the “nigger” who went with them to do the cooking. They
thought more of the d----d “nigger” than they did of all the rest
of the loot. They left poor Charles there to die and be eaten later
by wolves or some other wild animal that might come that way.
Poor Charles lay there for three days before anyone happened by,
guarding his dead brother, suffering near death from his wounds.
After three days an old Shawnee Indian named Spye Buck came along,
buried the elder brother and took Charles to his home and nursed
him back to life and strength. After six months to a year Charles
Quantrell was able to go at ease, and having a good education for
those days, got a school and taught until he had earned enough
money to pay the old Indian for keeping him while he was sick and
to get him to Lawrence. He reached Lawrence and went to where Jim
Lane was stationed with his company. He wanted to get into the
company that murdered his brother and wounded himself. After a
few days he was taken in and, from outward appearance, he became
a full-fledged Redleg, but in his heart he was doing this only to
seek revenge on those who had killed his brother and wounded him at
Cottonwood, Kansas.

Quantrell, now known as Charles Hart, became intimate with Lane and
ostensibly attached himself to the fortunes of the anti-slavery
party. In order to attain his object and get a step nearer his
goal, it became necessary for him to speak of John Brown. He always
spoke of him to General Lane, who was at that time Colonel Lane,
in command of a regiment at Lawrence, as one for whom he had great
admiration. Quantrell became enrolled in a company that held all
but two of the men who had done the deadly work at Cottonwood,
Kansas. First as a private, then as an orderly and sergeant,
Quantrell soon gained the esteem of his officers and the confidence
of his men.

One day Quantrell and three men were sent down in the neighborhood
of Wyandotte to meet a wagon load of “niggers” coming up to
Missouri under the pilotage of Jack Winn, a somewhat noted horse
thief and abolutionist. One of the three men failed to return with
Quantrell, nor could any account be given of his absence until his
body was found near a creek several days afterwards. In the center
of his forehead was the round, smooth hole of a navy revolver
bullet. Those who looked for Jack Winn’s safe arrival were also
disappointed. People traveling the road passed the corpse almost
daily and the buzzards found it first, and afterwards the curious.
There was the same round hole in the forehead and the same sure
mark of the navy revolver bullet. This thing went on for several
months, scarcely a week passing but that some sentinel was found
dead at his post, some advance picket surprised and shot at his
outpost watch station.

The men began to whisper, one to another, and to cast about for
the cavalry Jonah who was in their midst. One company alone, that
of Captain Pickins, the company to which Quantrell belonged, had
lost thirteen men between October, 1859 and 1860. Other companies
had lost two to three each. A railroad conductor named Rogers
had been shot through the forehead. Quantrell and Pickens became
intimate, as a captain and lieutenant of the same company should,
and confided many things to each other. One night the story of
the Cottonwood River was told and Pickens dwelt with just a
little relish upon it. Three days later Pickens and two of his
most reliable men were found dead on Bull Creek, shot like the
balance, in the middle of the forehead. For a time after Pickens’
death there was a lull in the constant conscription demanded by
the Nemesis. The new lieutenant bought himself a splendid uniform,
owned the best horse in the territory and instead of one navy
revolver, now had two. Organizations of all sorts now sprang up,
Free Soil clubs, Men of Equal Rights, Sons of Liberty, Destroying
Angels, Lane’s Loyal Leaguers, and everyone made haste to get his
name signed to both constitution and by-laws.

Lawrence especially effected the Liberator Club, whose undivided
mission was to found freedom for all the slaves now in Missouri.

Quantrell persevered in his efforts to kill all of the men who
had had a hand in the killing of his brother and the wounding
of himself. With this in view, he induced seven Liberators to
co-operate with him in an attack on Morgan Walker. These seven men
whom Quantrell picked were the last except two of the men he had
sworn vengeance upon when left to die at Cottonwood River, Kansas.
He told them that Morgan Walker had a lot of “niggers,” horses and
cattle and money and that the sole purpose was to rob and kill him.
Quantrell’s only aim was to get these seven men. Morgan Walker was
an old citizen of Jackson County, a venerable pioneer who had
settled there when buffalo grazed on the prairie beyond Westport
and where, in the soft sands beyond the inland streams, there were
wolf and moccasin tracks. This man, Morgan Walker, was the man
Quantrell had proposed to rob. He lived some five or six miles
from Independence and owned about twenty negroes of various ages
and sizes. The probabilities were that a skillfully conducted raid
might leave him without a “nigger.”

Well mounted and armed, the little detachment left Lawrence
quietly, rode two by two, far apart, until the first rendezvous was
reached, a clump of timber at a ford on Indian Creek. It was the
evening of the second day, and they tarried long enough to rest
their horses and eat a hearty supper.

Before daylight the next morning the entire party were hidden in
some heavy timber about two miles west of Walker’s house. There
these seven men stayed, none of them stirring, except Quantrell.
Several times during the day, however, he went backwards and
forwards, apparently to the fields where the negroes were at work,
and whenever he returned he brought something either for the horses
or the men to eat.

Mr. Walker had two sons, and before it was yet night, these boys
and their father were seen putting into excellent order their
double-barrel shotguns, and a little later three neighbors who
likewise carried double-barrel shotguns rode up to the house.
Quantrell, who brought news of many other things to his comrades,
brought no note of this. If he saw it he made no sign. When
Quantrell arranged his men for the dangerous venture they were to
proceed, first to the house, gain access to it, capture all the
male members of the family and put them under guard, assemble all
the negroes and make them hitch up the horses to the wagons and
then gallop them for Kansas. Fifty yards from the gate the eight
men dismounted and fastened their horses, and the march to the
house began. Quantrell led. He was very cool and seemed to see
everything. The balance of his men had their revolvers in their
hands while he had his in his belt. Quantrell knocked loudly at
the oaken panel of the door. No answer. He knocked again and
stood perceptibly at one side. Suddenly the door flared open and
Quantrell leaped into the hall with a bound like a red deer. A
livid sheet of flame burst out through the darkness where he had
disappeared, followed by another as the second barrels of the guns
were discharged and the tragedy was over. Six fell where they
stood, riddled with buckshot. One staggered to the garden and
died there. The seventh, hard hit and unable to mount his horse,
dragged himself to a patch of timber and waited for the dawn. They
tracked him by the blood upon the leaves and found him early in the
morning. Another volley, and the last Liberator was liberated.

Walker and his two sons, assisted by three of the stalwart and
obliging neighbors, had done a clean night’s work, and a righteous
one. This being the last of the Redlegs, except two, who murdered
Quantrell’s brother and wounded him in Cottonwood, Kansas, in 1857,
he closed his eyes and ears from ever being a scout for old Jim
Lane any more.

In a few days after the ambuscade at Walker’s, Charles W.
Quantrell, instead of Charles Hart, as he was known, then was not
afraid to tell his name on Missouri soil. He wrote to Jim Lane,
telling him what had happened to the scouts sent out by him, and as
the war was on then, Quantrell told Lane in his letter that he was
going to Richmond, Virginia, to get a commission from under Jeff
Davis’ own hand, which he did (as you will read further on in this
narrative), to operate on the border at will. So Quantrell, being
fully equipped with all credentials, notified Jim Lane of Missouri,
telling him he would treat him with the same or better courtesy
than he (Lane) had treated him and his brother at Cottonwood River,
Kansas, in 1857. This made Jim Lane mad, and he began to send his
roving, robbing, and thieving bands into Missouri, and Charles W.
Quantrell, having a band of well organized guerrillas of about
fifty men, began to play on their golden harps. Every time they
came in sight, which was almost every day, they would have a fight
to the finish.

Why the Quantrell Guerrillas Were Organized

It all came about from the Redlegs or Kansas Jayhawkers. For two
years Kansas hated Missouri and at all times during these two years
there were Redlegs from old Jim Lane’s army crossing to Missouri,
stealing everything they could get their hands on, driving stock,
insulting innocent women and children, and hanging and killing old
men; so it is the province of history to deal with results, not to
condemn the phenomena which produce them. Nor has it the right to
decry the instruments Providence always raises up in the midst of
great catastrophes to restore the equilibrium of eternal justice.
Civil War might well have made the Guerrilla, but only the excesses
of civil war could have made him the untamable and unmerciful
creature that history finds him. When he first went into the war he
was somewhat imbued with the old-fashioned belief that soldiering
meant fighting and that fighting meant killing. He had his own
ideas of soldiering, however, and desired nothing so much as to
remain at home and meet its despoilers upon his own premises. Not
naturally cruel, and averse to invading the territory of any other
people, he could not understand the patriotism of those who invaded
his own territory. Patriotism, such as he was required to profess,
could not spring up in the market place at the bidding of Redleg
or Jayhawker. He believed, indeed, that the patriotism of Jim Lane
and Jennison was merely a highway robbery transferred from the
darkness to the dawn, and he believed the truth. Neither did the
Guerrilla become merciless all of a sudden. Pastoral in many cases
by profession, and reared among the bashful and timid surroundings
of agricultural life, he knew nothing of the tiger that was in
him until death had been dashed against his eyes in numberless
and brutal ways, and until the blood of his own kith and kin had
been sprinkled plentifully upon things that his hands touched, and
things that entered into his daily existence. And that fury of
ideas also came to him slowly, which is more implacable than the
fury of men, for men have heart, and opinion has none. It took him
likewise some time to learn that the Jayhawkers’ system of saving
the Union was a system of brutal force, which bewailed not even
that which it crushed; and it belied its doctrine by its tyranny,
stained its arrogated right by its violence, and dishonored its
vaunted struggles by its executions. But blood is as contagious as
air. The fever of civil war has its delirium.

When the Guerrilla awoke he was a giant! He took in, as it were,
and at a single glance, all the immensity of the struggle. He saw
that he was hunted and proscribed; that he had neither a flag nor a
government; that the rights and the amenities of civilized warfare
were not to be his; that a dog’s death was certain to be his if
he surrendered even in the extremest agony of battle; that the
house which sheltered him had to be burned; the father who succored
him had to be butchered; the mother who prayed for him had to be
insulted; the sister who carried him food had to be imprisoned;
the neighborhood which witnessed his combats had to be laid waste;
the comrade shot down by his side had to be put to death as a wild
beast--and he lifted up the black flag in self-defense and fought
as became a free man and a hero.

Much obloquy has been cast upon the Guerrilla organization because
in its name bad men plundered the helpless, pillaged the friend and
foe alike, assaulted non-combatants and murdered the unresisting
and the innocent. Such devils’ work was not Guerrilla work. It
fitted all too well the hands of those cowards crouching in the
rear of either army and courageous only where women defended
what remained to themselves and their children. Desperate and
remorseless as he undoubtedly was, the Guerrilla saw shining upon
his pathway a luminous patriotism, and he followed it eagerly that
he might kill in the name of God and his country. The nature of his
warfare made him responsible, of course, for many monstrous things
he had no personal share in bringing about. Denied a hearing at
the bar of public opinion, of all the loyal journalists, painted
blacker than ten devils, and given a countenance that was made
to retain some shadow of all the death agonies he had seen, is
it strange in the least that his fiendishness became omnipresent
as well as omnipotent? To justify one crime on the part of a
Federal soldier, five crimes more cruel were laid at the door of
the Guerrilla. His long gallop not only tired, but infuriated his
hunters. That savage standing at bay and dying always as a wolf
dies when barked at by hounds and dudgeoned by countrymen, made his
enemies fear and hate him. Hence, from all their bomb-proofs his
slanderers fired silly lies at long range, and put afloat unnatural
stories that hurt him only as it deepened the savage intensity of
an already savage strife. Save in rare and memorable instances, the
Guerrilla murdered only when fortune in open and honorable battle
gave into his hands some victims who were denied that death in
combat which they afterward found by ditch or lonesome roadside.
Man for man, he put his life fairly on the cast of the war dice,
and died when the need came as the red Indian dies, stoical and
grim as a stone.

As strange as it may seem, the perilous fascination of fighting
under a black flag--where the wounded could have neither surgeon
nor hospital, and where all that remained to the prisoners was
the absolute certainty of speedy death--attracted a number of
young men to the various Guerrilla bands, gently nurtured, born to
higher destinies, capable of sustaining exertion in any scheme or
enterprise, and fit for callings high up in the scale of science
or philosophy. Others came who had deadly wrongs to avenge, and
these gave to all their combats that sanguinary hue which still
remains a part of the Guerrilla’s legacy. Almost from the first
a large majority of Quantrell’s original command had over them
the shadow of some terrible crime. This one recalled a father
murdered, this one a brother waylaid and shot, this one a house
pillaged and burned, this one a relative assassinated, this one a
grievous insult while at peace at home, this one a robbery of all
his earthly possessions, this one the force that compelled him to
witness the brutal treatment of a mother or sister, this one was
driven away from his own like a thief in the night, this one was
threatened with death for opinion’s sake, this one was proscribed
at the instance of some designing neighbor, this one was arrested
wantonly and forced to do the degrading work of a menial; while all
had more or less of wrath laid up against the day when they were to
meet, face to face and hand to hand, those whom they had good cause
to regard as the living embodiment of unnumbered wrongs. Honorable
soldiers in the Confederate army--amenable to every generous
impulse and exact in the performance of every manly duty--deserted
even the ranks which they had adorned and became desperate
Guerillas because the home they had left had been given to the
flames, or a gray-haired father shot upon his own hearthstone.
They wanted to avoid the uncertainty of regular battle and know
by actual results how many died as a propitation or a sacrifice.
Every other passion became subsidiary to that of revenge. They
sought personal encounters that their own handiwork might become
unmistakably manifest. Those who died by other agencies than their
own were not counted in the general summing up of the fight, nor
were the solacements of any victory sweet to them unless they had
the knowledge of being important factors in its achievement.

As this class of Guerrilla increased, the warfare of the border
became necessarily more cruel and unsparing. Where at first
there was only killing in ordinary battle, there came to be no
quarter shown. The wounded of the enemy next felt the might of
this individual vengeance--acting through a community of bitter
memories--and from every stricken field there began, by and by, to
come up the substance of this awful bulletin: Dead, such and such
a number; _wounded, none_. The war had then passed into its fever
heat, and thereafter the gentle and the merciful, equally with the
harsh and the revengeful, spared nothing clad in blue that could be

Quantrell’s First Battle in the Civil War

Quantrell, together with Captain Blunt, returned from Richmond,
Virginia, in the fall of 1861, with his commission from under the
hand of Jeff Davis, to operate at will along the Kansas border. He
began to organize his band of Guerrillas. His first exploits were
confined to but eight men. These eight men were William Haller,
James and John Little, Edward Koger, Andrew Walker, son of Morgan
Walker, at whose farm Quantrell got rid of the last but two of the
band that murdered his brother at Cottonwood River, Kansas, and
left himself to die; John Hampton James Kelley and Solomon Bashman.

This little band knew nothing whatever of war, and knew only how to
fight and shoot. They lived on the border and had some old scores
to settle with the Jayhawkers.

These eight men, or rather nine--for Quantrell
commanded--encountered their first hereditary enemies, the
Jayhawkers. Lane entered Missouri only on grand occasions; Jennison
only once in a while as on a frolic. One was a collossal thief;
the other a picayune one. Lane dealt in mules by herds, horses
by droves, wagons by parks, negroes by neighborhoods, household
effects by the ton, and miscellaneous plunder by the cityful;
Jennison contented himself with the pocketbooks of his prisoners,
the pin money of the women, and the wearing apparel of the
children. Lane was a real prophet of demagogism, with insanity
latent in his blood; Jennison a _sans coulotte_, who, looking upon
himself as a bastard, sought to become legitimate by becoming

It was in the vicinity of Morgan Walker’s that Quantrell, with
his little command, ambushed a portion of Jennison’s regiment and
killed five of his thieves, getting some good horses, saddles and
bridles and revolvers. The next fight occurred upon the premises
of Volney Ryan, a citizen of Jackson County, with a company
of Missouri militia, a company of militia notorious for three
things--robbing hen roosts, stealing horses, and running away from
the enemy. The eight Guerrillas struck them just at daylight,
charged through it, charged back again, and when they returned from
the pursuit they counted fifteen dead, the fruits of a running

An old man by the name of Searcy, claiming to be a Southern man,
was stealing all over Jackson County and using violence here and
there when he could not succeed through persuasion. Quantrell
swooped down upon him one afternoon, tried him that night and
hanged him the next morning, four Guerrillas dragging on the
rope. Seventy-five head of horses were found in the dead man’s
possession, all belonging to the citizens of the county, and any
number of deeds to small tracts of land, notes and mortgages, and
private accounts. All were returned. The execution acted as a
thunder-storm. It restored the equilibrium of the moral atmosphere.
The border warfare had found a chief.

The eight Guerrillas had now grown to fifty. Among the new recruits
were David Poole, John Jarrette, William Coger, Richard Burns,
George Todd, George Shephers, Coleman Younger, myself and several
others of like enterprise and daring. An organization was at once
effected, and Quantrell was made captain; William Haller, first
lieutenant; William Gregg, second; George Todd, third, and John
Jarrette, orderly sergeant. The eagles were beginning to congregate.

Poole, an unschooled Aristophanes of the Civil War, laughed
at calamity, and mocked when any man’s fear came. But for its
picturesqueness, his speech would have been comedy personified. He
laughed loudest when he was deadliest, and treated fortune with
no more dignity in one extreme than in another. Gregg, a grim
Saul among the Guerrillas, made of the Confederacy a mistress,
and like the Douglass of old, was ever tender and true to her.
Jarrette, the man who never knew fear, added to fearlessness and
immense activity an indomitable will. He was a soldier in the
saddle _par excellence_. John Coger never missed a battle nor a
bullet. Wounded thirteen times, he lived as an exemplification
of what a Guerrilla could endure--the amount of lead he could
comfortably get along with and keep fat. Steadfastness was his
test of merit--comradeship his point of honor. He who had John
Coger at his back had a mountain. Todd was the incarnate devil of
battle. He thought of fighting when awake, dreamed of it at night,
mingled talk of it in laxation, and went hungry many a day and
shelterless many a night that he might find his enemy and have his
fill of fight. Quantrell always had to hold him back, and yet he
was his thunderbolt. He discussed nothing in the shape of orders.
A soldier who discusses is like a hand which would think. He only
charged. Were he attacked in front--a charge; were he attacked
in the rear--a charge; on either flank--a charge. Finally, in a
desperate charge, and doing a hero’s work upon the stricken rear of
the Second Colorado, he was killed. This was George Todd. Shepherd,
a patient, cool, vigilant leader, knew all the roads and streams,
all the fords and passes, all modes of egress and ingress, all safe
and dangerous places, all the treacherous non-combatants, and all
the trustworthy ones--everything indeed that the few needed to know
who were fighting the many. In addition, there were few among the
Guerrillas who were better pistol shots. It used to do Quantrell
good to see him in the skirmish line. Coleman Younger, a boy having
still about his neck the purple marks of a rope made the night when
the Jayhawkers shot down his old father and strung him up to a
blackjack, spoke rarely, and was away a great deal in the woods.
“What was he doing?” his companions began to ask one of another.
He had a mission to perform--he was pistol practicing. Soon he was
perfect, and then he laughed often and talked a good deal. There
had come to him now that intrepid gaiety that plays with death. He
changed devotion to his family into devotion to his country, and he
fought and killed with the conscience of a hero.

Fight at Charles Younger’s Farm

The new organization was about to be baptized. Burris, raiding
generally along the Missouri border, had a detachment foraging
in the neighborhood of Charles Younger’s farm. This Charles
Younger was an uncle of Coleman, and he lived within three miles
of Independence, Missouri, the county seat of Jackson County.
The militia detachment numbered eighty-four and the Guerrillas
thirty-two. At sunset Quantrell struck their camp. Forewarned of
his coming, they were already in line. One volley settled them.
Five fell at the first fire and seven more were killed in the
chase. The shelter of Independence alone, where the balance of
the regiment was as a breakwater saved the detachment from utter
extinction. On this day--the 10th of November, 1861--Cole Younger
killed a militiaman seventy-one measured yards. The pistol practice
was bearing fruit.

Independence was essentially a city of fruits and flowers. About
every house there was a _parterre_ and contiguous to every
_parterre_ there was an orchard. Built where the woods and the
prairies met, when it was most desirable there was sunlight, and
when it was most needed there was shade. The war found it rich,
prosperous and contented, and it left it as an orange that had
been devoured. Lane hated it because it was a hive of secession,
and Jennison preyed upon it because Guerrilla bees flew in and
out. On one side the devil, on the other the deep sea. Patriotism,
that it might not be tempted, ran the risk very often of being
drowned. Something also of Spanish intercourse and connection
belonged to it. Its square was a plaza; its streets centered there;
its courthouse was a citadel. Truer people never occupied a town;
braver fathers never sent their sons to war; grander matrons never
prayed to God for right, and purer women never waited through it
all--the siege, the sack, the pillage and the battle--for the light
to break in the East at last, the end to come in fate’s own good
and appointed time.

Fight at Independence

Quantrell had great admiration for Independence; his men adored it.
Burris’ regiment was still there--fortified in the courthouse--and
one day in February, 1862, the Guerrillas charged the town. It was
a desperate assault. Quantrell and Poole dashed down one street.
Cole Younger and Todd down another, Gregg and Shepherd down a
third, Haller, Coger, Burns, Walker and others down the balance of
the approaches to the square. Behind heavy brick walls the militia,
of course, fought and fought, besides, at a great advantage. Save
seven surprised in the first moments of the rapid onset and shot
down, none others were killed, and Quantrell was forced to retire
from the town, taking some necessary ordnance, quartermaster and
commissary supplies from the stores under the very guns of the
courthouse. None of his men were killed, though as many as eleven
were wounded. This was the initiation of Independence into the
mysteries as well as the miseries of border warfare, and thereafter
and without a month of cessation, it was to get darker and darker
for the beautiful town.

Swinging back past Independence from the east the day after it had
been charged, Quantrell moved up in the neighborhood of Westport
and put scouts upon the roads leading to Kansas City. Two officers
belonging to Jennison’s regiment were picked up--a lieutenant,
who was young, and a captain, who was of middle age. They had only
time to pray. Quantrell always gave time for this, and had always
performed to the letter the last commissions left by those who
were doomed. The lieutenant did not want to pray. “It could do no
good,” he said. “God knew about as much concerning the disposition
it was intended to be made of his soul as he could suggest to
him.” The captain took a quarter of an hour to make his peace.
Both were shot. Men commonly die at God’s appointed time, beset
by Guerrillas, suddenly and unawares. Another of the horrible
surprises of Civil War.

At first, and because of Quantrell’s presence, Kansas City swarmed
like an ant hill during a rainstorm; afterwards, and when the dead
officers were carried in, like a firebrand had been cast thereon.

Second Fight at Independence

While at the house of Charles Cowherd, a courier came up with the
information that Independence, which had not been garrisoned for
some little time, was again in possession of a company of militia.
Another attack was resolved upon. On the night of February 20,
1862, Quantrell marched to the vicinity of the town and waited
there for daylight. The first few faint streaks in the East
constituted the signal. There was a dash altogether down South
Main Street, a storm of cheers and bullets, a roar of iron feet on
the rocks of the roadway, and the surprise was left to work itself
out. It did, and reversely. Instead of the one company reported in
possession of the town, four were found, numbering three hundred
men. They manned the courthouse in a moment, made of its doors an
eruption and of its windows a tempest, killed a noble Guerrilla,
young George, shot Quantrell’s horse from under him, held their own
everywhere and held the fort. As before, all who were killed among
the Federals, and they lost seventeen, were those killed in the
first few moments of the charge. Those who hurried alive into the
courthouse were safe. Young George, dead in his first battle, had
all the promise of a bright career. None rode further nor faster in
the charge, and when he fell he fell so close to the fence about
the fortified building that it was with difficulty his comrades
took his body out from under a point blank fire and bore it off in

It was a part of Quantrell’s tactics to disband every now and
then. “Scattered soldiers,” he argued, “make a scattered trail.
The regiment that has but one man to hunt can never find him.” The
men needed heavier clothing and better horses, and the winter,
more than ordinarily severe, was beginning to tell. A heavy
Federal force was also concentrating in Kansas City, ostensibly to
do service along the Missouri River, but really to drive out of
Jackson County a Guerrilla band that under no circumstances at that
time could possibly have numbered over fifty. Quantrell, therefore,
for an accumulation of reasons, ordered a brief disbandment. It
had hardly been accomplished before Independence swapped a witch
for a devil. Burris evacuated the town; Jennison occupied it. In
his regiment were trappers who trapped for dry goods; fishermen
who fished for groceries. At night passers-by were robbed of their
pocketbooks; in the morning, market women of their meat baskets.
Neither wiser, perhaps, nor better than the Egyptians, the patient
and all-suffering citizens had got rid of the lean kine in order to
make room for the lice.

Flanked Independence

At the appointed time, and at the place of David George, the
assembling was as it should be. Quantrell meant to attack Jennison
in Independence and destroy him if possible, and so moved in that
direction as far as Little Blue Church. Here he met Allen Parmer,
a regular red Indian of a scout, who never forgot to count a
column or know the line of march of an enemy, and Parmer reported
that instead of three hundred Jayhawkers being in Independence
there were six hundred. Too many for thirty-two men to grapple,
and fortified at that, they all said. It would be murder in the
first degree and unnecessary murder in addition. Quantrell,
foregoing with a struggle the chance to get at his old acquaintance
of Kansas, flanked Independence and stopped for a night at the
residence of Zan Harris, a true Southern man and a keen observer of
passing events. Early the next morning he crossed the Big Blue at
the bridge on the main road to Kansas City, surprised and shot down
a detachment of thirteen Federals watching it, burned the structure
to the water, and marched rapidly on in a southwest direction,
leaving Westport to the right. At noon the command was at the
residence of Alexander Majors.

Fight at Tate House

After the meal at Major’s Quantrell resumed his march, sending
Haller and Todd ahead with an advance guard and bringing up the
rear himself with the main body of twenty-two men. Night overtook
him at the Tate House, three miles east of Little Santa Fe, a small
town in Jackson County, close to the Kansas line, and he camped
there. Haller and Todd were still further along, no communication
being established between these two parts of a common whole. The
day had been cold and the darkness bitter. That weariness that
comes with a hard ride, a rousing fire, and a hearty supper, fell
early upon the Guerrillas. One sentinel at the gate kept drowsy
watch, and the night began to deepen. In various attitudes and in
various places, twenty-one of the twenty-two men were sound asleep,
the twenty-second keeping watch and ward at the gate in freezing

It was just twelve o’clock and the fire in the capacious fireplace
was burning low. Suddenly a shout was heard. The well known
challenge of “Who are you?” arose on the night air, followed by a
pistol shot, and then a volley. Quantrell, sleeping always like a
cat, shook himself loose from his blankets and stood erect in the
glare of the firelight. Three hundred Federals, following all day
on his trail, had marked him take cover at night and went to bag
him, boots and breeches. They had hitched their horses back in
the brush and stole upon the dwelling afoot. So noiseless had been
their advance, and so close were they upon the sentinel before they
were discovered, that he had only time to cry out, fire, and rush
for the timber. He could not get back to his comrades, for some
Federals were between him and the door. As he ran he received a
volley, but in the darkness he escaped.

The house was surrounded. To the men withinside this meant, unless
they could get out, death by fire and sword. Quantrell was trapped,
he who had been accorded the fox’s cunning and the panther’s
activity. He glided to the window and looked out cautiously. The
cold stars above shone, and the blue figures under them and on
every hand seemed colossal. The fist of a heavy man struck the door
hard, and a deep voice commanded, “Make a light.” There had been
no firing as yet, save the shot of the sentinel and its answering
volley. Quantrell went quietly to all who were still asleep and
bade them get up and get ready. It was the moment when death had
to be looked in the face. Not a word was spoken. The heavy fist
was still hammering at the door. Quantrell crept to it on tip-toe,
listened a second at the sounds outside and fired. “Oh,” and a
stalwart Federal fell prone across the porch, dying. “You asked for
a light and you got it, d----n you,” Quantrell ejaculated, cooler
than his pistol barrel. Afterwards there was no more bravado.
“Bar the doors and barricade the windows,” he shouted; “quick,
men!” Beds were freely used and applicable furniture. Little and
Shepherd stood by one door; Jarrette, Younger, Toler and Hoy
barricaded the other and made the windows bullet-proof. Outside
the Federal fusilade was incessant. Mistaking Tate’s house for
a frame house, when it was built of brick, the commander of the
enemy could be heard encouraging his men to shoot low and riddle
the building. Presently there was a lull, neither party firing
for the space of several minutes, and Quantrell spoke to his
people: “Boys, we are in a tight place. We can’t stay here, and I
do not mean to surrender. All who want to follow me out can say
so. I will do the best I can for them.” Four concluded to appeal
to the Federals for protection; seventeen to follow Quantrell to
the death. He called a parley, and informed the Federal commander
that four of his followers wanted to surrender. “Let them come
out,” was the order. Out they went, and the fight began again. Too
eager to see what manner of men their prisoners were, the Federals
holding the west side of the house huddled about them eagerly. Ten
Guerrillas from the upper story fired at the crowd and brought
down six. A roar followed this, and a rush back again to cover at
the double quick. It was hot work now. Quantrell, supported by
James Little, Cole Younger, Hoy and Stephen Shores held the upper
story, while Jarrette, Toler, George Shepherd and others held
the lower. Every shot told. The proprietor of the house, Major
Tate, was a Southern hero, gray-headed, but Roman. He went about
laughing. “Help me get my family out, boys,” he said, “and I will
help you hold the house. It’s about as good a time for me to die,
I reckon, as any other, if so be that God wills it. But the old
woman is only a woman.” Another parley. Would the Federal officer
let the women and children out? Yes, gladly, and the old man,
too. There was eagerness for this, and much of veritable cunning.
The family occupied an ell of the mansion with which there was no
communication from the main building where Quantrell and his men
were, save by way of a door which opened upon a porch, and this
porch was under the concentrating fire of the assailants. After
the family moved out the attacking party would throw skirmishers
in and then--the torch. Quantrell understood it in a moment and
spoke up to the father of the family: “Go out, Major. It is
your duty to be with your wife and children.” The old man went,
protesting. Perhaps for forty years the blood had not coursed so
rapidly and so pleasantly through his veins. Giving ample time
for the family to get safely beyond the range of the fire of the
besieged, Quantrell went back to his post and looked out. He saw
two Federals standing together beyond revolver range. “Is there
a shotgun here?” he asked. Cole Younger brought him one loaded
with buckshot. Thrusting half his body out the nearest window, and
receiving as many volleys as there were sentinels, he fired the
two barrels of his gun so near together that they sounded as one
barrel. Both Federals fell, one dead, the other mortally wounded.
Following this daring and conspicuous feat there went up a yell so
piercing and exultant that even the horses, hitched in the timber
fifty yards away, reared in their fright and snorted in terror.
Black columns of smoke blew past the windows where the Guerrillas
were, and a bright red flame leaped up towards the sky on the wings
of the wind. The ell of the house had been fired and was burning
fiercely. Quantrell’s face--just a little paler than usual--had a
set look that was not good to see. The tiger was at bay. Many of
the men’s revolvers were empty, and in order to gain time to reload
them, another parley was held. The talk was of surrender. The
Federal commander demanded immediate submission, and Shepherd, with
a voice heard above the rage and the roar of the flames, pleaded
for twenty minutes. No. Ten? No. Five? No. Then the commander cried
out in a voice not a whit inferior to Shepherd’s in compass: “You
have one minute. If, at its expiration, you have not surrendered,
not a single man among you shall escape alive.” “Thank you,” said
Cole Younger, _soto voce_, “catching comes before hanging.” “Count
sixty, then, and be d----d to you”! Shepherd shouted as a parting
volley, and then a strange silence fell upon all these desperate
men face to face with imminent death. When every man was ready,
Quantrell said briefly, “Shot guns to the front.” Six loaded
heavily with buck shot, were borne there, and he put himself at the
head of the six men who carried them. Behind these those having
only revolvers. In single file, the charging column was formed in
the main room of the building. The glare of the burning ell lit it
up as though the sun was shining there. Some tightened their pistol
belts. One fell upon his knees and prayed. Nobody scoffed at him,
for God was in that room. He is everywhere when heroes confess.
There were seventeen about to receive the fire of three hundred.

Ready! Quantrell flung the door wide open and leaped out. The
shotgun men--Jarrette, Younger, Shepherd, Toler, Little and Hoy,
were hard behind him. Right and left from the thin short column a
fierce fire beat into the very faces of the Federals, who recoiled
in some confusion, shooting, however, from every side. There was a
yell and a grand rush, and when the end had come and all the fixed
realities figured up, the enemy had eighteen killed, twenty-nine
badly wounded; and five prisoners, and the captured horses of
the Guerrillas. Not a man of Quantrell’s band was touched, as it
broke through the cordon on the south of the house and gained the
sheltering timber beyond. Hoy, as he rushed out the third from
Quantrell and fired both barrels of his gun, was so near to a
stalwart Federal that he knocked him over the head with a musket
and rendered him senseless. To capture him afterwards was like
capturing a dead man. But little pursuit was attempted. Quantrell
halted at the timber, built a fire, reloaded every gun and pistol,
and took a philosophical view of the situation. Enemies were all
about him. He had lost five men--four of whom, however, he was
glad to get rid of--and the balance were afoot. Patience! He had
just escaped from an environment sterner than any yet spread for
him, and fortune was not apt to offset one splendid action by
another exactly opposite. Choosing, therefore, a rendezvous upon
the head waters of the Little Blue, another historic stream of
Jackson County, he reached the residence of David Wilson late
the next morning, after a forced march of great exhaustion. The
balance of the night, however, had still to be one of surprises
and counter-surprises, not alone to the Federals, but to the other
portion of Quantrell’s command under Haller and Todd.

Encamped four miles south of Tate House, the battle there had
roused them instantly. Getting to saddle quickly, they were
galloping back to the help of their comrades when a Federal force,
one hundred strong, met them full in the road. Some minutes of
savage fighting ensued, but Haller could not hold his own with
thirteen men, and he retreated, firing, to the brush.

Afterwards everything was made plain. The four men who surrendered
so abjectly at the Tate house imagined that it would bring help to
their condition if they told all they knew, and they told without
solicitation the story of Haller’s advance and the whereabouts of
his camp. A hundred men were instantly dispatched to surprise it
or storm it, but the firing had roused the isolated Guerrillas,
and they got out in safety after a rattling fight of some twenty

Fight at Clark’s Home

In April, 1862, Quantrell, with seventeen men, was camped at the
residence of Samuel Clark, situated three miles southeast of Stony
Point, in Jackson County. He had spent the night there and was
waiting for breakfast the next morning when Captain Peabody, at the
head of one hundred Federal cavalry, surprised the Guerrillas and
came on at the charge, shooting and yelling. Instantly dividing
the detachment in order that the position might be effectively
held, Quantrell, with nine men, took the dwelling, and Gregg, with
eight, occupied the smoke house. For a while the fighting was at
long range, Peabody holding tenaciously to the timber in front of
Clark’s, distant about one hundred yards, and refusing to come
out. Presently, however, he did an unsoldierly thing--or rather an
unskillful thing--he mounted his men and forced them to charge the
dwelling on horseback. Quantrell’s detachment reserved fire until
the foremost horseman was within thirty feet, and Gregg permitted
those operating against his position, to come even closer. Then,
a quick, sure volley, and twenty-seven men and horses went down
together. Badly demoralized, but in no manner defeated, Peabody
rallied again in the timber, while Quantrell, breaking out from
the dwelling house and gathering up Gregg as he went, charged the
Federals fiercely in return and with something of success. The
impetus of the rush carried him past a portion of the Federal line,
where some of their horses were hitched, and the return of the
wave brought with it nine valuable animals. It was over the horses
that Andrew Blunt had a hand-to-hand fight with a splendid Federal
trooper. Both were very brave.

Blunt had just joined. No one knew his history. He asked no
questions and he answered none. Some said he had once belonged to
the cavalry of the regular army; others, that behind the terrible
record of the Guerrillas he wished to find isolation. Singling
out a fine sorrel horse from among the number fastened in his
front, Blunt was just about to unhitch him when a Federal trooper,
superbly mounted, dashed down to the line and fired and missed.
Blunt left his position by the side of the horse and strode out
into the open, accepting the challenge defiantly, and closed with
his antagonist. The first time he fired he missed, although many
men believed him a better shot than Quantrell. The Federal sat on
his horse calmly and fired the second shot deliberately and again
missed. Blunt went four paces toward him, took a quick aim and
fired very much as a man would at something running. Out of the
Federal’s blue overcoat a little jet of dust spurted up and he
reeled in his seat. The man, hit hard in the breast, did not fall,
however. He gripped his saddle with his knees, cavalry fashion,
steadied himself in his stirrups and fired three times at Blunt in
quick succession. They were now but twenty paces apart, and the
Guerrilla was shortening the distance. When at ten he fired his
third shot. The heavy dragoon ball struck the gallant Federal fair
in the forehead and knocked him dead from his horse.

While the duel was in progress, brief as it was, Blunt had not
watched his rear, to gain which a dozen Federals had started from
the extreme right. He saw them, but he did not hurry. Going back
to the coveted steed, he mounted him deliberately and dashed back
through the lines closed up behind him, getting a fierce hurrah of
encouragement from his own comrades, and a wicked volley from the

It was time. A second company of Federals in the neighborhood,
attracted by the firing, had made a junction with Peabody and were
already closing in upon the houses from the south. Surrounded now
by one hundred and sixty men, Quantrell was in almost the same
straits as at the Tate house. His horses were in the hands of
the Federals, it was some little distance to the timber, and the
environment was complete. Captain Peabody, himself a Kansas man,
knew who led the forces opposed to him and burned with a desire
to make a finish of this Quantrell and his reckless band at one
fell sweep. Not content with the one hundred and sixty men already
in positions about the house, he sent off posthaste to Pink Hill
for additional reinforcements. Emboldened also by their numbers,
the Federals had approached so close to the positions held by the
Guerrillas that it was possible for them to utilize the shelter the
fences gave. Behind these they ensconced themselves while pouring
a merciless fusillade upon the dwelling house and smoke house in
comparative immunity. This annoyed Quantrell, distressed Gregg
and made Cole Younger--one of the coolest heads in council ever
consulted--look a little anxious. Finally a solution was found.
Quantrell would draw the fire of this ambuscade; he would make the
concealed enemy show himself. Ordering all to be ready and to fire
the very moment the opportunity for execution was best, he dashed
out from the dwelling house to the smoke house, and from the smoke
house back again to the dwelling house. Eager to kill the daring
man, and excited somewhat by their own efforts made to do it, the
Federals exposed themselves recklessly. Then, owing to the short
range, the revolvers of the Guerrillas began to tell with deadly
effect. Twenty at least were shot down along the fences, and as
many more wounded and disabled. It was thirty steps from one house
to the other, yet Quantrell made the venture eight different times,
not less than one hundred men firing at him as he came and went. On
his garments there was not even the smell of fire. His life seemed
to be charmed--his person protected by some superior presence.
When at last even this artifice would no longer enable his men to
fight with any degree of equality, Quantrell determined to abandon
the houses and the horses and make a dash as of old to the nearest
timber. “I had rather lose a thousand horses,” he said, when some
one remonstrated with him, “than a single man like those who have
fought with me this day. Heroes are scarce; horses are everywhere.”

In the swift rush that came now, fortune again favored him. Almost
every revolver belonging to the Federals was empty. They had
been relying altogether upon their carbines in the fight. After
the first onset on horseback--one in which the revolvers were
principally used--they had failed to reload, and had nothing but
empty guns in their hands after Quantrell for the last time drew
their fire and dashed away on the heels of it into the timber.
Pursuit was not attempted. Enraged at the escape of the Guerrillas,
and burdened with a number of dead and wounded altogether out of
proportion to the forces engaged, Captain Peabody caused to be
burned everything upon the premises which had a plank or shingle
about it.

Something else was yet to be done. Getting out afoot as best he
could, Quantrell saw a company of cavalry making haste from toward
Pink Hill. It was but a short distance to where the road he was
skirting crossed a creek, and commanding this crossing was a
perpendicular bluff inaccessible to horsemen. Thither he hurried.
The work of ambushment was the work of a moment. George Todd,
alone of all the Guerrillas, had brought with him from the house a
shotgun. In running for life, the most of them were unencumbered.
The approaching Federals were the reinforcements Peabody had
ordered up from Pink Hill, and as Quantrell’s defense had lasted
one hour and a half, they were well on their way.

As they came to the creek, the foremost riders halted that their
horses might drink. Soon others crowded in until all the ford was
thick with animals. Just then from the bluff above a leaden rain
fell as hail might from a cloudless sky. Rearing steeds trampled
upon wounded riders; the dead dyed the clear water red. Wild panic
laid hold of the helpless mass, cut into gaps, and flight beyond
the range of the deadly revolvers came first of all and uppermost.
There was a rally, however. Once out from under the fire the
lieutenant commanding the detachment called a halt. He was full
of dash, and meant to see more of the unknown on the top of the
hill. Dismounting his men and putting himself at their head, he
turned back for a fight, marching resolutely forward to the bluff.
Quantrell waited for the attack to develop itself. The lieutenant
moved right onward. When within fifty paces of the position, George
Todd rose up from behind a rock and covered the young Federal with
his unerring shotgun. It seemed a pity to kill him, he was so brave
and collected, and yet he fell riddled just as he had drawn his
sword and shouted “Forward!” to the lagging men. At Todd’s signal
there succeeded a fierce revolver volley, and again were the
Federals driven from the hills and back towards their horses.

Satisfied with the results of this fight--made solely as a matter
of revenge for burning Clark’s buildings--Quantrell fell away from
the ford and continued his retreat on towards his rendezvous upon
the waters of the Sni. Peabody, however, had not had his way.
Coming on himself in the direction of Pink Hill, and mistaking
these reinforcements for Guerrillas, he had quite a lively fight
with them, each detachment getting in several volleys and killing
and wounding a goodly number before either discovered the mistake.

“The only prisoner I ever shot during the war,” relates Captain
Trow, “was a ‘nigger’ I captured on guard at Independence,
Missouri, who claimed that he had killed his master and burned his
houses and barns. The circumstances were these: Captain Blunt and
I one night went to town for a little spree and put on our Federal
uniforms. While there we came in contact with the camp guard,
which was a ‘nigger’ and a white man. They did not hear us until
we got right up to them, so we, claiming to be Federals, arrested
them for not doing their duty in hailing us at a distance. We took
them prisoners, disarmed them, took them down to the Fire Prairie
bottom east of Independence about ten miles, and there I thought
I would have to kill the ‘nigger’ on account of his killing his
master and burning his property. I shot him in the forehead just
above the eyes. I even put my finger in the bullet hole to be sure
I had him. The ball never entered his skull, but went round it. To
make sure of him, I shot him in the foot and he never flinched, so
I left him for dead. He came to, however, that night and crawled
out into the road, and a man from Independence came along the next
morning and took him in his wagon. This I learned several years
afterwards at Independence in a saloon when one day I chanced to be
taking a drink. There I met the ‘nigger’ whom I thought dead. He
recognized me from hearing my name spoken and asked if I remembered
shooting a ‘nigger.’ I said ‘Yes.’ I had the pleasure of taking a
drink with him.”

Jayhawkers and Militia Murder Old Man Blythe’s Son

Quantrell and His Company Were on Foot Again and Jackson County
was filled with troops. At Kansas City there was a large garrison,
with smaller ones at Independence, Pink Hill, Lone Jack, Stoney
Point and Sibley. Peabody caused the report to be circulated that
a majority of Quantrell’s men were wounded, and that if the brush
were scoured thoroughly they might be picked up here and there and
summarily disposed of. Raiding bands therefore began the hunt. Old
men were imprisoned because they could give no information of a
concealed enemy; young men murdered outright; women were insulted
and abused. The uneasiness that had heretofore rested upon the
county gave place now to a feeling of positive fear. The Jayhawkers
on one side and the militia on the other made matters hot. All
traveling was dangerous. People at night closed their eyes in dread
lest the morrow should usher in a terrible awakening. One incident
of the hunt is a bloody memory yet with many of the older settlers
of Jackson County.

An aged man by the name of Blythe, believing his own house to be
his own, fed all whom he pleased to feed, and sheltered all whom it
pleased him to shelter. Among many of his warm personal friends was
Cole Younger. The colonel commanding the fort at Independence sent
a scout one day to find Younger, and to make the country people
tell where he might be found. Old man Blythe was not at home,
but his son was, a fearless lad of twelve years. He was taken to
the barn and ordered to confess everything he knew of Quantrell,
Younger, and their whereabouts. If he failed to speak truly he was
to be killed. The boy, in no manner frightened, kept them some
moments in conversation, waiting for an opportunity to escape.
Seeing at last what he imagined to be a chance, he dashed away from
his captors and entered the house under a perfect shower of balls.
There, seizing a pistol and rushing through the back door towards
some timber, a ball struck him in the spine just as he reached the
garden fence and he fell back dying, but splendid in his boyish
courage to the last. Turning over on his face as the Jayhawkers
rushed up to finish him he shot one dead, mortally wounded another,
and severely wounded the third. Before he could shoot a fourth
time, seventeen bullets were put into his body.

It seemed as if God’s vengeance was especially exercised in the
righting of this terrible wrong. An old negro man who had happened
to be at Blythe’s house at the time, was a witness to the bloody
deed, and, afraid of his own life, ran hurriedly into the brush.
There he came unawares upon Younger, Quantrell, Haller, Todd, and
eleven of his men. Noticing the great excitement under which the
negro labored, they forced him to tell them the whole story. It
was yet time for an ambuscade. On the road back to Independence was
a pass between two embankments known as “The Blue Cut.” In width it
was about fifty yards, and the height of each embankment was about
thirty feet. Quantrell dismounted his men, stationed some at each
end of the passageway and some at the top on either side. Not a
shot was to be fired until the returning Federals had entered it,
front and rear. From the Blue Cut this fatal spot was afterwards
known as the Slaughter Pen. Of the thirty-eight Federals sent out
after Cole Younger, and who, because they could not find him, had
brutally murdered an innocent boy, seventeen were killed while
five--not too badly shot to be able to ride--barely managed to
escape into Independence, the avenging Guerrillas hard upon their

The Low House Fight

The next rendezvous was at Reuben Harris’, ten miles south of
Independence, and thither all the command went, splendidly mounted
again and eager for employment. Some days of preparation were
necessary. Richard Hall, a fighting blacksmith, who shot as well as
he shod, and knew a trail as thoroughly as a piece of steel, had
need to exercise much of his handiwork in order to make the horses
good for cavalry. Then there were several rounds of cartridges to
make. A Guerrilla knew nothing whatever of an ordnance master. His
laboratory was in his luck. If a capture did not bring him caps, he
had to fall back on ruse, or strategem, or blockade-running square
out. Powder and lead in the raw were enough, for if with these he
could not make himself presentable at inspection he had no calling
as a fighter in the brush.

It was Quantrell’s intention at this time to attack Harrisonville,
the county seat of Cass County, and capture it if possible. With
this object in view, and after every preparation was made for a
vigorous campaign, he moved eight miles east of Independence,
camping near the Little Blue, in the vicinity of Job Crabtree’s.
He camped always near or in a house. For this he had two reasons.
First, that its occupants might gather up for him all the news
possible; and, second, that in the event of a surprise a sure
rallying point would always be at hand. He had a theory that after
a Guerrilla was given time to get over the first effects of a
sudden charge or ambushment the very nature of his military status
made him invincible; that after an opportunity was afforded him to
think, a surrender was next to impossible.

Before there was time to attack Harrisonville, however, a scout
reported Peabody again on the war path, this time bent on an utter
extermination of the Guerrillas, and he well-nigh kept his word.
From Job Crabtree’s, Quantrell had moved to an unoccupied house
known as the Low house, and then from this house he had gone to
some contiguous timber to bivouac for the night. About ten o’clock
the sky suddenly became overcast, a fresh wind blew from the east,
and rain fell in torrents. Again the house was occupied, the horses
being hitched along the fence in the rear of it, the door on the
south, the only door, having a bar across it in lieu of a sentinel.
Such soldiering was perfectly inexcusable, and it taught Quantrell
a lesson to remember until the day of his death.

In the morning preceding the day of the attack Lieutenant Nash,
of Peabody’s regiment, commanding two hundred men, had struck
Quantrell’s trail, but lost it later on, and then found it again
just about sunset. He was informed of Quantrell’s having gone from
the Low house to the brush and of his having come back to it when
the rain began falling heavily. To a certain extent this seeking
shelter was a necessity on the part of Quantrell. The men had no
cartridge boxes, and not all of them had overcoats. If once their
ammunition were damaged, it would be as though sheep should attack

Nash, supplied with everything needed for the weather, waited
patiently for the Guerrillas to become snugly settled under
shelter, and then surrounded the house. Before a gun was fired the
Federals had every horse belonging to the Guerrillas, and were
bringing to bear every available carbine in command upon the only
door. At first all was confusion. Across the logs that once had
supported an upper floor some boards had been laid, and sleeping
upon them were Todd, Blunt and William Carr. Favored by the almost
impenetrable darkness, Quantrell determined upon an immediate
abandonment of the house. He called loudly twice for all to follow
him and dashed through the door under a galling fire. Those in
the loft did not hear him, and maintained in reply to the Federal
volleys a lively fusillade. Then Cole Younger, James Little, Joseph
Gilchrist and a young Irish boy--a brave new recruit--turned back
to help their comrades. The house became a furnace. At each of the
two corners on the south side four men fought, Younger calling on
Todd in the intervals of every volley to come out of the loft and
come to the brush. They started at last. It was four hundred yards
to the nearest shelter, and the ground was very muddy. Gilchrist
was shot down, the Irish boy was killed, Blunt was wounded and
captured, Carr surrendered, Younger had his hat shot away, Little
was unhurt, and Todd, scratched in four places, finally got safely
to the timber. But it was a miracle. Twenty Federals singled him
out as well as they could in the darkness and kept close at his
heels, firing whenever a gun was loaded. Todd had a musket which,
when it seemed as if they were all upon him at once, he would point
at the nearest and make pretense of shooting. When they halted
and dodged about to get out of range, he would dash away again,
gaining what space he could until he had to turn and re-enact the
same unpleasant pantomime. Reaching the woods at last, he fired
point blank, and in reality now, killing with a single discharge
one pursuer and wounding four. Part of Nash’s command were still on
the track of Quantrell, but after losing five killed and a number
wounded, they returned again to the house, but returned too late
for the continued battle. The dead and two prisoners were all that
were left for them.

Little Blue was bank full and the country was swarming with
militia. For the third time Quantrell was afoot with unrelenting
pursuers upon his trail in every direction. At daylight Nash would
be after him again, river or no river. He must get over or fare
worse. The rain was still pouring down; muddy, forlorn, well-nigh
worn out, yet in no manner demoralized, just as Quantrell reached
the Little Blue he saw on the other bank Toler, one of his own
soldiers, sitting in a canoe. Thence forward the work of crossing
was easy, and Nash, coming on an hour afterwards, received a
volley at the ford where he expected to find a lot of helpless and
unresisting men.

This fight at the Low house occurred the first week in May, 1862,
and caused the expedition against Harrisonville to be abandoned.
Three times surprised and three times losing all horses, saddles,
and bridles, it again became necessary to disband the Guerrillas
in this instance as in the preceding two. The men were dismissed
for thirty days with orders to remount themselves, while
Quantrell--taking Todd into his confidence and acquainting him
fully with his plans--started in his company for Hannibal. It had
become urgently necessary to replenish the supply of revolver caps.
The usual trade with Kansas City was cut off. Of late the captures
had not been as plentiful as formerly. Recruits were coming in, and
the season for larger operations was at hand. In exploits where
peril and excitement were about evenly divided, Quantrell took
great delight. He was so cool, so calm; he had played before such a
deadly game; he knew so well how to smile when a smile would win,
and when to frown when a frown was a better card to play, that
something in this expedition appealed to every quixotic instinct of
his intrepidity. Todd was all iron; Quantrell all glue. Todd would
go at a circular saw; Quantrell would sharpen its teeth and grease
it where there was friction. One purred and killed, and the other
roared and killed. What mattered the mode, however, only so the end
was the same?

Quantrell and Todd Go After Ammunition

Clad in the full uniform of Federal majors--a supply of which
Quantrell kept always on hand, even in a day so early in the war
as this--Quantrell and Todd rode into Hamilton, a little town on
the Hannibal & St. Louis Railroad, and remained for the night at
the principal hotel. A Federal garrison was there--two companies
of Iowa infantry--and the captain commanding took a great fancy to
Todd, insisting that he should leave the hotel for his quarters and
share his blankets with him.

Two days were spent in Hannibal, where an entire Feneral regiment
was stationed. Here Quantrell was more circumspect. When asked to
give an account of himself and his companion, he replied promptly
that Todd was a major of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry and himself
the major of the Ninth. Unacquainted with either organization, the
commander at Hannibal had no reason to believe otherwise. Then
he asked about that special cut-throat Quantrell. Was it true
that he fought under a black flag? Had he ever really belonged to
the Jayhawkers? How much truth was there in the stories of the
newspapers about his operations and prowess? Quantrell became
voluble. In rapid yet picturesque language he painted a perfect
picture of the war along the border. He told of Todd, Jarrette,
Blunt, Younger, Haller, Poole, Shepherd, Gregg, Little, the
Cogers, and all of his best men just as they were, and himself
also just as he was, and closed the conversation emphatically by
remarking: “If you were here, Colonel, surrounded as you are by a
thousand soldiers, and they wanted you, they would come and get

From Hannibal--after buying quietly and at various times and in
various places fifty thousand revolver caps--Quantrell and Todd
went boldly into St. Joseph. This city was full of soldiers.
Colonel Harrison B. Branch was there in command of a regiment
of militia--a brave, conservative, right-thinking soldier--and
Quantrell introduced himself to Branch as Major Henderson of
the Sixth Missouri. Todd, by this time, had put on, in lieu of
a major’s epaulettes, with its distinguishing leaf, the barred
ones of a captain. “Too many majors traveling together,” quaintly
remarked Todd, “are like too many roses in a boquet: the other
flowers don’t have a chance. Let me be a captain for the balance of
the trip.”

Colonel Branch made himself very agreeable to Major Henderson
and Captain Gordon, and asked Todd if he were a relative of the
somewhat notorious Si Gordon of Platte, relating at the same time
an interesting adventure he once had with him. En route from St.
Louis, in 1861, to the headquarters of his regiment, Colonel
Branch, with one hundred and thirty thousand dollars on his person,
found that he would have to remain in Weston over night and the
better part of the next day. Before he got out of the town Gordon
took it, and with it he took Colonel Branch. Many of Gordon’s men
were known to him, and it was eminently to his interest just then
to renew old acquaintanceship and be extremely complaisant to
the new. Wherever he could find the largest number of Guerrillas
there he was among them, calling for whiskey every now and then,
incessantly telling some agreeable story or amusing anecdote.
Thus he got through with what seemed to him an interminably long
day. Not a dollar of his money was touched, Gordon releasing him
unconditionally when the town was abandoned and bidding him make
haste to get out lest the next lot of raiders made it the worse for

For three days, off and on, Quantrell was either with Branch at
his quarters or in company with him about town. Todd, elsewhere
and indefatigable, was rapidly buying caps and revolvers. Branch
introduced Quantrell to General Ben Loan, discussed Penick with him
and Penick’s regiment--a St. Joseph officer destined in the near
future to give Quantrell some stubborn fighting--passed in review
the military situation, incidently referred to the Guerrillas of
Jackson County and the savage nature of the warfare going on there,
predicted the absolute destruction of African slavery, and assisted
Quantrell in many ways in making his mission thoroughly successful.
For the first and last time in his life Colonel Branch was
disloyal to the government and the flag--he gave undoubted aid and
encouragement during those three days to about as uncompromising an
enemy as either ever had.

From St. Joseph Quantrell and Todd came to Kansas City in a hired
hack, first sending into Jackson County a man unquestionably
devoted to the South with the whole amount of purchases made in
both Hannibal and St. Joseph.

A Challenge

Quantrell with his band of sixty-three men were being followed by a
force of seven hundred cavalrymen under Peabody. Peabody came up in
the advance with three hundred men, while four hundred marched at a
supporting distance behind him. Quantrell halted at Swearington’s
barn and the Guerrillas were drying their blankets. One picket,
Hick George, an iron man, who could sleep in his saddle and eat
as he ran and who suspected every act until he could fathom it,
watched the rear against an attack. Peabody received George’s fire,
for George would fire at an angel or devil in the line of his duty,
and drove him toward Quantrell at a full run. Every preparation
possible under the circumstances had been made and if the reception
was not as cordial as expected, the Federals could attribute it to
the long march and the rainy weather.

Quantrell stood at the gate calmly with his hand on the latch; when
George entered he would close and fasten it. Peabody’s forces were
within thirty feet of the fence when the Guerrillas delivered a
crashing blow and sixteen Federals crashed against the barricade
and fell there. Others fell and more dropped out here and there
before the disorganized mass got back safe again from the deadly
revolver range. After them Quantrell himself dashed hotly, George
Maddox, Jarrette, Cole Younger, George Morrow, Gregg, Blunt, Poole
and Haller following them fast to the timber and upon their return
gathering all the arms and ammunition of the killed as they went.
At the timber Peabody rearranged his lines, dismounted his men and
came forward again at a quick run, yelling. Do what he would, the
charge spent itself before it could be called a charge.

Peabody arranged his men, dismounted them, and came forward again
at a double-quick, and yelling. Do what he would, the charge again
spent itself before it could be called a charge. Never nearer
than one hundred yards of the fence, he skirmished at long range
for nearly an hour and finally took up a position one mile south
of the barn, awaiting reinforcements. Quantrell sent out Cole
Younger, Poole, John Brinker and William Haller to “lay up close
to Peabody,” as he expressed it, and keep him and his movements
steadily in view.

The four daredevils multiplied themselves. They attacked the
pickets, rode around the whole camp in bravado, firing upon it
from every side, and finally agreed to send a flag of truce in to
Peabody with this manner of a challenge:

“We, whose names are hereunto affixed, respectfully ask of Colonel
Peabody the privilege of fighting eight of his best men, hand to
hand, and that he himself make the selection and send them out to
us immediately.”

This was signed by the following: Coleman Younger, William Haller,
David Poole and John Brinker.

Younger bore it. Tieing a white handkerchief to a stick he rode
boldly up to the nearest picket and asked for a parley. Six started
towards him and he bade four go back. The message was carried to
Peabody, but he laughed at it and scanned the prairie in every
direction for the coming reinforcements. Meanwhile Quantrell was
retreating. His four men cavorting about Peabody were to amuse him
as long as possible and then get away as best they could. Such
risks are often taken in war; to save one thousand men, one hundred
are sometimes sacrificed. Death equally with exactness has its

The reinforcements came up rapidly. One hundred joined Peabody on
the prairie, and two hundred masked themselves by some timber on
the north and advanced parallel with Quantrell’s line of retreat--a
flank movement meant to be final. Haller hurried off to Quantrell
to report, and Peabody, vigorous and alert, now threw out a cloud
of cavalry skirmishers after the three remaining Guerrillas. The
race was one for life. Both started their horses on a keen run.
It was on the eve of harvest, and the wheat, breast high to the
horse, flew away from before the feet of the racers as though the
wind were driving through it an incarnate scythe blade. As Poole
struck the eastern edge of this wheat a very large jack, belonging
to Swearingen, joined in the pursuit, braying loudly at every jump,
and leading the Federals by a length. Comedy and tragedy were in
the same field together. Carbines rang out, revolvers cracked, the
jack brayed, the Federals roared with merriment, and looking back
over his shoulder as he rode on, Poole heard the laughter and saw
the jack, and imagined the devil to be after him leading a lot of
crazy people.

The Battle and Capture of Independence

“On August 11, 1862,” says Trow, “about a month prior to the
capture of Independence, while Press Webb and I were out on a
little frolic, we attended a dance at his father’s, Ace Webb, and
stayed all night there. During the night a regiment of soldiers
surrounded the house. We barred the doors against them and I aimed
to get away in a woman’s garb and had my dress all on, bonnet and
everything, with permission to get out of the house with the women
without being fired upon. But old Mrs. Webb objected to my going
out for fear it would cause her son to be killed, so I had to pull
off the dress and hide my pistols in the straw tick under the
feather bed and surrender to them. I was taken to Independence and
made a prisoner for a month.

“While in prison several incidents happened. A Federal officer in
the prison who called himself Beauregard, was put into jail with me
for some misdemeanor and challenged me to a sparring match, with
the understanding that neither one of us was to strike the other in
the face. However, he hit me in the face the first thing he did and
I kicked him in the stomach and kept on kicking him until I kicked
him down the stairs. For this offense I was chained down on my back
for ten hours.

“The provost marshal would come in once in a while and entertain
me while I was chained down. He was a Dutchman, and would say in
broken Dutch, ‘How duse youse like it?’ and would sing me a song
something like this: ‘Don’t youse vish you vas in Dixie, you d----d
old secess?’ and dance around me.

“After I had been there a few days they cleaned up the prison
and took out the rubbage and dirt. Press Webb, who had been
captured with me, and I were detailed to do the work. We had an
understanding that when we went out into the back yard, which was
walled, we were each to capture the guards who were guarding us,
take their arms and scale the wall. But Webb weakened and would not
attempt to take his man, so we did not attempt to get away then.
Then I was court-martialed and remained there in jail, while Webb
was sent to Alton prison. I was held there under court-martial and
sentenced to be shot.

“All this time Quantrell was trying to hear from me, whether I had
been killed, and at the same time getting the boys together to make
a raid on Independence and try to capture the town and release me
from jail, all unbeknown to me, should I still be alive. Colonel
Hughes had joined Quantrell with his company, the expedition being
agreed between Quantrell and Colonel Hughes. Colonel Hughes asked
Quantrell for some accurate information touching the strongest and
best fortified points about the town. It was three days previous
to the attack; the day before it was begun the information should
be forthcoming. ‘Leave it to me,’ said Cole Younger, when the
promise made to Hughes had been repeated by Quantrell, ‘and when
you report you can report the facts. A soldier wants nothing else.’
The two men separated. It was the 7th day of August, 1862.

“On the 8th, at about ten o’clock in the morning, an old woman with
gray hair and wearing spectacles, rode up to the public square from
the south. Independence was alive with soldiers; several market
wagons were about the streets--the trade in vegetables and the
traffic in fruit were lively. This old woman was one of the ancient
time. A faded sunbonnet, long and antique, hid almost all her face.
The riding skirt, which once had been black, was now bleached; some
tatters also abounded, and here and there an unsightly patch. On
the horse was a blind bridle, the left rein leather and the right
one a rope. Neither did it have a throat latch. The saddle was a
man’s saddle, strong in the stirrups and fit for any service. Women
resorted often to such saddles then; Civil War had made many a hard
thing easy. On the old lady’s arm was a huge market basket, covered
by a white cloth. Under the cloth were beets, garden beans and some
summer apples. As she passed the first picket he jibed at her.
‘Good morning, grandmother,’ he said. ‘Does the rebel crop need any
rain out in your country?’ Where the reserve post was the sergeant
on duty took her horse by the bridle, and peered up under her
bonnet and into her face. ‘Were you younger and prettier I might
kiss you,’ he said. ‘Were I younger and prettier,’ the old lady
said, ‘I might box your ears for your impudence.’

“‘Oh, ho! you old she-wolf, what claws you have for scratching,’
and the rude soldier took her hand with an oath and looked at it
sneeringly. She drew it away with a quick motion and started her
horse so rapidly ahead that he did not have time to examine it. In
a moment he was probably ashamed of himself, and so let her ride on

“Once well in town no one noticed her any more. At the camp she was
seen to stop and give three soldiers some apples out of her basket.
The sentinel in front of Buell’s headquarters was overheard to say
to a comrade: ‘There’s the making of four good bushwhacking horses
yet in that old woman’s horse,’ and two hours later, as she rode
back past the reserve picket post, the sergeant still on duty, did
not halt her himself, but caused one of his guards to do it; he was
anxious to know what the basket contained, for in many ways of late
arms and ammunition had been smuggled out to the enemy.

“At first the old lady did not heed the summons to halt--that
short, rasping, ominous call which in all tongues appears to have
the same sound; she did, however, shift the basket from the
right arm to the left and straighten up in the saddle for the
least appreciable bit. Another cry and the old lady looked back
innocently over one shoulder and snapped out: ‘Do you mean me?’ By
this time a mounted picket had galloped up to her, ranged alongside
and seized the bridle of the horse. It was thirty steps back to the
post, maybe, where the sergeant and eight men were down from their
horses and the horses hitched. To the outpost it was a hundred
yards, and a single picket stood there. The old woman said to the
soldier, as he was turning her horse around and doing it roughly:
‘What will you have? I’m but a poor lone woman going peacefully to
my home.’ ‘Didn’t you hear the sergeant call for you, d----n you?
Do you want to be carried back?’ the sentinel made answer.

“The face under the sunbonnet transformed itself; the demure eyes
behind their glasses grew scintillant. From beneath the riding
skirt a heavy foot emerged; the old horse in the blind bridle
seemed to undergo an electric impulse; there was the gliding of
the old hand which the sergeant had inspected into the basket,
and a cocked pistol came out and was fired almost before it got
in sight. With his grasp still upon the reins of the old woman’s
bridle, the Federal picket fell dead under the feet of the horse.
Then stupified, the impotent reserve saw a weird figure dash away
down the road, its huge bonnet flapping in the wind, and the trail
of an antique riding skirt, split at the shoulders, streaming
back as the smoke that follows a furnace. Coleman Younger had
accomplished his mission. Beneath the bonnet and the bombazine was
the Guerrilla, and beneath the white cloth of the basket and its
apples and beets and beans the unerring revolvers. The furthest
picket heard the firing, saw the apparition, bethought himself of
the devil, and took to the brush.

“During this month’s stay in prison, being chained down, drinking
coffee sweet as molasses, when they knew I did not like sweetened
coffee they made it that much sweeter, running a boxing match,
having songs sung to me of the sweet South in an insulting way and
being janitor for the jail and thousands of other things that go
with a prison life, and while Cole Younger was getting information
under disguise as an old lady Sally selling apples and cookies to
the Federals three days before, I made my bond, my father being a
Union man and interceding with Colonel Buell in my behalf. I made
bond for $50,000 to report at headquarters every two hours during
the day and be locked up at night.

“About the third day after I gave bond and after I was thoroughly
acquainted with the location of the soldiers I made my escape
through the back way, through the guard, and found my way to a
near-by friend by the name of Sullivan and got a horse and saddle,
went by Webb’s and got my pistols out of a hollow log back of
the barn where Mrs. Webb had hid them, and rode on to Quantrell’s
camp, arriving there about eleven o’clock that night. After telling
Quantrell how the soldiers and camps were located, and as Younger
had told him about six hours before, it was decided to make the
charge the next morning, and after a hard night’s riding we struck
Independence just a little before daylight on the morning of
August 11, 1862, surprised the camp, and nine hundred soldiers,
with the exception of the colonel, who was in command, surrendered
to two hundred and fifty of us. Colonel Buell was quartered in a
brick building with his body guard and it was not until about nine
o’clock that he surrendered. Buell lost about three hundred killed,
besides three hundred and seventy-five wounded. We had a loss of
only one man killed and four wounded. In attempting to take the
provost marshal, who tortured me so when I was in prison, Kitt
Child was shot and killed, making two men lost in the attack, all

“In the skirmish I was badly cut up by a saber, but I got away from
them on foot, and so did Quantrell. While the colonel was slashing
at me I struck him with a heavy dragoon pistol and burst his knee
cap and he fell off his horse. This ended the fight. That night we
got together at camp and Quantrell came in on foot, and I had to

“If Quantrell’s men could have been decorated for that day’s fight,
and if at review some typical thing that stood for glory could
have passed along the ranks, calling the roll of the brave, there
would have answered modestly, yet righteously, Trow, Haller, Gregg,
Jarrette, Morris, Poole, Younger, James Tucker, Blunt, George
Shepherd, Yager, Hicks, George, Sim Whitsett, Fletch Taylor, John
Ross, Dick Burns, Kit Chiles, Dick Maddox, Fernando Scott, Sam
Clifton, George Maddox, Sam Hamilton, Press Webb, John Coger, Dan
Vaughn, and twenty others, some dead now, but dead in vain for
their country. There were no decorations, however, but there was
a deliverance. Crammed in the county jail, and sweltering in the
midsummer’s heat, were old men who had been pioneers in the land,
and young men who had been sentenced to die. The first preached the
Confederacy and it triumphant; the last to make it so, enlisted for
the war. These jailbirds, either as missionaries or militants, had
work to do.”

The Lone Jack Fight

Once there stood a lone blackjack tree, taller than its companions
and larger than any near it. From this tree the town of Lone
Jack, in the eastern portion of Jackson County, was named. On the
afternoon of the 13th of August clouds were seen gathering there.
These clouds were cavalrymen. Succoring recruits in every manner
possible, and helping them on to rendezvous by roads, or lanes, or
water courses, horsemen acquainted with the country kept riding
continuously up and down. A company of these on the evening of the
15th were in the village of Lone Jack.

Major Emory L. Foster, doing active scouting duty in the region
round about Lexington, had his headquarters in the town. The
capture of Independence had been like a blow upon the cheek; he
would avenge it. He knew how to fight. There was dash about him;
he had enterprise. Prairie life had enlarged his vision and he did
not see the war like a martinet; he felt within him the glow of
generous ambition; he loved his uniform for the honor it had; he
would see about that Independence business--about that Quantrell
living there between the two Blues and raiding the West--about
those gray recruiting folks riding up from the South--about the
tales of ambuscades that were told eternally of Jackson County, and
of all the toils spread for the unwary Jayhawkers. He had heard,
too, of the company which halted a moment in Lone Jack as it
passed through, and of course it was Quantrell.


It was six o’clock when the Confederates were there, and eight
o’clock when the Federal colonel, Colonel Foster, marched in,
leading nine hundred and eighty-five cavalrymen, with two pieces
of Rabb’s Indiana battery--a battery much celebrated for tenacious
gunners and accurate firing. Cockrell, who was in command, knew
Foster well; the other Confederates knew nothing of him. He was
there, however, and that was positive proof enough that he wanted
to fight. Seven hundred Confederates--armed with shotguns, horse
pistols, squirrel rifles, regulation guns, and what not--attacked
nine hundred and eighty-five Federal cavalrymen in a town for a
position, and armed with Spencer rifles and Colt’s revolvers,
dragoon size. There was also the artillery. Lone Jack sat quietly
in the green of emerald prairie, its orchards in fruit and its
harvests goodly. On the west was timber, and in this timber a
stream ran musically along. To the east the prairies stretched,
their glass waves crested with sunshine. On the north there were
groves in which birds abounded. In some even the murmuring of doves
was heard, and an infinite tremor ran over all the leaves as the
wind stirred the languid pulse of summer into fervor.

In the center of the town a large hotel made a strong
fortification. The house from being a tavern, had come to be a
redoubt. From the top the Stars and Stripes floated proudly--a
tricolor that had upon it then more of sunshine than of blood.
Later the three colors had become as four.

On the verge of the prairie nearest the town a hedge row stood as
a line of infantry dressed for battle. It was plumed on the sides
with tawny grass. The morning broke upon it and upon armed men
crouching there, with a strange barred banner and with guns at
trail. Here they waited, eager for the signal.

Joining Hays on the left was Cockrell and the detachments of Hays,
Rathburn and Bohannon. Their arms were as varied as their uniforms.
It was a duel they were going into and each man had the gun he
could best handle. From the hedgerow, from the green growing corn,
from the orchards and the groves, soldiers could not see much save
the flag flying skyward on the redoubt on the Cave House.

At five o’clock a solitary gunshot aroused camp and garrison, and
all the soldiers stood face to face with imminent death. No one
knew thereafter how the fight commenced. It was Missourian against
Missourian--neighbor against neighbor--the rival flags waved over
each and the killing went on. This battle had about it a strange
fascination. The combatants were not numerous, yet they fought as
men seldom fight in detached bodies. The same fury extended to an
army would have ended in annihilation. A tree was a fortification.
A hillock was an ambush. The cornfields, from being green, became
lurid. Dead men were in the groves. The cries of the wounded
came in from the apple orchards. All the houses in the town were
garrisoned. It was daylight upon the prairies, yet there were
lights in the windows--the light of musket flashes.

There is not much to say about the fight in the way of description.
The Federals were in Lone Jack; the Confederates had to get them
out. House fighting and street fighting are always desperate. The
hotel became a hospital, later a holocaust, and over all rose and
shone a blessed sun while the airy fingers of the breeze ruffled
the oak leaves and tuned the swaying branches to the sound of a

The graycoats crept nearer. On east, west, north or south. Hays,
Cockrell, Tracy, Jackman, Rathburn or Hunter gained ground. Farmer
lads in their first battle began gawkies and ended grenadiers. Old
plug hats rose and fell as the red fight ebbed and flowed; the
shotgun’s heavy boom made clearer still the rifle’s sharp crack. An
hour passed, the struggle had lasted since daylight.

Foster fought his men splendidly. Wounded once, he did not make
complaint; wounded again, he kept his place; wounded a third time
he stood with his men until courage and endurance only prolonged a
sacrifice. Once Haller, commanding thirty of Quantrell’s old men,
swept up to the guns and over them, the play of their revolvers
being as the play of the lightning in a summer cloud. He could not
hold them, brave as he was. Then Jackman rushed at them again and
bore them backward twenty paces or more. Counter-charged, they
hammered his grip loose and drove him down the hill. Then Hays and
Hunter--with the old plug hats and wheezy rifles--finished the
throttling; the lions were done roaring.

Tracy had been wounded. Hunter wounded. Hays wounded, Captains
Bryant and Bradley killed, among the Confederates, together with
thirty-six others and one hundred and thirty-four wounded. Among
the Federals, Foster, the commander, was nigh unto death; his
brother, Captain Foster, mortally shot, died afterwards. One
hundred and thirty-six dead lay about the streets and houses of the
town, and five hundred and fifty wounded made up the aggregate of a
fight, numbers considered, as desperate and bloody as any that ever
crimsoned the annals of a civil war. A few more than two hundred
breaking through the Confederate lines on the south, where they
were weakest, rushed furiously into Lexington, Haller in pursuit as
some beast of prey, leaping upon everything which attempted to make
a stand between Lone Jack and Wellington. Captain Trow, who was in
this battle, narrates that at one time during the battle, “I was
forced to lie down and roll across the street to save my scalp.”

A mighty blow seemed impending. Commanders turned pale, and lest
this head or that head felt the trip-hammer, all the heads kept
wagging and dodging. Burris got out of Cass County; Jennison
hurried into Kansas; the Guerrillas kept a sort of open house;
and the recruits--drove after drove and mostly unarmed--hastened
southward. Then the Federal wave, which had at first receded beyond
all former boundaries, flowed back again and inundated Western
Missouri. Quantrell’s nominal battalion, yielding to the exodus,
left him only the old guard as a rallying point. It was necessary
again to reorganize.

After the Guerrillas had reorganized they stripped themselves for
steady fighting. Federal troops were everywhere, infantry at the
posts, cavalry on the war paths. The somber defiance mingled with
despair did not come until 1864; in 1862 the Guerrillas laughed as
they fought. And they fought by streams and bridges, where roads
crossed and forked and where trees or hollows were. They fought
from houses and hay stacks; on foot and on horseback; at night
when the weird laughter of owls could be heard in the thickets; in
daylight, when the birds sang as they found sweet rest. The black
flag was being woven, but it had not yet been unfurled.

Breaking suddenly out of Jackson County, Quantrell raided
Shawneetown, Kansas, and captured its garrison of fifty militia.
Then at Olathe, Kansas, the next day, the right hand did what the
left one finished so well at Shawneetown; seventy-five Federals
surrendered there. Each garrison was patrolled and set free save
seven from Shawneetown; these were Jennison’s Jayhawkers and they
had to die. A military execution is where one man kills another;
it is horrible. In battle, one does not see death. He is there,
surely--he is in that battery’s smoke, on the crest of that hill
fringed with the fringe of pallid faces, under the hoofs of the
horses, yonder where the blue or the gray line creeps onward
trailing ominous guns--but his cold, calm eyes look at no single

The seven men rode into Missouri from Shawneetown puzzled; when the
heavy timber along the Big Blue was reached and a halt made, they
were praying. Quantrell sat upon his horse looking at the Kansans.
His voice was unmoved, his countenance perfectly indifferent as he
ordered: “Bring ropes; four on one tree, three on another.” All of
a sudden death stood in the midst of them, and was recognized. One
poor fellow gave a cry as piercing as the neighing of a frightened
horse. Two trembled, and trembling is the first step towards
kneeling. They had not talked any save among themselves up to this
time, but when they saw Blunt busy with some ropes, one spoke up
to Quantrell: “Captain, just a word: the pistol before the rope; a
soldier’s before a dog’s death. As for me, I’m ready.” Of all the
seven this was the youngest--how brave he was.

The prisoners were arranged in line, the Guerrillas opposite to
them. They had confessed to belonging to Jennison, but denied the
charge of killing and burning. Quantrell hesitated a moment. His
blue eyes searched each face from left to right and back again, and
then he ordered: “Take six men, Blunt, and do the work. Shoot the
young man and hang the balance.”

The oldest man there, some white hair was in his beard, prayed
audibly. Some embraced. Silence and twilight, as twin ghosts, crept
up the river bank together. Blunt made haste, and before Quantrell
had ridden far he heard a pistol shot. He did not even look up; it
affected him no more than the tapping of a woodpecker. At daylight
the next morning a wood-chopper going early to work saw six stark
figures swaying in the river breeze. At the foot of another tree
was a dead man and in his forehead a bullet hole--the old mark.


“After Quantrell hanged these men, the only time I was ever scared
during the war,” relates Captain Trow, “I had left camp one night
to visit a lady friend of mine, and a company of Federals got after
me, and in the chase I took to the woods and it was at the place
where Quantrell had hanged these men. My saddle girth broke right
there, but I held on to my horse. I thought the devil and all his
angels were after me, but I made it to the camp.”

The March South in 1862

Winter had come and some snow had fallen. There were no longer any
leaves; nature had nothing more to do with the ambuscades. Bitter
nights, with a foretaste of more bitter nights to follow, reminded
Quantrell that it was time to migrate. Most of the wounded men were
well again. All the dismounted had found serviceable horses. On
October 22, 1862, a quiet muster on the banks of the Little Blue
revealed at inspection nearly all the old faces and forms, with a
sprinkling here and there of new ones. Quantrell counted them two
by two as the Guerrillas dressed in line, and in front rank and
rear rank there were just seventy-eight men. On the morrow they
were moving southward. That old road running between Harrisonville
and Warrensburg was always to the Guerrilas a road of fire, and
here again on their march toward Arkansas, and eight miles east
of Harrisonville, did Todd in the advance strike a Federal scout
of thirty militia cavalrymen. They were Missourians and led by a
Lieutenant Satterlee. To say Todd is to say Charge. To associate
him with something that will illustrate him is to put torch and
powder magazine together. It was the old, old story. On one side
a furious rush, on the other panic and imbecile flight. After a
four-mile race it ended with this for a score: Todd, killed, six;
Boon Schull, five; Fletch Taylor, three; George Shepherd, two;
John Coger, one; Sim Whitsett, one; James Little, one; George
Maddox, one; total, twenty; wounded, none. Even in leaving, what
sinister farewells these Guerrillas were taking!

The second night out Quantrell stopped over beyond Dayton, in
Cass County, and ordered a bivouac for the evening. There came to
his camp here a good looking man, clad like a citizen, who had
business to transact, and who knew how to state it. He was not fat,
he was not heavy. He laughed a good deal, and when he laughed he
showed a perfect set of faultlessly white teeth. He was young. An
aged man is a thinking ruin; this one did not appear to think--he
felt and enjoyed. He was tired of dodging about in the brush, he
said, and he believed he would fight a little. Here, there and
everywhere the Federals had hunted him and shot at him, and he
was weary of so much persecution. “Would Quantrell let him become
a Guerrilla?” “Your name?” asked the chief. The recruit winced
under the abrupt question slightly, and Quantrell saw the start.
Attracted by something of novelty in the whole performance, a crowd
collected. Quantrell, without looking at the newcomer, appeared
yet to be analyzing him. Suddenly he spoke up: “I have seen you
before.” “Where?” “Nowhere.” “Think again. I have seen you in
Lawrence, Kansas.” The face was a murderer’s face now, softened by
a woman’s blush. There came to it such a look of mingled fear,
indignation and cruel eagerness that Gregg, standing next to him
and nearest to him, laid his hand on his revolver. “Stop,” said
Quantrell, motioning to Gregg; “do not harm him, but disarm him.”
Two revolvers were taken from his person and a pocket pistol--a
Derringer. While being searched the white teeth shone in a smile
that was almost placid. “You suspect me,” he said, so calmly that
his words sounded as if spoken under the vault of some echoing
dome. “But I have never been in Lawrence in my life.”

Quantrell was lost in thought again, with the strange man--standing
up smiling in the midst of the band--watching him with eyes that
were blue at times and gray at times, and always gentle. More
wood was put on the bivouac fire, and the flames grew ruddy. In
their vivid light the young man did not seem quite so young. He
had also a thick neck, great broad shoulders, and something of
sensuality about the chin. The back of his skull was bulging and
prominent. Here and there in his hair were little white streaks.
Because there was such bloom and color in his cheeks, one could
not remember these. Quantrell still tried to make out his face,
to find a name for that Sphinx in front of him, to recall some
time or circumstance, or place, that would make obscure things
clear, and at last the past returned to him in the light of a
swift revealment. “I have it all now,” he said, “and you are a
Jayhawker. The name is immaterial. I have seen you at Lawrence; I
have seen you at Lane’s headquarters; I have been a soldier myself
with you; we have done duty together--but I have to hang you this
hour, by G--d.” Unabashed, the threatened man drew his breath hard
and strode a step nearer Quantrell. Gregg put a pistol to his
head. “Keep back. Can’t you talk where you are? Do you mean to say

The old smile again; could anything ever drive away that
smile--anything ever keep those teeth from shining? “You ask
me if I want to talk, just as if I had anything to talk about.
What can I say? I tell you that I have been hunted, proscribed,
shot at, driven up and down, until I am tired. I want to kill
somebody. I want to know what sleeping a sound night’s sleep
means.” Quantrell’s grave voice broke calmly in: “Bring a rope.”
Blunt brought it. “Make an end fast.” The end was made fast to
a low lying limb. In the firelight the noose expanded. “Up with
him, men.” Four stalwart hands seized him as a vice. He did not
even defend himself. His flesh beneath their grip felt soft and
rounded. The face, although all the bloom was there, hardened
viciously--like the murderer’s face it was. “So you mean to get
rid of me that way? It is like you, Quantrell. I know you but you
do not know me. I have been hunting you for three long years.
You killed my brother in Kansas, you killed others there, your
comrades. I did not know, till afterwards, what kind of a devil
we had around our very messes--a devil who prowled about the camp
fires and shot soldiers in the night that broke bread with him in
the day. Can you guess what brought me here?”

The shifting phases of this uncommon episode attracted all; even
Quantrell himself was interested. The prisoner--threw off all
disguise and defied those who meant to hang him. “You did well to
disarm me,” he said, addressing Gregg, “for I intended to kill
your captain. Everything has been against me. At the Tate house
he escaped; at Clark’s it was no better; we had him surrounded at
Swearington’s and his men cut him out; we ran him for two hundred
miles and he escaped, and now after playing my last card and
staking everything upon it, what is left to me? A dog’s death and
a brother unavenged.” “Do your worst,” he said, and he folded his
arms across his breast and stood stolid as the tree over his head.
Some pity began to stir the men visibly. Gregg turned away and went
out beyond the firelight. Even Quantrell’s face softened, but only
for a moment. Then he spoke harshly to Blunt, “He is one of the
worst of a band that I failed to make a finish of before the war
came, but what escapes today is dragged up by the next tomorrow. If
I had not recognized him he would have killed me. I do not hang him
for that, however, I hang him because the whole breed and race to
which he belongs should be exterminated. Sergeant, do your duty.”
Blunt slipped the noose about the prisoner’s neck, and the four men
who had at first disarmed him, tightened it. To the last the bloom
abode in his cheeks. He did not pray, neither did he make plaint
nor moan. No man spoke a word. Something like a huge pendulum swung
as though spun by a strong hand, quivered once or twice, and then
swinging to and fro and regularly, stopped forever. Just at this
moment three quick, hot vollies, and close together, rolled up from
the northern picket post, and the camp was on its feet. If one had
looked then at the dead man’s face, something like a smile might
have been seen there, fixed and sinister, and beneath it the white,
sharp teeth. James Williams had accepted his fate like a hero. At
mortal feud with Quantrell, and living only that he might meet him
face to face in battle, he had joined every regiment, volunteered
upon every scout, rode foremost in every raid, and fought hardest
in every combat. It was not to be. Quantrell was leaving Missouri.
A great gulf was about to separate them. One desperate effort now,
and years of toil and peril at a single blow, might have been
rewarded. He struck it and it cost him his life. To this day the
whole tragic episode is sometimes recalled and discussed along the

The bivouac was rudely broken up. Three hundred Federal cavalry,
crossing Quantrell’s trail late in the afternoon, had followed it
until the darkness fell, halted an hour for supper, and then again,
at a good round trot, rode straight upon Haller, holding the rear
of the movement southward. He fought at the outpost half an hour.
Behind huge trees, he would not fall back until his flanks were in
danger. All the rest of the night he fought them thus, making six
splendid charges and holding on to every position until his grasp
was broken loose by sheer hammering. At Grand River the pursuit
ended and Quantrell swooped down upon Lamar, in Barton County,
where a Federal garrison held the courthouse and the houses near
it. He attacked but got worsted, and attacked again and lost one
of his best men. He attacked the third time and made no better
headway. He finally abandoned the town and resumed, unmolested,
the road to the south. From Jackson County to the Arkansas line
the whole country was swarming with militia and but for the fact
that every Guerrilla was clad in Federal clothing, the march would
have been an incessant battle. As it was, it will never be known
how many isolated Federals, mistaking Quantrell’s men for comrades
of other regiments not on duty with them, fell into a trap that
never gave up their victims alive. Near Cassville in Barry County,
twenty-two were killed thus. They were coming up from Cassville and
were meeting the Guerrillas, who were going south. The order given
by Quantrell was a most simple one, but a most murderous one. By
the side of each Federal in the approaching column a Guerrilla was
to range himself, engage him in conversation, and then, at a given
signal, blow his brains out. Quantrell gave the signal promptly,
shooting the militiaman assigned to him through the middle of the
forehead, and where, upon their horses, twenty-two confident men
laughed and talked in comrade fashion a second before, nothing
remained of the unconscious detachment, which was literally
exterminated, save a few who straggled in agony upon the ground,
and a mass of terrified and plunging horses. Not a Guerrilla missed
his mark.

Younger Remains in Missouri With a Small Detachment--Winter of 1862
and 1863

The remaining part of this chapter is the escapades of Cole
Younger, who stayed in Missouri the winter of 1862 and 1863, with
quite a number of the old band who were not in condition to ride
when Quantrell and Captain Trow went south. But I know them to be

Younger was exceedingly enterprising, and fought almost daily. He
did not seem to be affected by the severity of the winter, and at
night, under a single blanket, he slept often in the snow while it
was too bitter cold for Federal scouting parties to leave their
comfortable cantonments or Federal garrisons to poke their noses
beyond the snug surroundings of their well furnished barracks.

The Guerrilla rode everywhere and waylaid roads, bridges, lines of
couriers and routes of travel. Six mail carriers disappeared in one
week between Independence and Kansas City.

In a month after Quantrell arrived in Texas, George Todd returned
to Jackson County, bringing with him Fletch Taylor, Boon Schull,
James Little, Andy Walker and James Reed. Todd and Younger again
came together by the bloodhound instinct which all men have who
hunt or are hunted. Todd had scarcely made himself known to the
Guerrilla in Jackson County before he had commenced to kill
militiamen. A foraging party from Independence were gathering corn
from a field belonging to Daniel White, a most worthy citizen of
the vicinity, when Todd and Younger broke in upon it, shot five
down in the field and put the rest to flight. Next day, November
30, 1862, Younger, having with him Josiah and Job McCockle and
Tom Talley, met four of Jennison’s regiment face to face in
the neighborhood of the county poor house. Younger, who had an
extraordinary voice, called out loud enough to be heard a mile,
“You are four, and we are four. Stand until we come up.” Instead
of standing, however, the Jayhawkers turned about and rode off as
rapidly as possible, followed by Younger and his men. All being
excellently mounted, the ride lasted fully three miles before
either party won or lost. At last the Guerrillas began to gain
and kept gaining. Three of the four Jayhawkers were finally shot
from their saddles and the fourth escaped by superior riding and
superior running.

Todd, retaining with him those brought up from Arkansas, kept
adding to them all who either from choice or necessity were forced
to take refuge in the brush. Never happy except when on the war
path, he suggested to Younger and Cunningham a ride into Kansas
City west of Little Santa Fe, always doubtful if not dangerous
ground. Thirty Guerrillas met sixty-two Jayhawkers. It was a
prairie fight, brief, bloody, and finished at a gallop. Todd’s
tactics, the old yell and the old rush, swept everything--a
revolver in each hand, the bridle reins in his teeth, the horse at
a full run, the individual rider firing right and left. This is the
way the Guerrillas charged. The sixty-two Jayhawkers fought better
than most of the militia had been in the habit of fighting, but
they could not stand up to the work at revolver range. When Todd
charged them furiously, which he did as soon as he came in sight of
them, they stood a volley at one hundred yards and returned it, but
not a closer grapple.

It was while holding the rear with six men that Cole Younger was
attacked by fifty-two men and literally run over. In the midst
of the _melee_ bullets fell like hail stones in summer weather.
John McDowell’s horse went down, the rider under him and badly
hit. He cried out to Younger for help. Younger, hurt himself and
almost overwhelmed, dismounted under fire and rescued McDowell
and brought him safely back from the furious crash, killing as he
went a Federal soldier whose horse had carried him beyond Younger
and McDowell who were struggling in the road together. Afterwards
Younger was betrayed by the man to save whose life he had risked
his own.

Divided again, and operating in different localities, Todd, Younger
and Cunningham carried the terror of the Guerrilla name throughout
the border counties of Kansas and Missouri. Every day, and
sometimes twice a day, from December 3rd to December 18th, these
three fought some scouting party or attacked some picket post.
At the crossing of the Big Blue on the road to Kansas City--the
place where the former bridge had been burned by Quantrell--Todd
surprised six militiamen and killed them all and then hung them up
on a long pole, resting it, either end upon forks, just as hogs
are hung in the country after being slaughtered. The Federals,
seeing this, began to get ready to drive them away from their lines
of communication. Three heavy columns were sent out to scour the
country. Surprising Cunningham in camp on Big Creek, they killed
one of his splendid soldiers, Will Freeman, and drove the rest of
the Guerrillas back into Jackson County.

Todd, joining himself quickly to Younger, ambuscaded the column
hunting him, and in a series of combats between Little Blue and
Kansas City, killed forty-seven of the pursuers, captured five
wagons and thirty-three head of horses.

There was a lull again in marching and counter marching as the
winter got colder and colder and some deep snow fell. Christmas
time came, and the Guerrillas would have a Christmas frolic.
Nothing bolder or braver is recorded upon the records of either
side in the Civil War than this so-called Christmas frolic.

Colonel Henry Younger, father of Coleman Younger, was one of the
most respected citizens of Western Missouri. He was a stalwart
pioneer of Jackson County, having fourteen children born to him
and his noble wife, a true Christian woman. A politician of the
old school, Colonel Younger was for a number of years a judge of
the county court of Jackson County, and for several terms was a
member of the state legislature. In 1858, he left Jackson County
for Cass County where he dealt largely in stock. He was also an
extensive farmer, an enterprising merchant and the keeper of one of
the best and most popular livery stables in the West, located at
Harrisonville, the County seat of Cass County. His blooded horses
were very superior, and he usually had on hand for speculative
purposes amounts of money ranging from $6,000 to $10,000. On one
of Jennison’s periodical raides in the fall of 1862, he sacked and
burned Harrisonville. Colonel Younger, although a staunch Union
man, and known to be such, was made to lose heavily. Jennison and
his officers took from him $4,000 worth of buggies, carriages and
hacks and fifty head of blooded horses worth $500 each. Then the
balance of his property that was perishable and not movable, was
burned. The intention was to kill Colonel Younger, on the principle
that dead men tell no tales, but he escaped with great difficulty
and made his way to Independence. Jennison was told that Colonel
Younger was rich and that he invariably carried with him large
amounts of money. A plan was immediately laid to kill him. Twenty
cut-throats were organized as a band, under a Jayhawker named
Bailey, and set to watch his every movement. They dogged him from
Independence to Kansas City and from Kansas City down to Cass
County. Coming upon him at last in an isolated place within a few
miles of Harrisonville, they riddled his body with bullets, rifled
his pockets and left his body stark and partially stripped by the

Eight hundred Federals held Kansas City, and on every road was a
strong picket post. The streets were patrolled continually, and
ready always for an emergency. Horses saddled and bridled stood in
their stalls.

Early on the morning of December 25th, 1862, Todd asked Younger if
he would like to have a little fun. “What kind of fun?” the latter
inquired. “A portion of the command that murdered your father are
in Kansas City,” said Todd, “and if you say so we will go into
the place and kill a few of them.” Younger caught eagerly at the
proposition and commenced at once to get ready for the enterprise.
Six were to compose the adventuresome party--Todd, Younger, Abe
Cunningham, Fletch Taylor, Zach Traber and George Clayton. Clad in
the uniform of the Federal cavalry, carrying instead of one pistol,
four, they arrived about dusk at the picket post on the Westport
and Kansas City road. They were not even halted. The uniform was a
passport; to get in did not require a countersign. They left the
horses in charge of Traber, bidding him do the best he could do if
the worst came to the worst.

The city was filled with revelry. All the saloons were crowded.
The five Guerrillas, with their heavy cavalry overcoats buttoned
loosely about them, boldly walked down Main Street and into the
Christmas revelry. Visiting this saloon and that saloon, they sat
knee to knee with some of the Jennison men, some of Jennison’s most
blood-thirsty troopers, and drank confusion over and over again to
the cut-throat Quantrell and his bushwhacking crew.

Todd knew several of the gang who had waylaid and slain Colonel
Younger, but hunt how he could, he could not find a single man of
them. Entering near onto midnight an ordinary drinking place near
the public square, six soldiers were discovered sitting at two
tables playing cards, two at one and four at another. A man and a
boy were behind the bar. Todd, as he entered, spoke low to Younger.

“Run to cover at last. Five of the six men before you were in
Bailey’s crowd that murdered your father. How does your pulse feel?”

“Like an iron man’s. I feel like I could kill the whole six myself.”

They went up to the bar, called for whiskey and invited the card
players to join. They did so.

If it was agreeable, the boy might bring their whiskey to them and
the game could go on.

“Certainly,” said Todd, with purring of a tiger cat ready for a
spring, “that’s what the boy is here for.”

Over their whiskey the Guerrillas whispered. The killing now was
as good as accomplished. Cunningham and Clayton were to saunter
carelessly up to the table where the two players sat, and Todd,
Younger and Taylor up to the table where the four sat. The signal
to get ready was to be, “Come, boys, another drink,” and the
signal to fire was, “Who said drink?” Cole Younger was to give the
first signal in his deep resonant voice and Todd the last one.
After the first each Guerrilla was to draw a pistol and hold it
under the cape of his cavalry coat and after the last he was to
fire. Younger, as a special privilege, was accorded the right to
shoot the sixth man. Cole Younger’s deep voice broke suddenly in,
filling all the room and sounding so jolly and clear. “Come, boys,
another drink.” Neither so loud nor so caressing as Younger’s,
yet sharp, distinct, and penetrating, prolonging, as it were, the
previous proposition, and giving it emphasis, Todd exclaimed, “Who
said drink?” A thunderclap, a single pistol shot, and then total
darkness. The barkeeper dum in the presence of death, shivered and
stood still. Todd, cool as a winter’s night without, extinguished
every light and stepped upon the street. “Steady,” he said to his
men, “do not make haste.” So sudden had been the massacre, and so
quick had been the movements of the Guerrillas, that the pursuers
were groping for a clue and stumbling in their eagerness to find
it. At every street corner an alarm was beating.

Past the press in the streets, past the glare and the glitter of
the thicker lights, past patrol after patrol, Tod had won well his
way to his horses when a black bar thrust itself suddenly across
his path and changed itself instantly into a line of soldiers. Some
paces forward a spokesman advanced and called a halt.

“What do you want?” asked Todd.

“The countersign.”

“We have no countersign. Out for a lark, it’s only a square or two
further that we desire to go.”

“No matter if its only an inch or two. Orders are orders.”

“Fire; and charge men!” and the black line across the streets as
a barricade shrivelled up and shrank away. Four did not move,
however, nor would they ever move again, until, feet foremost,
their comrades bore them to their burial place. But the hunt was
hot. Mounted men were abroad, and hurrying feet could be heard
in all directions. Rallying beyond range and reinforcements,
the remnant of the patrol were advancing and opening fire. Born
scout and educated Guerrilla, Traber--judging from the shots
and shouts--knew what was best for all and dashed up to his
hard-pressed comrades and horses. Thereafter the fight was a
frolic. The picket on the Independence road was ridden over and
through, and the brush beyond gained without an effort; and the
hospitable house of Reuben Harris, where a roaring fire was blazing
and a hearty welcome extended to all was reached.


In a week or less it began snowing. The hillsides were white with
it. The nights were long, and the days bitter, and the snow did
not melt. On the 10th of February, 1863, John McDowell reported
his wife sick and asked Younger permission to visit her. The
permission was granted, the proviso attached to it being the order
to report again at 3 o’clock. The illness of the man’s wife was
a sham. Instead of going home, or even in the direction of home,
he hastened immediately to Independence and made the commander
there, Colonel Penick, thoroughly acquainted with Younger’s camp
and all its surroundings. Penick was a St. Joseph, Missouri, man,
commanding a regiment of militia. The echoes of the desperate
adventure of Younger and Todd in Kansas City had long ago reached
the ears of Colonel Penick, and he seconded the traitor’s story
with an eagerness worthy the game to be hunted. Eighty cavalry,
under a resolute officer, were ordered instantly out, and McDowell,
suspected and closely guarded, was put at their head as a pilot.

Younger had two houses dug in the ground, with a ridge pole to
each, and rafters. Upon the rafters were boards, and upon the
boards straw and earth. At one end was a fireplace, at the other a
door. Architecture was nothing, comfort everything.

The Federal officer dismounted his men two hundred yards from
Younger’s huts and divided them, sending forty to the south and
forty to the north. The Federals on the north had approached to
within twenty yards of Younger’s cabins when a horse snorted
fiercely and Younger came to the door of one of them. He saw the
approaching column on foot and mistaking it for a friendly column,
called out: “Is that you, Todd?” Perceiving his mistake, in a
moment, however, he fired and killed the lieutenant in command
of the attacking party and then aroused the men in the houses.
Out of each the occupants poured, armed, desperate and determined
to fight but never to surrender. Younger halted behind a tree
and fought fifteen Federals for several moments, killed another
who rushed upon him, rescued Hinton and strode away after his
comrades, untouched and undaunted. Fifty yards further Tom Talley
was in trouble. He had one boot off and one foot in the leg of the
other, but try as he would he could get it neither off nor on. He
could not run, situated as he was, and he had no knife to cut the
leather. He too called out to Younger to wait for him and to stand
by him until he could do something to extricate himself. Without
hurry, and in the teeth of a rattling fusilade. Younger stooped
to Talley’s assistance, tearing literally from his foot by the
exercise of immense strength the well-nigh fatal boot, and telling
him to make the best haste he could and hold to his pistols. Braver
man than Tom Talley never lived, nor cooler. As he jumped up in his
stocking feet, the Federals were within twenty yards, firing as
they advanced, and loading their breech loading guns as they ran.
He took their fire at a range like that and snapped every barrel of
his revolver in their faces. Not a cylinder exploded, being wet by
the snow. He thus held in his hand a useless pistol. About thirty
of the enemy had by this time outrun the rest and were forcing the
fighting. Younger called to his men to take to the trees and drive
them back, or stand and die together. The Guerrillas, hatless and
some of them barefoot and coatless, rallied instantly and held
their own. Younger killed two more of the pursuers here--five since
the fighting began--and Bud Wigginton, like a lion at bay, fought
without cover and with deadly effect. Here Job McCorkle was badly
wounded, together with James Morris, John Coger and five others.
George Talley, fighting splendidly, was shot dead, and Younger
himself, encouraging his men by his voice and example, got a bullet
through the left shoulder. The Federal advance fell back to the
main body and the main body fell back to their horses.

A man by the name of Emmet Goss was now beginning to have it
whispered of him that he was a tiger. He would fight, the
Guerrillas said, and when in those savage days one went out upon
the warpath so endorsed, be sure that it meant all that it was
intended to mean. Goss lived in Jackson County. He owned a farm
near Hickman’s mill, and up to the fall of 1861, had worked it
soberly and industriously. When he concluded to quit farming and
go fighting, he joined the Jayhawkers. Jennison commanded the
Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, and Goss a company in this regiment.
From a peaceful thrifty citizen he became suddenly a terror to
the border. He seemed to have a mania for killing. Twenty odd
unoffending citizens probably died at his hand. When Ewing’s
famous General Order No. 11 was issued--that order which required
the wholesale depopulation of Cass, Bates, Vernon and Jackson
Counties--Goss went about as a destroying angel, with a torch in
one hand and a revolver in the other. He boasted of having kindled
the fires in fifty-two houses, of having made fifty-two families
homeless and shelterless, and of having killed, he declared, until
he was tired of killing. Death was to come to him at last by the
hand of Jesse James, but not yet.

Goss had sworn to capture or kill Cole Younger, and went to the
house of Younger’s mother on Big Creek for the purpose. She was
living in a double log cabin built for a tenant, by her husband
before his death, and Cole was at home. It was about eight o’clock
and quite dark. Cole sat talking with his mother, two little
sisters and a boy brother. Goss, with forty men, dismounted back
from the yard, fastened their horses securely, moved up quietly and
surrounded the house.

Between the two rooms of the cabin there was an open passageway,
and the Jayhawkers had occupied this before the alarm was given.
Desiring to go from one room to another, a Miss Younger found the
porch full of armed men. Instantly springing back and closing the
door, she shouted Cole’s name, involuntarily. An old negro woman--a
former slave--with extraordinary presence of mind, blew out the
light, snatched a coverlet from the bed, threw it over her head and

“Get behind me, Marse Cole, quick,” she said in a whisper.

And Cole, in a second, with a pistol in each hand, stood close up
to the old woman, the bed spread covering them both. Then throwing
wide the door, and receiving in her face the gaping muzzles of a
dozen guns, she querously cried out:

“Don’t shoot a poor old nigger, Massa Sogers. Its nobody but me
going to see what’s de matter. Ole missus is nearly scared to

Slowly, then, so slowly that it seemed an age to Cole, she strode
through the crowd of Jayhawkers blocking up the portico, and out
into the darkness and night. Swarming about the two rooms and
rumaging everywhere, a portion of the Jayhawkers kept looking for
Younger, and swearing brutally at their ill-success, while another
portion, watching the movements of the old negress, saw her throw
away the bed-spread, clap her hands exultantly and shout: “Run,
Marse Cole; run for your life. The debbils can’t catch you dis

Giving and taking a volley that harmed no one, Cole made his
escape without a struggle. As for the old negress, Goss debated
sometime with himself whether he should shoot her or hang her.
Unquestionably a rebel negro, she was persecuted often and often
for her opinion’s sake, and hung up twice by militia to make her
tell the whereabouts of Guerrillas. True to her people and her
cause, she died at last in the ardor of devotion.

The Trip North in 1863

On the return from Texas in the spring of 1863, Quantrell’s journey
in detail would read like a romance. The whole band, numbering
thirty, were clad in Federal uniforms, Quantrell wearing that of
a captain. Whenever questioned, the answer was, “A Federal scout
on special service.” Such had been the severity of the winter, and
such the almost dead calm in military quarters, that all ordinary
vigilance seemed to have relaxed and even ordinary prudence

South of Spring River a day’s march, ten militia came upon
Quantrell’s camp and invited themselves to supper. They were fed,
but they were also killed. Quantrell himself was the host. He
poured out the coffee, supplied attentively every little want,
insisted that those whose appetites were first appeased should eat
more, and then shot at his table the two nearest to him and saw the
others fall beneath the revolvers of his men, with scarcely so much
as a change of color in his face.

North of Spring River there was a dramatic episode. Perhaps
in those days every country had its tyrants. Most generally
revolutions breed monsters.

On the way to Missouri, they fell in with Marmaduke, who was
commanding a bunch of Bushwhackers in St. Claire County, Missouri.
He also had been wintering in Texas, and they camped one night near
us. Marmaduke was telling Quantrell about an old Federal captain
named Obediah Smith--what a devil he was and how he was treating
the Southern people. Quantrell laughed and asked:

“Why don’t you kill him?”

Marmaduke said he was too sharp and cunning for him.

Quantrell said, “If you will detail one or two of your men to come
with me and show me where he lives, I will kill him with his own

It being agreed upon, the next morning Marmaduke called on Oliver
Burch to pilot Quantrell to where Smith lived. The following
morning all marched up to within about a mile or so of where
Captain Smith lived. Quantrell called his men together, chose Wash
Haller, Dick Burns, Ben Morrow, Dick Kenney, Frank James and myself
of his own command, and Oliver Burch of Marmaduke’s command. They
rode up to Captain Smith’s house, all dressed in Federal uniforms,
and called at the gate, “Hello.” Smith came walking out and
Quantrell saluted him and told him he was a scout for the Federals
from Colonel Penick’s army. Smith saw them in the same uniform as
himself and did not once think of their betraying him. They talked
for a few minutes when Quantrell said:

“Captain, that is a fine gun you have there; why don’t you furnish
us scouts with a gun like that.”

“This is a fine gun,” replied Smith, “it has killed lots of d----d

Quantrell said, “Captain, would you mind letting me see that gun?”

Taking it from him, Quantrell began to look it over, and turning to
his pals, said, “Ain’t that a dandy?”

They all answered, “Yes, wish I had one.”

Quantrell kept fooling with the gun and, catching Captain Smith’s
eye off him, fired it at him, shooting him through the heart and
killing him instantly. Killing Smith was getting rid of one of the
worst men in Cedar County.

That day about ten o’clock, three militiamen came to the column and
were killed. A mile from where dinner was procured, five more came
out. These also were killed. In the dusk of the evening two more
were killed, and where we bivouacked, one was killed. The day’s
work counted eleven in the aggregate, and nothing of an exertion to
find a single soldier made, at that.

Evil tidings were abroad, however--evil things that took wings
and flew as birds. Some said from the first that Quantrell’s men
were not Union men and some swore that no matter what kind of
clothing they wore, those inside of said clothing were wolves. Shot
evenly; that is to say, by experienced hands, in the head, the
corpses of the first discovered ten awakened from their sleep the
garrison along the Spring River. Smith’s execution stirred them to
aggression, and the group of dead militiamen crossed continually
upon the roadside, while it enraged it also horrified every
cantonment or camp. Two hundred cavalrymen got quickly to horse and
poured up from the rear after Quantrell. It was not difficult to
keep on his track. Here a corpse and there a corpse, here a heap
and there a heap--blue always, and blue continually--what manner of
a wild beast had been sent out from the unknown to prey upon the

At the Osage River the Federal pursuit, gathering volume and
intensity as it advanced, struck Quantrell hard and brought him to
an engagement south of the river. Too much haste, however, cost
him dearly. The advance, being the smaller, had outridden the main
army and was unsupported and isolated when attacked. Quantrell
turned upon it savagely and crushed it at a blow. Out of sixty-six
troopers he killed twenty. In those days there were no wounded.
Before the main body came up he was over the Osage and away, and
riding fast to encompass the immense prairie between the river and
Johnstown. When scarcely over it, a flanking column made a dash at
him coming from the west, killed Blunt’s horse and drove Quantrell
to timber. Night fell and he rode out of sight and out of hearing.
When he drew rein again it was at the farm of Judge Russell Hicks
on the Sni, in Jackson County. The next morning at David George’s
he disbanded for ten days, sending messengers out in all directions
to announce his arrival and make known the rendezvous.

The ten days allotted by Quantrell for concentration purposes
had not yet expired, but many of the reckless spirits, rapacious
for air and exercise, could not be kept still. Poole, Ross and
Greenwood made a dash for the German settlement of Lafayette
County, and left some marks there that are not yet obliterated.
Albert Cunningham, glorying in the prowess of a splendid manhood,
and victor in a dozen combats against desperate odds, fell before
the spring came, in an insignificant skirmish on the Harrisonville
and Pleasant Hill road.

In the lull of military movements in Jackson County, Cass was to
see the inauguration of the heavy Guerrilla work of 1863. Three
miles west of Pleasant Springs, Younger and his comrades struck
a blow that had the vigor of the olden days in it. The garrison
at Pleasant Hill numbered three hundred, and from the garrison of
Lieutenant Jefferson took thirty-two cavalrymen and advanced three
miles towards Smith’s, on a scouting expedition. While Hulse and
Noah Webster, two Guerrilas who seemed never to sleep and to be
continually hanging about the flanks of the Federals, discovered
Jefferson and reported his movements to the main body encamped at
Parson Webster’s. Taking with him eight men, Joe Lee hurried to
cut Jefferson off from Pleasant Hill. Younger, with eight more,
was close up from the west. Lee had with him John Webster, Noah
Webster, Sterling Kennedy, David Kennedy, William Hays, Perry
Hays, Henry McAninch, James Marshall, Edward Marshall and Edward
Hink. He was to gain the east end of the lane and halt there until
Younger came up at its western extremity. Jefferson discovered
Lee, however, and formed a line of battle in front of Smith’s,
throwing some skirmishers forward and getting ready apparently for
a fight, although afterwards it was reported that Lee’s men were
mistaken for a portion of the garrison left behind at Pleasant
Hill. Younger had further to go than he at first supposed, but
was making all the haste possible, when Lee, carried away by the
uncontrolable impulse of his men, charged down the lane from the
east, at a furious rate. Jefferson held his troopers fair to their
line, until the Guerrillas reached a carbine range, but could hold
them no longer. A volley and a stampede and the wild race was on
again. About a length ahead and splendidly mounted, William Hays
led the Guerrillas. Shot dead, his horse fell from under him and
crushed his senses out for half an hour. John and Noah Webster took
Hays’ place through sheer superiority of horse flesh and forced
the fighting, John killing three of the enemy as he ran and Noah,
four. Noah’s pistols were empty, but he dashed alongside of the
rearmost trooper and knocked him from his saddle with the butt
of one of them, and seized another by the collar of his coat and
dragged him to the ground. Both were dispatched. Too late to block
the western mouth of the lane, Younger joined in the swift pursuit
as it passed him to the left and added much to the certainty of
the killing. Of the thirty-two, four alone escaped, and Jefferson
was not among them. Hulse shot him running at a distance of fifty
yards, and before he got to him he was dead.

Pleasant Hill was instantly evacuated. Not a Federal garrison
remained in Cass, outside of Harrisonville, and the garrison there
was as effectively imprisoned as if surrounded by the walls of a
fortress. The Guerrillas rode at ease in every direction.

Younger and Lon Railey hung about the town for a week killing its
pickets and destroying its foraging parties. Other bands in other
directions gathered up valuable horses for future service and
helped onward to the southern army troops of recruits who needed
only pilots and protection to the Osage River.

Like Cunningham, the man who had fought as a lion in twenty
different combats, was destined to fall in a sudden and unnoted
skirmish. Returning northward in the rear of Quantrell, Lieutenant
William Haller was attacked at sunset and fought till dark. He
triumphed, but he fell. His comrades buried him and wept for him,
and left him.

The battle of the year 1863 had commenced; formidable men were
coming to the surface in every direction. Here and there sudden
Guerrilla fires leaped up from many places about the State, and
burned as if fed by oil, until everything in their reach had been
consumed. It was a year of savage fighting and killing; it was the
year of the torch and the black flag; it was the year when the
invisible reaper reaped sorest in the ranks of the Guerrillas and
gathered into harvest sheaves, the bravest of the brave.

Anderson, newly coming into sight, was flashing across the military
horizon as a war comet. Left to himself and permitted to pursue
his placid ways in peace, probably the amiable neighbor and
working man would never have been developed into a tiger. But see
how he was wrought upon! One day late in 1862, a body of Federal
soldiers, especially enrolled and uninformed to persecute women
and prey upon non-combatants, gathered up in a half day’s raid a
number of demonstrative Southern girls whose only sin had been
extravagant talk and pro-Confederacy cheering. They were taken to
Kansas City and imprisoned in a dilapidated tenement close upon a
steep place. Food was flung to them at intervals, and brutal guards
sang ribald songs and used indecent language in their presence.
With these women, tenderly nurtured and reared, were two of Will
Anderson’s sisters. Working industriously in Kansas with his
father, Anderson knew nothing of the real struggles of the war, nor
of the imprisonment of his sisters. A quiet, courteous, fair-minded
man who took more delight in a book than in a crowd, he had a most
excellent name in Randolph County, Missouri, where he was born, and
in Johnson County, Kansas, where he was living in 1862. Destiny had
to deal with him, however. The old rickety, ramshackle building in
which were the huddled women, did not fall down fast enough for
the brutes who bellowed about it. At night and in the darkness it
was undermined, and in the morning when a little wind blew upon
it and it was shaken, it fell with a crash. Covered up, the faces
disfigured, the limp, lifeless bodies were past all pain! Dead to
touch, or kiss, or passionate entreaty, Anderson’s eldest sister
was taken from the ruins a corpse. The younger, badly injured
in the spine, with one leg broken and her face bruised and cut
painfully, lived to tell the terrible story of it all to a gentle,
patient brother kneeling before her at her bedside and looking up
above to see if God were there.

Soon a stir came along the border. A name new to the strife was
beginning to pass from band to band and about the camp fires to
have a respectful hearing.

“Anderson?” “Anderson?” “Who is this Anderson?” The Guerrillas
asked one of another. “He kills them all. Quantrell spares now and
then, and Poole and Blunt, and Yager, and Haller, and Jarrette, and
Younger, and Gregg, and Todd, and Shepherd, and all the balance;
but Anderson, never. Is he a devil in uniform?”

Jesse James Joins Command

Jesse James, younger brother of Frank James, had now emerged from
the awkwardness of youth. He was scarcely thirteen years of age,
while Frank was four years older. The war made them Guerrillas.
Jesse was at home with his stepfather, Dr. Reuben Samuels, of Clay
County. He knew nothing of the strife save the echoes of it now and
then as it reached his mother’s isolated farm. One day a company
of militia visited this farm, hanged Dr. Samuels to a tree until
he was left for dead, and seized upon Jesse, a mere boy in the
fields plowing, put a rope about his neck and abused him harshly,
pricking him with sabers, and finally threatening him with death
should they ever again hear of his giving aid or information to the
Guerrillas. That same week his mother and sisters were arrested,
carried to St. Joseph and thrown into a filthy prison, where the
hardships they endured were dreadful. Often without adequate food,
insulted by sentinels who neither understood nor cared to learn
the first lesson of a soldier--courtesy to women--cut off from
all communication with the world, the sister was brought near to
death’s door from a fever which followed the punishment, while the
mother--a high spirited and courageous matron--was released only
after suffering and emaciation had aged her in her prime. Before
Mrs. Samuels returned to her home, Jesse had joined Frank in the
camp of Quantrell, who had preceded him a few years, and who had
already, notwithstanding the briefness of his service, made a name
for supreme and conspicuous daring. Jesse James had a face as
smooth and innocent as the face of a school girl. The blue eyes,
very clear and penetrating, were never at rest. His form, tall and
finely moulded--was capable of great effort and great endurance. On
his lips there was always a smile, and for every comrade a pleasant
word or a compliment. Looking at the small white hands with their
long, tapering fingers, it was not then written or recorded
that they were to become with a revolver among the quickest and
deadliest hands in the West. Frank was four years older, and
somewhat taller than Jesse. Jesse’s face was something of an oval;
Frank’s was long, wide about the forehead, square and massive about
the jaw and chin, and set always in a look of fixed repose. Jesse
laughed at many things; Frank laughed not at all. Jesse was light
hearted, reckless, devil-may-care; Frank sober, sedate, a splendid
man always for ambush or scouting parties.

Scott had to come back from the South and, eager for action,
crossed the Missouri River at Sibley May 20, 1863, taking with him
twelve men. Frank James and James Little led the advance. Beyond
the river thirteen miles, and at the house of Moses McCoy, the
Guerrillas camped, concocting a plan whereby the Federal garrison
at Richfield, numbering thirty, might be got at and worsted.

Captain Sessions was in command at Richfield, and his grave had
already been dug. Scott found a friendly citizen named Peter
Mahoney who volunteered to do the decoy work. He loaded up a wagon
with wood, clothed himself in the roughest and raggedest clothes
he had, and rumbled away behind as scrawny and fidgety a yoke of
oxen as ever felt a north wind in the winter bite their bones, or
deceptive buckeye in the spring swell their body.

“Mr. Mahoney, what is the news?” This was the greeting he got.

“No news, I have wood for sale. Yes, there is some news, too.
I like to have forgot. Eight or ten of those Quantrell men are
prowling about my way, the infernal scoundrels, and I hope they may
be hunted out of the country.”

Mahoney did well, but Scott did better. He secreted his men three
miles from Richfield, and near the crossing of a bridge. If an
enemy came the bridge was a sentinel--its resounding planks, the
explosion of a musket. Scott, with eight men, dismounted and lay
close along the road. Gregg, with Fletch Taylor, James Little and
Joe Hart, mounted and ready to charge, kept still and expectant
fifty yards in the rear in ambush. Presently at the crossing a dull
booming was heard, and the Guerrillas knew that Sessions had bit
at the bait Mahoney offered. A sudden clinking along the line--the
eight were in a hurry.

“Be still,” said Scott; “You cock too soon. I had rather have two
cool men than ten impatient ones.”

The Federals came right onward; they rode along gaily in front of
the ambuscade; they had no skirmishers out and they were doomed.
The leading files were abreast of Scott on the right when he
ordered a volley, and Sessions, Lieutenant Graffenstein and seven
privates fell dead. What was left of the Federal array turned
itself into a rout; Gregg, Taylor, Little, and Hart thundered down
to the charge. Scott mounted again, and altogether and away at a
rush, pursuers and pursued dashed into Richfield. The remnant of
the wreck surrendered, and Scott, more merciful than many among
whom he soldiered, spared the prisoners and paroled them.

House Occupied by Women Light of Love

Four miles from Independence, and a little back from the road
leading to Kansas City, stood a house occupied by several women
light of love. Thither regularly went Federal soldiers from the
Independence garrison, and the drinking was deep and the orgies
shameful. Gregg set a trap to catch a few of the comers and goers.
Within the lines of the enemy much circumspection was required
to make an envelopment of the house successful. Jesse James was
chosen from among the number of volunteers and sent forward to
reconnoiter the premises. Jesse, arrayed in coquettish female
apparel, with his smooth face, blue eyes, and blooming cheeks,
looked the image of a bashful country girl, not yet acquainted
with vice, though half eager and half reluctant to walk a step
nearer to the edge of its perilous precipice. As he mounted, woman
fashion, upon a fiery horse, the wind blew all about his peach
colored face the pink ribbons of a garish bonnet and lifted the
tell-tale riding habit just enough to reveal instead of laced shoes
or gaiters, the muddy boots of a born cavalryman. Gregg, taking
twelve men, followed in the rear of James to within a half a mile
of the nearest picket post and hid in the woods until word could be
brought from the bagnio ahead. If by a certain hour the disguised
Guerilla did not return to his comrades, the pickets were to be
driven in, the house surrounded, and the inmates forced to give
such information as they possessed, of his whereabouts.

Jesse James, having pointed out to him with tolerable accuracy the
direction of the house, left the road, skirted the timber rapidly,
leaped several ravines, floundered over a few marshy places and
finally reached his destination without meeting a citizen or
encountering an enemy. He would not dismount, but sat upon his
horse at the fence and asked that the mistress of the establishment
might come out to him. Little by little, and with many gawky
protests and many a bashful simper, he told a plausible story of
parental _espionage_ and family discipline. He, ostensibly a she,
could not have a beau, could not go with the soldiers, could not
sit with them late, nor ride with them, nor romp with them. She was
tired of it all and wanted a little fun. Would the mistress let her
come to her house occasionally and bring some of the neighborhood
girls with her, who were in the same predicament? The mistress
laughed and was glad. New faces to her were like new coin, and
she put forth a hand and patted the merchantable thing upon the
knee, and ogled her smiling mouth and girlish features gleefully.
As the she-wolf and venturesome lamb separated, the assignation
was assured. That night the amorous country girl, accompanied by
three of her female companions, was to return, and the mistress,
confident of her ability to provide lovers was to make known among
the soldiers the attractive acquisition.

It lacked an hour of sunset when Jesse James got back to Gregg; an
hour after sunset the Guerrillas, following hard upon the tracks
made by the boy spy, rode rapidly on to keep the trysting place.
The house was aglow with lights and jubilant with laughter. Drink
abounded, and under cover of the clinking glasses, the men kissed
the women. Anticipating the orgy of unusual attraction, twelve
Federals had been lured out from the garrison and made to believe
that barefoot maidens ran wild in the woods and buxom lasses hid
for the hunting. No guards were out; no sentinels posted. Jesse
James crept close to a window and peered in. The night was chilly
and a large wood fire blazed upon a large hearth. All the company
were in one room, five women and a dozen men. Scattered about,
yet ready for the grasping, the cavalry carbines were in easy
reach, and the revolvers handy about the persons. Sampson trusting
everything to Delilah, might not have trusted so much if under the
old dispensation there had been anything of bushwhacking.

Gregg loved everybody who wore the gray, and what exercised him
most was the question just now of attack. Should he demand a
surrender? Jesse James, the boy, said no to the veteran. Twelve
men inside the house, and the house inside their own lines where
reinforcements might be hurried quickly to them, would surely hold
their own against eleven outside, if indeed they did not make it
worse. The best thing to do was to fire through the windows and
kill what could be killed by a carbine volley, then rush through
the door and finish, under the cover of the smoke, horror and
panic, those who should survive the broadside.


Luckily the women sat in a corner to themselves and close to a
large bed fixed to the wall and to the right of the fireplace. On
the side of the house the bed was on, two broad windows opened low
upon the ground, and between the windows there was a door, not
ajar, but not fastened. Gregg, with five men, went to the upper
window, and Taylor, with four, took possession of the lower. The
women were out of immediate range. The house shook; the glass
shivered, the door was hurled backward, there was a hot stifling
crash of revolvers; and on the dresses of the women and the white
coverlet of the bed great red splotches. Eight out of the twelve
fell dead or wounded at the first fire; after the last fire all
were dead. It was a spectacle ghastly beyond any ever witnessed by
the Guerrillas, because so circumscribed. Piled two deep the dead
men lay, one with a glass grasped tightly in his stiffened fingers,
and one in his shut hand the picture of a woman scantily clad.
How they wept, the poor, painted things, for the slain soldiers,
and how they blasphemed; but Gregg tarried not, neither did he
make atonement. As they lay there heaped where they fell and piled
together, so they lay still when he mounted and rode away.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the three months preceding the Lawrence massacre, over two
hundred citizens were killed and their property burned or stolen.
In mid-winter houses were burned by the hundred and whole
neighborhoods devastated and laid waste. Aroused as he had never
been before, Quantrell meditated a terrible vengeance.

Lawrence Massacre

In the spring of 1863, Quantrell issued a proclamation to the
Federal forces of Kansas that if they did not stop burning and
robbing houses, killing old men and women, he would in return come
to Lawrence at some unexpected time and paint the city blacker than
hades and make its streets run with blood.

On Blackwater, in Johnson County, and at the house of Captain
Purdee, Quantrell called the Guerrillas together for the Lawrence
massacre. Todd, Jarrette, Blunt, Gregg, Trow, Anderson, Yager,
Younger, Estes and Holt, all were there, and when the roll was
called three hundred and ten answered promptly to their names.
Up to the mustering hour Quantrell had probably not let his left
hand know what his right hand had intended. Secrecy necessarily
was to be the salvation of the expedition, if indeed there was
any salvation for it. The rendezvous night was an August night--a
blessed, balmy, mid-summer night--just such a night as would be
chosen to give force to reflections and permit the secrets of the
soul to escape. The sultry summer day had lain swarthily in the
sun and panting; the sultry summer winds had whispered nothing of
the shadowy woods, nothing of the babble of unseen brooks. Birds
spoke goodbye to birds in the tree tops, and the foliage was filled
with twilight. Quantrell sat grave and calm in the midst of his
chieftains who were grouped about him. Further away where the
shadows were, the men massed themselves in silent companies or
spoke low to one another, and briefly. Something of a foreboding,
occult though it was, and undefinable, made itself manifest. The
shadow of a great tragedy was impending.

Without in the least degree minimizing or magnifying the
difficulties of the undertaking, Quantrell laid before his
officers his plans for attacking Lawrence. For a week a man of the
command--a cool, bold, plausible, desperate man--had been in the
city--thought it, over it, about it and around it--and he was here
in their midst to speak. Would they listen to him?

“Let him speak,” said Todd, sententiously.

Lieutenant Fletcher Taylor came out from the shadow, bowed gravely
to the group, and with the brevity of a soldier who knew better
how to fight than to talk, laid bare the situation. Disguised as a
stock trader, or rather, assuming the role of a speculating man,
he had boldly entered Lawrence. Liberal, for he was bountifully
supplied with money; keeping open rooms at the Eldridge House, and
agreeable in every way and upon every occasion, he had seen all
that it was necessary to see, and learned all that could be of
any possible advantage to the Guerrillas. The city proper was but
weakly garrisoned; the camp beyond the river was not strong; the
idea of a raid by Quantrell was honestly derided; the streets were
broad and good for charging horsemen, and the hour for the venture
was near at hand.

“You have heard the report,” Quantrell said with a deep voice,
“but before you decide it is proper that you should know it all.
The march to Lawrence is a long one; in every little town there
are soldiers; we leave soldiers behind us; we march through
soldiers; we attack the town garrisoned by soldiers; we retreat
through soldiers; and when we would rest and refit after the
exhaustive expedition, we have to do the best we can in the midst
of a multitude of soldiers. Come, speak out, somebody. What is it,

“Lawrence or hell, but with one proviso, that we kill every male


“Lawrence, if I knew not a man would get back alive.”


“Lawrence, it is the home of Jim Lane; the foster mother of the Red
Legs; the nurse of the Jayhawkers.”


“Lawrence. I know it of old; ‘niggers’ and white men are just the
same there; its a Boston colony and it should be wiped out.”


“Lawrence, by all means. I’ve had my eye on it for a long time. The
head devil of all this killing and burning in Jackson County; I
vote to fight it with fire--to burn it before we leave it.”

“Dick Maddox?”

“Lawrence; and an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; God
understands better than we do the equilibrium of Civil War.”


“Lawrence, and be quick about it.”


“Where my house once stood there is a heap of ruins. I haven’t a
neighbor that’s got a house--Lawrence and the torch.”


“Count me whenever there is killing. Lawrence first and then some
other Kansas town; the name is nothing.”

“Have you all voted?”


“Then Lawrence it is; saddle up, men!”

Thus was the Lawrence Massacre inaugurated.

Was it justifiable? Is there much of anything that is justifiable
in Civil War? Originally, the Jayhawkers in Kansas had been very
poor. They coveted the goods of their Missouri neighbors, made
wealthy or well-to-do by prosperous years of peace and African
slavery. Before they became soldiers they had been brigands, and
before they destroyed houses in the name of retaliation they had
plundered them at the instance of personal greed. The first
Federal officers operating in Kansas; that is to say, those who
belonged to the state, were land pirates or pilferers. Lane was a
wholesale plunderer; Jennison, in the scaly gradation, stood next
to Lane; Anthony next to Jennison; Montgomery next to Anthony;
Ransom next to Montgomery, and so on down until it reached to the
turn of captains, lieutenants, sergeants, corporals and privates.
Stock in herds, droves and multitudes were driven from Missouri
into Kansas. Houses gave up their furniture; women, their jewels;
children, their wearing apparel; store-rooms, their contents; the
land, their crops, and the banks, their deposits. To robbery was
added murder; to murder, arson, and to arson depopulation. Is it
any wonder, then, that the Missourian whose father was killed
should kill in return, whose house was burnt should burn in return,
whose property was plundered, should pillage in return, whose
life was made miserable, should hunt as a wild beast and rend
accordingly? Many such were in Quantrell’s command--many whose
lives were blighted; who in a night were made orphans and paupers;
who saw the labor and accumulation of years swept away in an hour
of wanton destruction; who for no reason on earth save that they
were Missourians, were hunted from hiding place to hiding place;
who were preyed upon while not a single cow remained or a single
shock of grain; who were shot at, bedeviled and proscribed, and
who, no matter whether Union or disunion, were permitted to have
neither flag nor country.

It was the summer night of August 16, 1863, that the Guerilla
column, having at its head its ominous banner, marched west from
Purdee’s place on Blackwater. With its simple soldiers, or rather
volunteers for the expedition, were Colonels Joseph Holt and Boaz
Roberts. Officers of the regular Confederate army, who were in
Missouri on recruiting service when the march began, fell into line
as much from habit as from inclination.

The first camp was made upon a stream midway between Pleasant Hill
and Lone Jack, where the grazing was good and the hiding places
excellent. All day Quantrell concealed himself there, getting to
saddle just at dark and ordering Todd up from the rear to the
advance. Passing Pleasant Hill to the north and marching on rapidly
fifteen miles, the second camp was at Harrelson’s, twenty-five
miles from the place of starting. At three o’clock in the afternoon
of the second day, the route was resumed and followed due west to
Aubrey, a pleasant Kansas stream, abounding in grass and timber.
Here Quantrell halted until darkness set in, feeding the horses
well and permitting the men to cook and eat heartily. At eight
o’clock the march began again and continued on throughout the
night, in the direction of Lawrence. Three pilots were pressed into
service, carried with the command as far as they knew anything of
the road or the country, and then shot down remorselessly in the
nearest timber.

On the morning of the 21st, Lawrence was in sight. An old man a
short distance upon the right of the road was feeding his hogs
in the gray dawn, the first person seen to stir about the doomed
place. Quantrell sent Cole Younger over to the hog-pen to catechize
the industrious old farmer and learn from him what changes had
taken place in the situation since Taylor had so thoroughly
accomplished his mission. Younger, dressed as a Federal lieutenant,
exhausted speedily the old man’s limited stock. Really, but little
change had taken place. Across the Kansas river there were probably
four hundred soldiers in camp, and on the Lawrence side about
seventy-five. As for the rebels, he didn’t suppose there was one
nearer than Missouri; certainly none within striking distance of

It was a lovely morning. The green of the fields and the blue of
the skies were glad together. Birds sang sweetly. The footsteps of
autumn had not yet been heard in the land.

“The camp first,” was the cry which ran through the ranks, and
Todd, leading Quantrell’s old company, dashed down, yelling and
shooting. Scarcely any resistance was made, as every time they
stuck their heads out of a tent it was met with a bullet. Ridden
over, shot in their blankets, paralyzed, some of them with terror,
they ran frantically about. What could they do against the
quickest and deadliest pistol shots along the border?

Bill Anderson, Todd, Jarrette, Little, McGuire, Long, Bill McGuire,
Richard Kenney, Allen Parmer, Frank James, Clemmons, Shepherd,
Hinton, Blunt, Harrison Trow, and the balance of the older men did
the most of the killing. They went for revenge, and they took it.
These men killed. They burned. The Federals on the opposite side of
the river made scarcely any attempt to come to the rescue of their
butchered comrades. A few skirmishes held them in check. It was a
day of darkness and woe. Killing ran riot. The torch was applied
to every residence; the air was filled with cries for mercy;
dead men lay in cellars, upon streets, in parlors where costly
furniture was, on velvet carpets. The sun came up and flooded the
sky with its radiance and yet the devil’s work was not done. Smoke
ascended into the air, and the crackling of blazing rafters and
crashing of falling walls filled the air. A true story of the day’s
terrible work will never be told. Nobody knows it. It is a story of
episodes, tragic--a story full of collossal horrors and unexpected

Frank James, just as he was in the act of shooting a soldier in
uniform who had been caught in a cellar--his pistol was at the
Federal’s head--heard an exceedingly soft and penetrating voice
calling out to him, “Do not kill him for my sake. He has eight
children who have no mother.” James looked and saw a beautiful
girl just turned sixteen, blushing at her boldness and trembling
before him. In the presence of so much grace and loveliness her
father was disarmed. He remembered his own happy youth, his sister,
not older than the girl beside him, his mother who had always
instilled into his mind lessons of mercy and charity. He put up his

“Take him, he is yours. I would not harm a hair of his head for the
whole state of Kansas,” said James.

Judge Carpenter was killed in the yard of H. C. Clark, and Colonel
Holt, one of the Confederate officers with the expedition, saved
Clark. He saved others besides Clark. He had been a Union man doing
business in Vernon County, Missouri, as a merchant. Jennison,
belonging to old Jim Lane of Lawrence, noted “nigger” thief,
robber and house burner, who always ran from the enemy, raided the
neighborhood in which he lived, plundered him of his goods, burnt
his property, insulted his family, and Holt joined the Confederate
army for revenge. The notorious general, James H. Lane, to get whom
Quantrell would gladly have left and sacrificed the balance of the
victims, made his escape through a corn field, hotly pursued but
too speedily mounted to be captured. He swam the river.

There were two camps in Lawrence at the time of the attack, one
camp of the “nigger” troops being located at the southern end of
Massachusetts street and the other camp of white soldiers were
camped in the heart of the city. In this latter camp there were
twenty-one infantry, eighteen of whom were killed in the first wild

Cole Younger had dragged from his hiding place in a closet a very
large man who had the asthma. In his fright and what with his hurry
the poor man could not articulate. Younger’s pistol was against his
heart when his old wife cried out, “For God’s sake, do not shoot
him. He has not slept in a bed for nine years.” This appeal and the
asthma together, caused Younger to roar out, “I never intended to
harm a hair of his head.”

Todd and Jarrette, while roaming through Eldridge’s house in search
of adventure, came upon a door that was locked. Todd knocked and
cried out that the building was in flames and it was time to get
away. “Let it burn and be d----d,” a deep voice answered, and then
the voices of three men were heard in conversation. Jarrette threw
his whole weight against the door, bursting it open, and as he did
so Todd fired and killed one of the three, Jarrette another and
Todd the third, who were hiding there. They were soldiers who had
escaped in the morning’s massacre, and who did not even make an
effort to defend themselves. Perhaps the number killed will never
be accurately known, but I should say there were at least one
thousand killed, and none wounded. The loss of property amounted
to the enormous sum of $1,500,000. The total buildings consumed
were one hundred and eighty-nine. In the city proper Quantrell had
one man killed and two wounded. The man who lost his life was drunk
when the firing began. His name was Larkin Skaggs, and the fighting
at Lawrence was the first he had ever done as a Guerilla.

Fate favored Quantrell from the time he left Missouri until he
returned to Missouri. A man from Johnson County, Kansas, started by
an Indian trail to inform the people of Lawrence of his coming. He
rode too carelessly and his horse fell and so injured him that he
died. A full company of soldiers were situated at Oxford, but they
seemed more anxious to keep out of the way than to fight.

As Quantrell retreated from Lawrence, he sat upon the right end,
William Gregg with twenty men upon the left. Bill Anderson with
twenty men, Gregg took with him Frank James, Arch Clemmons, Little,
Morrow, Harrison Trow and others of the most desperate men of the
band. Anderson took Hockinsmith, Long, McGuire, Parmer, Hicks, Hi
George, Doc Campbell and other equally desperate characters. Each
was ordered to burn a swath as they marched back parallel with the
main body and to kill in proportion as he burned. Soon on every
hand were columns of smoke beginning to rise, and soon was heard
the rattle of firing arms from around the consuming houses, and
old farmers who had taken up arms were shot down as a holiday
frolic. This unforgiving farewell lasted for twelve miles until
pressed too heavily in the rear. Quantrell was forced to recall his
detachments and look to the safety of his aggregate columns.

Missouriward from Kansas ten miles, Quantrell halted to rest and
eat a little. Cole Younger rode out into a cabbage patch and got
himself a cabbage head and began to eat it. The lady of the house
came out. Younger said:

“This is a very fine cabbage you have.” The lady replied:

“I hope it will choke you to death, you d----d old rebel

“Thank you, ma’am,” was the reply. “Where is your husband?”

Before any of the men had finished eating, the pickets were drawn
into the rear, pressed to the girth. Todd and Jarrette held out as
two lines that had not broken fast. Step by step, and firing at
everyone in pursuit, at arm’s length, for ten miles further the
Federals would not charge. Overwhelming in numbers though they
were, and capable of taking at any moment everything in opposition
to them, they contented themselves with firing at long range and
keeping always at and about a deadly distance from the rear. The
Guerillas, relying principally upon dash and revolver, felt the
need of a charge. Quantrell halted the whole column for a charge.
The detachments on either flank had some time since been gathered
up and the men brought face to face with urgent need. Turned about
quickly and dressed up in line handsomely as he came trotting up
in the rear guard Todd fell into line upon the left and Quantrell
gave the word. The Federal pursuit had hardly time to fire a volley
before it was rent into shreds and scattered upon the prairie.

Order Number 11, August, 1863

Two days after his safe arrival in Missouri from the Lawrence
massacre, Quantrell disbanded the Guerrillas. Fully six thousand
Federals were on his track. The savageness of the blow struck there
had appalled and infuriated the country. The journalistic pulse
of the North rose to fever heat and beat as though to its raging
fever there had been added raving insanity. In the delirium of
the governing powers impossible things were demanded. Quantrell
was to be hunted to the death; he was to be hanged, drawn and
quartered; his band was to be annihilated; he was to be fought
with fire, persecution, depopulation and wholesale destruction. At
the height of the very worst of these terrible paroxysms, Ewing’s
famous General Order No. 11 was issued. It required every citizen
of Jackson, Cass, Bates and a portion of Vernon counties to abandon
their houses and come either into the lines of designated places
that were fortified, or within the jurisdiction of said lines. If
neither was done, and said citizens remained outside beyond the
time limit specified for such removal, they were to be regarded
as outlaws and punished accordingly. Innocent and guilty alike
felt the rigors of this unprecedented proscription. For the Union
man there was the same line of demarkation that was drawn for
the secessionist. Age had no immunity; sex was not regarded. The
rights of property vanished; predatory bands preyed at will;
nothing could be sold; everything had to be abandoned; it was the
obliterating of prosperity by counties; it was the depopulation of
miles upon miles of fertile territory in a night.

General Ewing had been unjustly censured for the promulgation of
such an order and held responsible in many ways for its execution.
The genius of a celebrated painter, Captain George C. Bingham of
Missouri, had been evoked to give infamy to the vandalism of the
dead and voice to the indignation of history over its consummation.
Bingham’s picture of burning and plundering houses, of a sky made
awful with mingling flames and smoke, of a long line of helpless
fugitives going away they knew not whither, of appealing women
and gray haired non-combatants, of skeleton chimneys rising like
wrathful and accusing things from the wreck of pillaged homesteads,
of uniformed things called officers rummaging in trunks and
drawers, of colonels loaded with plunder, and captains gaudy in
stolen jewelry, will live longer than the memories of the strife,
and keep alive horrible memories long after Guerrilla and Jayhawker
are well forgotten.

Ewing, however, was a soldier. General Order No. 11 came from
district headquarters at St. Louis where Scofield commanded,
and through Scofield from Washington City direct. Ewing had
neither choice nor discretion in the matter. He was a brave,
conscientious, hard fighting officer who did his duty as it came
to his hands to do. He could not have made, if he had tried, one
hair of the infamous Order white or black. It was a portion of
the extraordinary order of things, and Ewing occupied towards it
scarcely the attitude of an instrument. He promulgated it but he
did not originate it; he gave it voice but he did not give it form
and substance; his name had been linked to it as to something that
should justly cause shame and reproach, but history in the end
will separate the soldier from the man and render unto the garb of
the civilian what it has failed to concede to the uniform of the
commander. As a citizen of the republic he deplored the cruelty of
an enactment which he knew to be monstrous; but as a soldier in the
line of duty, the necessity of the situation could not justify a
moment’s argument. He had but to obey and to execute, and he did
both--and mercifully.

For nearly three weeks Jackson County was a Pandemonium, together
with the counties of Cass, Bates, Vernon, Clay and Lafayette. Six
thousand Federals were in the saddle, but Quantrell held his grip
upon these counties despite everything. Depopulation was going on
in a two-fold sense--one by emigration or exodus, and one by the
skillful killing of perpetual ambushment and lyings-in-waiting.
In detachments of ten, the Guerrillas divided up and fought
everywhere. Scattered, they came together as if by instinct.
Driven from the flanks of one column, they appeared in the rear
of another. They had voices that were as the voices of the night
birds. Mysterious horsemen appeared on all the roads. Not a single
Federal scouting or exploring party escaped paying toll. Sometimes
the aggregate of the day’s dead was simply enormous. Frequently the
assailants were never seen. Of a sudden, and rising, as it were,
out of the ground, they delivered a deadly blow and rode away in
the darkness--invisible.

Fights and Skirmishes During Fall and Winter, 1863–1864

As the Lawrence raid put the whole Federal forces after us, it
was a continuous fight from September 1, 1863, to Price’s raid in
August, 1864, but Quantrell held his own.

Up to the time of the Lawrence massacre there had been no scalping
done; after it a good deal. Abe Haller, brother of Lieutenant
William Haller, was wounded and hiding in some timber near Texas
Prairie in the eastern edge of Jackson County. Alone, he faced
seventy-two men, killing and wounding five of the attacking party,
when he fell. His slayers scalped him and cut off his ears. Shortly
afterwards Andy Blunt came upon the body, mutilated as it was, and
pointed out the marks of the knife to his companions.

“We have something to learn yet, boys,” he said, “and we have
learned it.” “Scalp for scalp hereafter!”

The next day Blunt, Long, Clemens, Bill Anderson and McGuire
captured four militiamen from a regiment belonging to North
Missouri. Blunt scalped each of the four, leaving their ears
intact, however. He said he had no use for them.

Fire Prairie

The killing went on. Between Fire Prairie and Napoleon Gregg,
Taylor, Nolan, Little and Frank James captured six of Pennick’s
militiamen. They held over them a kind of court martial and killed
them all. These were not scalped.


The next day Richard Kenney, John Farretts, Jesse James and Sim
Whitsett attacked a picket post of eight men about a mile from
Wellington and annihilated it, cutting them off from the town and
running them in a contrary direction. Not a man escaped.

Lexington Road

Two days afterwards Ben Morrow, Pat O’Donald and Frank James
ambushed an entire Federal company between Salem church on the
Lexington road and Widow Child’s. They fought eighty men for nearly
an hour, killing seven and wounding thirteen. O’Donald was wounded
three times and James and Morrow each once slightly.

Shawnee Town Road

Todd gathered together thirty of his old men and, getting a
volunteer guide who knew every hog path in the country, went around
past Kansas City boldly and took up a position on the Shawnee Town
road, looking for a train of wagons bringing infantry into Kansas
City. There were twenty wagons with twenty soldiers to the wagon,
besides the drivers. Here and there between the wagons intervals
of fifty yards had been permitted to grow. Todd waited until all
the wagons but three had passed by the point of his ambush when
he sprang out upon them and poured into them and upon their jammed
and crowded freight a deadly rain of bullets. Every shot told. Todd
butchered sixty in the three wagons and turned away from his work
of death and pursued the balance.


Cole Younger, while Todd was operating in Kansas, gathered about
him ten men and hid himself as close to Independence as it was
possible to get without getting into town. His eyes for some time
had been fastened upon a large corral. He sent William Hulse out
to reconnoiter the position and bring word of the guard stationed
to protect it. Younger avoided the pickets and by eleven o’clock
had made the distance, halting at the turning off place on the main
road and giving his horses in charge of two of the detachment. With
the other eight on foot led by Hulse, he crept close to the reserve
post and fired point blank into the sleeping guard, some rolled up
in their blankets and some resting at ease about the fire. Choosing
his way as well as possible by the uncertain light. Younger escaped
unpursued with three excellent horses to the man after killing
seventeen Federals in the night attack and wounding many more.

Blue Springs Fight in December, 1863

Colonel Pennick’s men came from Independence down to Blue Springs
and burned houses, killed old men--too old to be in the service.
They numbered two hundred, while Quantrell’s men numbered one
hundred. On the road from Blue Springs to Independence they killed
John Sanders and a man named Kimberland--both old men--and left
them lying in the roadway. If neighbors had not offered their
services the hogs would have eaten their bodies. They burned from
two to twelve houses and left the families homeless.

The people of the neighborhood sent a runner to Quantrell. We
mounted, struck a gallop and did not slow down until we charged the
rear and went through them like fire through stubble, killing as we
went. After the battle was over we counted seventy-five killed and
an equal number wounded. Those who were not hit were so scared that
we had no more trouble with them.

On our retreat Quantrell’s password was, “Bat them, boys, over the
left eye.”

A good old citizen by the name of Uncle George Rider, hearing the
firing and seeing us coming, got off his horse and laid down in
the woods close to the road, face up, having a belly on him like a
ten-gallon beer keg. Quantrell said to Dick Burns, “You go out and
bat him over the left eye.” Burns went out to him and hollered
back to Quantrell that “he has been dead a week; see how he is
swelled up.” We had lots of fun afterwards about his belly saving


Four miles east of Wellington stood a large house occupied by some
lewd women, notorious for their favors and their enticements.
Poole knew the situation well, and suggested to Jarrette that
a sufficient detour should be made to encompass the building.
Arriving there about eleven o’clock at night, it appeared from the
outside as if there were some kind of a frolic. Lights shone from
many of the windows, music and the sound of dancing feet could be
heard occasionally. Frank James crept to a back door and looked in
and counted five women and eleven men. Some of the men were sitting
on the laps of the women and some were so close to others that to
risk a volley would be murderous. At no time without hitting a
woman could they make sure of hitting a man. They waited an hour to
gain a favorable opportunity, but waited in vain. Jarrette solved
the problem.

He was dressed in Federal uniform, and after placing his men so as
to cut off any escape from the house if the occupants once came
outside, he rode boldly up to the fence in front of the premises
and cried, “Hello!” A soldier came to the door with a gun in his
hand and answered him. Jarrette continued, “Who are you that you
come to this place in defiance of every order issued for a month?
What business have you here tonight? Who gave you permission
to come? Where are your passes? Come out here and let me read
them.” Thinking Jarrette a provost captain scouting for runaways
from the Lexington garrison, ten of the eleven militiamen started
confidently for the fence, receiving, when half way, the crushing
fire of twenty concealed Guerrillas. In a space four blankets might
have covered the ten fell and died, only one of the lot discharging
a weapon or making a pretense of resistance.

Frank James stooped to count them, and as he rose he remarked:
“There are but ten here. Awhile ago there were eleven.” The
building was entered, searched from top to bottom in every nook and
corner, but no soldier. The women were questioned, one at a time,
separately. They knew only that when the man at the fence called
they all went out together.

Frank James, whose passive face had from the first expressed
neither curiosity nor doubt, spoke up again and briefly: “Awhile
ago I counted but five women, now there are six.” Save four
sentinels on duty at either end of the main road, Guerrillas had
gathered together in the lower large room of the dwelling house.
The fire had burned low, and was fitful and flickering. Where there
had been half a dozen candles there were now only two.

“Bring more,” said Poole, “and we will separate this wolf from the

“Aye, if we have to strip the lot,” spoke up a coarse voice in the

“Silence,” cried Jarrette, laying a hand upon a pistol and turning
to his men in the shadow, “not a woman shall be touched. We are
wild beasts, yes, but we war on wild beasts.”

More light was brought, and with a candle in each hand Poole
went from woman to woman, scanning the face of each long and
searchingly, and saying when he had finished, “I give it up. If one
of the six here is a man, let him keep his dress and his scalp.”

Frank James, just behind Poole, had inspected each countenance also
as the candles passed before it, and when Poole had done speaking,
he laid a finger upon a woman’s shoulder and spoke as one having
authority: “This is the man. If I miss my reckoning, shoot me dead.”

The marvelous nerve, which up to this time had stood with the
militiaman as a shield and a defense, deserted him when the
extremity came, and he turned ghastly white, trembled to his
feet, and fell, sobbing and praying on his knees. Horrified by
the slaughter in the yard, and afraid to rush from the house lest
he be shot down also, he hurriedly put on the garments of one of
the women, composed his features as best he could, and waited in
suspense the departure of the Guerrillas. Almost a boy, his smooth
face was fresher and fairer than the face of any real woman there.
His hair, worn naturally long and inclined to be brown, was thick
and fine. The dress hid his feet, or the boots would have betrayed
him at the start. Not knowing that an observation had been made
before the firing, and the number accurately taken of both men and
women, he hoped to brave it through and laugh afterwards and tell
to his messmates how near death had passed by him and did not stop.
The reaction, however, upon discovery, was pitiful. He was too
young to die, he pleaded. He had never harmed a human being in his
life. If he was spared he would abandon the army and throw away his
gun. As he prayed he wept, but Jarrette abated further abasement of
his manhood.

“He is yours, James,” he said, “and fairly yours. When he changed
color ever so little under Poole’s inspection you saw it and no
other man saw it, and he belongs to you. Take him.” Property in
human flesh was often disposed of in this way.

“Come,” said Frank James, lifting the young Federal up to his feet
with his left hand and drawing his revolver with his right; “come
outside, it is not far to go.”

Scarcely able to stand, yet unresisting, the militiaman followed
the Guerrilla--the lamb following the tiger. As they went by the
ghastly heap, all ragged and intangible in the uncertain light,
the one shuddered and the other was glad. At the fence the poor
prisoner was so weak he could scarcely climb it. Beyond the fence
was the road and down this road a few hundred yards towards
Lexington Frank James led his victim. Under the shadows of a huge
tree he halted. It was quite dark there. Only the good God could
see what was done; the leaves shut the stars out.

“Do not kill me for my mother’s sake,” came from the pinched lips
of the poor victim, “for I have no one else to pray for me. Spare
me just this once.”

“You are free,” said James, “go,” and as he spoke he pointed in the
direction of Lexington.

“Free? You do not kill me? You tell me go? Great God, am I sleeping
or awake!” and the man’s teeth chattered and he shook as if in a
fit of ague.

“Yes, go and go quickly; you are past the guards, past all danger;
you belong to me and I give you your life. =Go!=”

At that moment Frank James lifted his pistol in the air and fired.
When he returned to the house Jarrette, who had heard the pistol
shot, rallied him.

“Yes,” he said, “it was soon over. Boys and babies are not hard
to kill.” James had just taken the trouble to save the life of a
Federal soldier because he had appealed to him in the name of his

Jarrette continued on his raid. South of Lexington six miles he
came suddenly upon nine Federals in a school house, sheltered
against a heavy rain that was falling. After shooting the nine and
appropriating the house, he propped each corpse up to a desk, put
a book before it and wrote upon the blackboard fixed against the
wall: “John Jarrette and David Poole taught this school today for
one hour. We found the pupils all loyal and we left them as we
found them.”

Again in the German settlement a company of militia were engaged
and cut to pieces. Near Dover five militiamen from Carroll County
were caught encamped at Tebo bridge and shot. Near Waverly ten men
at odd times were picked up and put out of the way. And on the
return march to Jackson County no less than forty-three straggling
Federals, in squads of from three to nine, were either surprised or
overtaken and executed without trial or discussion.

The Grinter Fight

A Dutch colonel, with his company of men, one day came into Piser’s
saloon in Independence, Mo., and got to drinking pretty freely and
said to Piser, the saloon keeper:

“Dose you’se knows where dot Quantrell, dot kill-devil, iss? Gife
us another drink. We are going out and get dot Quantrells today,
brings his scalps in on ours vidle bits.”

Piser, a friend of both Federals and Confederates, pleaded with him
to leave the job alone. The Dutch colonel wore a pair of earrings
as big as a ring in a bull’s nose.

“Give us another drinks,” the Dutch colonel said. “Ills tells youse
we are going after Quantrells, and ven I finds him I is going to
says, ‘Haltz!’ and ven I says ‘haltz’ dot means him stops a little

So they took the Independence and Harrisonville road and found
Quantrell camped close to old man Grinter’s and as usual always
ready for any surprise, for he had been surprised so much. When the
Dutch colonel and his company came in sight, Quantrell ordered his
men to mount and charge, which they did, and when the smoke cleared
away only two remained to tell the story. They were a couple
hundred yards away sitting on their horses cursing us, calling us
all kinds of d----d “secesh,” telling us to come on. I said to
Sim Whitsett, “Let’s give them a little chase. They seem to be so
brave.” We took after them but they would not stand. They broke
and ran. We ran them for a quarter of a mile down the big road.
One fell off his horse dead, the other one jumped off and ran into
old man Grinter’s house. Mrs. Grinter was in the yard. He ran to
her and said, “Hide me.” She put him under a bee gum. Sim and I
stopped but never could find him. Sim does not to this day like the
Grinter name. Sim said, “I got the earring, but he is the lad.” He
afterwards gave them to a girl on Texas Prairie, Missouri. Poor old
Dutchman. He lost his life with all his men but one.


The Centralia Massacre

In history, this is called a battle of massacre, but there never
was a fight during the Civil War that was fought any more fairly
than this battle was fought.

Along about September, 1864, at Paris, in Monroe County, there had
been a Federal garrison three hundred strong, under the command of
a Major Johnson. These soldiers, on the watch for Anderson, had
been busy in scouting expeditions and had come down as near to
Centralia as Sturgeon.

After Anderson had done all the devilment that he could lay his
hands to in Centralia and had retired again to the Singleton camp,
Major Johnson came into the pillaged town, swearing all kind of
fearful and frightful things.

At the head of his column a black flag was carried. So also was
there one at the head of Todd’s column. In Johnson’s ranks the
Stars and Stripes for this day had been laid aside. In the ranks
of the Guerrillas the Stars and Stripes flew fair and free, as if
there had been the intention to add to the desperation of the sable
banner the gracefulness and abandon of legitimate war.

The Union citizens of Centralia, knowing Anderson only in his
transactions, besought Johnson to beware of him. He was no match
for Anderson. It was useless to sacrifice both himself and his
men. Anderson had not retreated; he was in ambush somewhere about
the prairie. He would swoop down like an eagle; he would smite
and spare not. Johnson was as brave as the best of them, but he
did not know what he was doing. He had never in his life fought
Guerrillas--such Guerrillas as were now to meet him.

He listened patiently to the warnings that were well meant, and
he put away firmly the hands that were lifted to stay his horse.
He pointed gleefully to his black flag, and boasted that quarter
should neither be given nor asked. He had come to carry back with
him the body of Bill Anderson, and that body he would have, dead or

Fate, however, had not yet entirely turned its face away from the
Federal officer. As he rode out from the town at the head of his
column a young Union girl, described as very fair and beautiful,
rushed up to Major Johnson and halted him. She spoke as one
inspired. She declared that a presentiment had come to her, and
that if he led his men that day against Bill Anderson, she felt and
knew that but few of them would return alive. The girl almost knelt
in the dust as she besought the leader, but to no avail.

Johnson’s blood was all on fire, and he would march and fight, no
matter whether death waited for him one mile off, or one hundred
miles off. He not only carried a black flag himself, and swore
to give no quarter, but he declared on his return that he would
devastate the country and leave of the habitations of the southern
men not one stone upon another. He was greatly enraged towards the
last. He cursed the people as “damned secesh,” and swore that they
were in league with the murderers and robbers. Extermination, in
fact, was what they all needed, and if fortune favored him in the
fight, it was extermination that all should have. Fortune did not
favor him.

Johnson rode east of south, probably three miles. The scouts who
went to Singleton’s barn, where Anderson camped, came back to say
that the Guerrillas had been there, had fed there, had rested
there, and had gone down into the timber beyond to hide themselves.
It was now about four o’clock in the afternoon.

Back from the barn, a long, high ridge lifted itself up from the
undulating level of the more regular country and broke the vision
southward. Beyond this ridge a wide, smooth prairie stretched
itself out, and still beyond this prairie, and further to the
south, was the timber in which the scouts said Bill Anderson was

As Johnson rode towards the ridge, still distant from it a mile
or so, ten men anticipated him by coming up fair to view, and in
skirmishing order. The leader of this little band, Captain John
Thrailkill, had picked for the occasion David and John Poole, Frank
and Jesse James, Tuck Hill, Peyton Long, Ben Morrow, James Younger,
E. P. DeHart, Ed Greenwood and Harrison Trow. Next to Thrailkill
rode Jesse James, and next to Jesse, Frank. Johnson had need to
beware of what might be before him in the unknown when such giants
as these began to show themselves.

The Guerrillas numbered, all told, exactly two hundred and
sixty-two. In Anderson’s company there were sixty-one men, in
George Todd’s forty-eight, in Poole’s forty-nine, in Thomas Todd’s
fifty-four, and in Thrailkill’s fifty--two hundred and sixty-two
against three hundred.

As Thrailkill went forward to skirmish with the advancing enemy,
Todd came out of the timber where he had been hiding, and formed
a line of battle in an old field in front of it. Still further
to the front a sloping hill, half a mile away, arose between
Johnson and the Guerillas. Todd rode to the crest of this, pushing
Thrailkill well forward into the prairie beyond, and took his
position there. When he lifted his hat and waved it the whole
force was to move rapidly on. Anderson held the right, George Todd
joined to Anderson, Poole to George Todd, Thomas Todd to Poole, and
Thrailkill to Thomas Todd--and thus were the ranks arrayed.

The ten skirmishers quickly surmounted the hill and disappeared.
Todd, as a carved statue, stood his horse upon its summit. Johnson
moved right onward. Some shots at long range were fired and some
bullets from the muskets of the Federals reached to and beyond the
ridge where Todd watched, Peyton Long by his side. From a column of
fours Johnson’s men galloped at once into line of battle, right in
front, and marched so, pressing up well and calmly.

The advanced Guerillas opened fire briskly at last, and the
skirmishing grew suddenly hot. Thrailkill, however, knew his
business too well to tarry long at such work, and fell back towards
the ridge.

As this movement was being executed, Johnson’s men raised a shout
and dashed forward together and in a compact mass order formation,
ranks all gone. This looked bad. Such sudden exultation over a
skirmish wherein none were killed exhibited nervousness. Such a
spontaneous giving way of the body, even beyond the will of their
commander, should have manifested neither surprise nor delight and
looked ominous for discipline.

Thrailkill formed again when he reached Todd’s line of battle, and
Johnson rearranged his ranks and went towards the slope at a brisk
walk. Some upon the right broke into a trot, but he halted them,
cursed them, and bade them look better to their line.

Up the hill’s crest, however, a column of men suddenly rode into
view, halted, dismounted and seemed to be busy or confused about

Inexperienced, Johnson is declared to have said to his adjutant:
“They will fight on foot--what does that mean?” It meant that the
men were tightening their saddle girths, putting fresh caps on
their revolvers, looking well to bridle reins and bridle bits,
and preparing for a charge that would have about it the fury of
a whirlwind. By and by the Guerrillas were mounted again. From a
column they transformed themselves into a line two deep and with a
double interval between all files. At a slow walk they moved over
the crest towards Major Johnson, now advancing at a walk that was
more brisk.

Perhaps it was now five o’clock. The September sun was low in the
west, not red nor angry, but an Indian summer sun, full yet of
generous warmth and grateful beaming. The crisp grass crinkled
under foot. A distance of five hundred yards separated the two
lines. Not a shot had been fired. Todd showed a naked front, bare
of skirmishers and stripped for a fight that he knew would be
murderous to the Federals. And why should they not stand? The black
flag waved alike over each, and from the lips of the leaders of
each there had been all that day only threats of extermination and

Johnson halted his men and rode along his front speaking a few
calm and collected words. They could not be heard in Todd’s ranks,
but they might have been divined. Most battle speeches are the
same. They abound in good advice. They are generally full of such
sentences as this: “Aim low, keep cool, fire when you get loaded.
Let the wounded lie till the fight is over.”

But could it be possible that Johnson meant to receive the charge
of the Guerrillas at a halt! What cavalry books had he read?
Who had taught him such ruinous and suicidal tactics? And yet,
monstrous as the resolution was in a military sense, it had
actually been made, and Johnson called out loud enough to be heard
by the opposing force: “Come on, we are ready for the fight!”

The challenge was accepted. The Guerillas gathered themselves
together as if by a sudden impulse, and took the bridle reins
between their teeth. In the hands of each man there was a deadly
revolver. There were carbines, too, and yet they had never been
unslung. The sun was not high, and there was great need to finish
quickly whatever had need to be done. Riding the best and fastest
horses in Missouri, George Shepherd, Oll Shepherd, Frank Shepherd,
Frank Gregg, Morrow, McGuire, Allen Parmer, Hence and Lafe Privin,
James Younger, Press Webb, Babe Hudspeth, Dick Burnes, Ambrose
and Thomas Maxwell, Richard Kinney, Si and Ike Flannery, Jesse
and Frank James, David Poole; John Poole, Ed Greenwood, Al Scott,
Frank Gray, George Maddox, Dick Maddox, De Hart, Jeff Emery,
Bill Anderson, Tuck Hill, James Cummings, John Rupe, Silas King,
James Corum, Moses Huffaker, Ben Broomfield, Peyton Long, Jack
Southerland, William Reynolds, William and Charles Stewart, Bud
Pence, Nat Tigue, Gooly Robertson, Hiram Guess, Buster Parr,
William Gaw, Chat Rennick, Henry Porter, Arch and Henry Clements,
Jesse Hamlet, John Thrailkill, Si Gordon, George Todd, Thomas Todd,
William and Hugh Archie, Plunk Murray, Ling Litten, Joshua Esters,
Sam Wade, Creth Creek, Theodore Castle, John Chatman and three
score men of other unnamed heroes struck fast the Federal ranks as
if the rush was a rush of tigers. Frank James, riding a splendid
race mare, led by half a length, then Arch Clements, then Ben
Morrow, then Peyton Long and then Harrison Trow.

There was neither trot not gallop. The Guerrillas simply dashed
from a walk into a full run. The attack was a hurricane. Johnson’s
command fired one volley and not a gun thereafter. It scarcely
stood until the five hundred yards were passed over. Johnson cried
out to his men to fight to the death, but they did not wait even
to hear him through. Some broke ranks as soon as they had fired,
and fled. Others were attempting to reload their muskets when the
Guerrillas, firing right and left, hurled themselves upon them.
Johnson fell among the first. Mounted as described, Frank James
singled out the leader of the Federals. He did not know him then.
No words were spoken between the two. When James had reached within
five feet of Johnson’s position, he put out a pistol suddenly and
sent a bullet through his brain. Johnson threw out his hands as
if trying to reach something above his head and pitched forward
heavily, a corpse. There was no quarter. Many begged for mercy
on their knees. The Guerrillas heeded the prayer as a wolf might
the bleating of a lamb. The wild route broke up near Sturgeon,
the implacable pursuit, vengeful as hate, thundering in the rear.
Death did its work in twos, threes, in squads--singly. Beyond the
first volley not a single Guerrilla was hurt, but in this volley
Frank Shepherd, Hank Williams and young Peyton were killed, and
Richard Kenney mortally wounded. Thomas Maxwell and Harrison Carter
were also slightly wounded by the same volley, and two horses were
killed, one under Dave Poole and one under Harrison Trow. Shepherd,
a giant in size, and brave as the best in a command where all
are brave, fought the good fight and died in the harness. Hank
Williams, only a short time before, had deserted from the Federals
and joined Poole, giving rare evidences, in his brief Guerrilla
career, of great enterprise and consummate daring. Peyton was but
a beardless boy from Howard County, who in his first battle after
becoming a Guerrilla, was shot dead.

Probably sixty of Johnson’s command gained their horses before
the fierce wave of the charge broke over them, and these were
pursued by five Guerrillas--Ben Morrow, Frank James, Peyton Long,
Arch Clements and Harrison Trow--for six miles at a dead run. Of
the sixty, fifty-two were killed on the road from Centralia to
Sturgeon. Todd drew up the command and watched the chase go on. For
three miles nothing obstructed the vision. Side by side over the
level prairie the five stretched away like the wind, gaining step
by step and bound by bound, upon the rearmost rider. Then little
puffs of smoke rose. No sounds could be heard, but dashing ahead
from the white spurts terrified steeds ran riderless.

Knight and Sturgeon ended the killing. Five men had shot down
fifty-two. Arch Clements, in apportionment made afterwards, had
credited to himself fourteen. Trow ten, Peyton Long nine, Ben
Morrow eight, Frank James, besides killing Major Johnson and others
in the charge upon the dismounted troopers, killed in the chase an
additional eleven.

Johnson’s loss was two hundred ninety one. Out of the three
hundred, only nine escaped.

History has chosen to call the ferocious killing at Centralia a
butchery. In civil war, encounters are not called butcheries where
the combatants are man to man and where over either ranks there
waves a black flag.

Johnson’s overthrow, probably, was a decree of fate. He rushed
upon it as if impelled by a power stronger than himself. He did
not know how to command and his men did not know how to fight. He
had, by the sheer force of circumstances, been brought face to
face with two hundred and sixty-two of the most terrible revolver
fighters the American war or any other war ever produced; and he
deliberately tied his hands by the very act of dismounting, and
stood in the shambles until he was shot down. Abject and pitiable
cowardice matched itself against recklessness and desperation, and
the end could be only just what the end was. The Guerrillas did
unto the militia just what the militia would have done unto them
if fate had reversed the decision and given to Johnson what it
permitted to Todd.


In June, 1864, Anderson crossed the Missouri River. Four miles
out from the crossing place, he encountered twenty-five Federals,
routed them at the first onset, killing eight, two of whom Arch
Clements scalped, hanging the ghastly trophies at the head-stall of
his bridle. One of the two scalped was a captain and the commander
of the squad.

Killing as he marched, Anderson moved from Carroll into Howard,
entered Huntsville the last of June with twenty-five men, took
from the county treasury $30,000, and disbanded for a few days for
purposes of recruiting.

The first act of the next foray was an ambuscade into which
Anderson fell headlong. Forty militia waylaid him as he rode
through a stretch of heavy bottom land, filled his left shoulder
full of turkey shot, killed two of his men and wounded three
others. Hurt as he was, he charged the brush, killing eighteen
of his assailants, captured every horse and followed the flying
remnant as far as a single fugitive could be tracked through the
tangled undergrowth.

In July Anderson took Arch Clements, John Maupin, Tuck and Woot
Hill, Hiram Guess, Jesse Hamlet, William Reynolds, Polk Helms,
Cave Wyatt and Ben Broomfield and moved up into Clay County to
form a junction with Fletch Taylor. By ones and twos he killed
twenty-five militiamen on the march and was taking breakfast at
a house in Carroll County when thirty-eight Federals fired upon
him through doors and windows, the balls knocking dishes onto the
floor and playing havoc with chinaware and eatables generally. The
Guerrillas, used to every phase of desperate warfare, routed their
assailants after a crashing volley or two, and held the field, or
rather the house. In the melee Anderson accidentally shot a lady in
the shoulder, inflicting a painful wound, and John Maupin killed
the captain commanding the scouts, cut off his head and stuck it
upon a gate-post to shrivel and blacken in the sun.

In Ray County, one hundred and fifty Federal cavalrymen found
Andersons’ trail, followed it all day, and just at nightfall
struck hard and viciously at the Guerrillas. Anderson would not
be driven without a fight. He charged their advance guard, killed
fourteen out of sixty, and drove the guard back upon the main body.
Clements, Woot Hill, Hamlet and Hiram Guess had their horses killed
and were left afoot in the night to shift for themselves. Walking
to the Missouri River, ten miles distant, and fashioning a rude
raft from the logs and withes, Hamlet crossed to Jackson County and
made his way safe into the camp of Todd.

While with Anderson John Coger was wounded again in the right
leg. Suffering from this wound and with another one in the left
shoulder, he had been carried by his comrades to a house close to
Big Creek, in Cass County, and when it was night, and by no road
that was generally traveled. Coger, without a wound of some kind or
in some portion of his body, would have appeared as unaccountable
to the Guerrillas as a revolver without a mainspring.

At the end of every battle some one reckless fighter asked of
another: “Of course, John can’t be killed, but where is he hit this
time?” And Coger, himself, no matter how often or how badly hurt,
scarcely ever waited for a old wound to get well before he was in
the front again looking for a new one. He lived for fifty years
after the battle, carrying thirteen bullet wounds.

The wonderful nerve of the man saved him many times during the war
in open and desperate conflicts, but never when the outlook was so
unpromising as it was now, with the chances as fifty to one against

Despite his two hurts, Coger would dress himself every day and
hobble about the house, watching all the roads for the Federals.
His pistols were kept under the bolster of his bed.

One day a scout of sixty militiamen approached the house so
suddenly that Coger had barely time to undress and hurry to bed,
dragging in with him his clothes, his boots, his tell-tale shirt
and his four revolvers. Without the help of the lady of the house
he surely would have been lost. To save him she surely--well, she
did not tell the truth.

The sick man lying there was her husband, weak from a fever.
Bottles were ostentatiously displayed for the occasion. At
intervals Coger groaned and ground his teeth, the brave, true woman
standing close to his bedside, wiping his brow every now and then
and putting some kind of smelling stuff to his lips.

A Federal soldier, perhaps a bit of a doctor, felt Coger’s left
wrist, held it awhile, shook his head, and murmured seriously: “A
bad case, madam, a bad case, indeed. Most likely pneumonia.”

Coger groaned again.

“Are you in pain, dear?” the ostensible wife tenderly inquired.

“Dreadful!” and a spasm of agony shot over the bushwhacker’s
sun-burnt face.

For nearly an hour the Federal soldiers came and went and looked
upon the sick man moaning in his bed, as deadly a Guerrilla as ever
mounted a horse or fired a pistol.

Once the would-be doctor skirted the edge of the precipice so
closely that if he had stepped a step further he would have
pitched headlong into the abyss. He insisted upon making a minute
examination of Coger’s lungs and laid a hand upon the coverlet to
uncover the patient. Coger held his breath hard and felt upward for
a revolver. The first inspection would have ruined him. Nothing
could have explained the ugly, ragged wound in the left shoulder,
nor the older and not entirely healed one in the right leg. The
iron man, however, did not wince. He neither made protest nor
yielded acquiescence. He meant to kill the doctor, kill as many
more as he could while life lasted and his pistol balls held out,
and be carried from the room, when he was carried at all, feet
foremost and limp as a lock of hair. Happily a woman’s wit saved
him. She pushed away the doctor’s hand from the coverlet and gave
as the emphatic order of her family physician that the sick man
should not be disturbed until his return.

Etiquette saved John Coger, for it was so unprofessional for one
physician to interfere with another physician’s patient, and the
Federal soldier left the room and afterwards the house.

Press Webb, a Born Scout

Press Webb was a born scout crossed upon a highlander. He had the
eyes of an eagle and the endurance of the red deer. He first taught
himself coolness, and then he taught it to others. In traveling
he did not travel twice the same road. Many more were like him in
this--so practicing the same kind of woodcraft and cunning--until
the enemy began to say: “That man Quantrell has a thousand eyes.”

Press Webb was ordered to take with him one day Sim Whitsett,
George Maddox, Harrison Trow and Noah Webster and hide himself
anywhere in the vicinity of Kansas City that would give him a good
view of the main roads leading east, and a reasonably accurate
insight into the comings and going of the Federal troops.

The weather was very cold. Some snow had fallen the week before and
melted, and the ground was frozen again until all over the country
the ground was glazed with ice and traveling was made well nigh
impossible. The Guerrillas, however, prepared themselves and their
horses well for the expedition. Other cavalrymen were forced to
remain comparatively inactive, but Quantrell’s men were coming and
going daily and killing here and there.

On the march to his field of operation, Webb overtook two
Kansas infantrymen five miles west of Independence on the old
Independence road. The load under which each soldier staggered
proved that their foraging expedition had been successful. One
had a goose, two turkeys, a sack of dried apples, some yarn
socks, a basket full of eggs and the half of a cheese; while the
other, more powerful or more greedy than the first--toiled slowly
homeward, carrying carefully over the slippery highway a huge
bag miscellaneously filled with butter, sausages, roasted and
unroasted coffee, the head of a recently killed hog, some wheaten
biscuits not remarkably well cooked, more cheese and probably a
peck of green Jenniton apples. As Webb and his four men rode up the
foragers halted and set their loads on the ground as if to rest.
Piled about them, each load was about as large as a forager.

Webb remarked that they were not armed and inquired of the nearest
forager--him with the dried apples--why he ventured so far from
headquarters without his gun.

“There is no need of a gun,” was the reply, “because the fighting
rebels are all out of the country and the stay-at-homes are all
subjugated. What we want we take, and we generally want a good

“A blind man might see that,” Webb rather grimly replied, “but
suppose some of Quantrell’s cut-throats were to ride up to you
as we have done, stop to talk with you as we have done, draw out
a pistol as I am doing this minute, cover you thus, and bid you
surrender now as I do, you infernal thief and son of a thief, what
would you say then?”

“Say!”--and the look of simple surprise yet cool indifference which
came to the Jayhawker’s face was the strongest feature of the
tragedy--“what could I say but that you are the cut-throat and I am
the victim? Caught fairly, I can understand the balance. Be quick.”

Then the Jayhawker rose up from the midst of his spoils with a sort
of quiet dignity, lifted his hat as if to let his brow feel the
north wind, and faced without a tremor the pistol which covered him.

“I cannot kill you so,” Webb faltered, “nor do I know whether I can
kill you at all. We must take a vote first.”

Then to himself: “To shoot an unarmed man, and a brave man at that,
is awful.”

There amid the sausages and cheese, the turkeys and the coffee
grains, the dried apples and the green, five men sat down in
judgment upon two. Whitsett held the hat; Webster fashioned the
ballots. No arguments were had. The five self-appointed jurors
were five among Quantrell’s best and bravest. In extremity they
had always stood forth ready to fight to the death; in the way
of killing they had done their share. The two Kansas Jayhawkers
came close together as if in the final summing up they might find
in the mere act of dying together some solace. One by one the
Guerrillas put into the hat of Whitsett a piece of paper upon which
was written his vote. All had voted. Harrison Trow drew forth
the ballots silently. As he unfolded the first and read from it
deliberately; “Death,” the younger Jayhawker blanched to his chin
and put a hand on the shoulder of his comrade. The two listened
to the count, with every human faculty roused and abnormally
impressionable. Should any one not understanding the scene pass,
they would not be able to comprehend the situation--one man
standing bareheaded, solemnly, and all the eyes bent keenly forward
as another man drew from a hat a dirty slip of folded paper and
read therefrom something that was short like a monosyllable and
sepulchral like a shroud.

“Life,” said the second ballot, and “Life” said the third. The
fourth was for death and made a tie. Something like the beating
of a strong man’s heart might have been heard, and something as
though a brave man were breathing painfully through his teeth lest
a sigh escape him. Whitsett cried out: “One more ballot yet to be
opened. Let it tell the tale, Trow, and make an end to this thing
speedily.” Trow, with scarcely any more emotion than a surgeon
has when he probes a bullet wound, unfolded the remaining slip of
paper, and read, “Life”!

The younger Jayhawker fell upon his knees and the elder ejaculated
solemnly: “Thank God, how glad my wife will be.”

Webb breathed as one from whose breast a great load had been lifted
and put back into its scabbard his revolver. The verdict surprised
him all the more because it was so totally unexpected, and yet the
two men there--Jayhawkers though they were and loaded with spoils
of plundered farm houses--were as free to go as the north wind that
blew or the stream that was running by.

As they rode away the Guerrillas did not even suggest to one
another the virtue of the parole. At the two extremities of their
peculiar warfare there was either life or death. Having chosen
deliberately as between the two, no middle ground was known to them.

Press Webb approached to within sight of Kansas City from the old
Independence road, made a complete circle about the place, as
difficult as the traveling was, entered Westport notwithstanding
the presence of a garrison there; heard many things told of the
plans and number of the Federal forces upon the border; passed
down between the Kansas river and what is now known as West Kansas
City, killed three foragers and captured two six-mule wagons
near the site of the present gas works; gathered up five head of
excellent horses, and concealed himself for two days in the Blue
Bottom, watching a somewhat notorious bawdy house much frequented
by Federal soldiers. This kind of houses during the war, and when
located upon dangerous or debatable grounds, were man traps of more
or less sinister histories.

Eleven women belonged to this bagnio proper, but on the night Webb
stalked it and struck it, there had come five additional inmates
from other quarters equally as disreputable. Altogether the male
attendants numbered twenty, two lieutenants, one sergeant major, a
corporal, four citizens and twelve privates from an Iowa regiment.
Webb’s attacking column, not much larger than a yard stick, was
composed of the original detail, four besides himself.

The night was dark; the nearest timber to the house was two hundred
and fifty yards. There was ice on everything. The tramping of iron
shod feet over the frozen earth reverberated as artillery wheels.
At the timber line Maddox suggested that one man should be left in
charge of the horses, but Webb overruled the point.

“No man shall stir tonight,” he argued, “except he be hunted for
either war or women. The horses are safe here. Let us dismount and
make them fast.”

As they crept to the house in single file, a huge dog went at
Harrison Trow as if he would not be denied, and barked so furiously
and made so many other extravagant manifestations of rage, that a
man and a woman came to the door of the house and bade the dog
devour the disturber. Thus encouraged he leaped full at Trow’s
throat and Trow shot him dead.

In a moment the house emptied itself of its male occupants, who
explored the darkness, found the dog with the bullet through its
head, searched everywhere for the author of the act, and saw no
man, nor heard any retreating steps, and so returned unsatisfied to
the house, yet returned, which was a great deal.

As for the Guerrillas, as soon as Trow found himself obliged to
shoot or be throttled, they rushed back safely and noiselessly
to their horses, mounted them and waited. A pistol shot, unless
explained, is always sinister to soldiers. It is not to be denied.
Fighting men never fire at nothing. This is a maxim not indigenous
to the brush, nor an outcome of the philosophy of those who were
there. A pistol shot says in so many words: “Something is coming,
is creeping, is crawling, is about--look out!”

The Federals heard this one--just as pertinent and as intelligible
as any that was ever fired--but they failed to interpret aright
this significant language of the ambuscade, and they suffered

Webb waited an hour in the cold, listening. No voices were heard,
no skirmishers approached his position, no scouts from the house
hunted further away than the lights from the windows shone, no
alarm had been raised, and he dismounted with his men and again
approached the house.

By this time it was well on to twelve o’clock. Chickens were
crowing in every direction. The north wind had risen high and was
blowing as a winter wind always blows when there are shelterless
men abroad in a winter night.

The house, a rickety frame house, was two stories high, with two
windows on the north and two on the south.

George Maddox looked in at one of these windows and counted
fourteen men, some well advanced in liquor and some sober and
silent and confidential with the women. None were vigilant. The six
upstairs were neither seen nor counted.

At first it was difficult to proceed upon a plan of action. All the
Federals were armed, and twenty armed men holding a house against
five are generally apt, whatever else may happen, to get the best
of the fighting.

“We cannot fire through the windows,” said Webb, “for women are in
the way.”

“Certainly” replied Whitsett, “we do not war upon women.”

“We cannot get the drop on them,” added Trow, “because we cannot
get to them.”

“True again,” replied Maddox, “but I have an idea which will
simplify matters amazingly. On the south there is a stable half
full of plank and plunder. It will burn like pitch pine. The wind
is from the north is strong, and it will blow away all danger from
the house. Were it otherwise I would fight against the torch, for
not even a badger should be turned out of its hole tonight on word
of mine, much less a lot of women. See for yourself and say if the
plan suits you.”

They saw, endorsed the proposition, and put a match at once to the
hay and to the bundles of fodder. Before the fire had increased
perceptibly the five men warmed their hands and laughed. They were
getting the frost out of their fingers to shoot well, they said. A
delicate trigger touch is necessary to a dead shot.


All of a sudden there was a great flare of flames, a shriek from
the women and a shout from the men. The north wind drove full head
upon the stable, roared as like some great wild beast in pain.

The Federals rushed to the rescue. Not all caught up their arms as
they hurried out--not all even were dressed.

The women looked from the doors and windows of the dwelling, and
thus made certain the killing that followed. Beyond the glare
of the burning outhouse, and massed behind a fence fifty paces
to the right of the consuming stable, the Guerrillas fired five
deadly volleys into the surprised and terrified mass before them,
and they scattered, panic-striken and cut to pieces,--the remnant
frantically regained the sheltering mansion.

[Illustration: PRESS WEBB, A BORN SCOUT]

Eight were killed where they stood about the fire; two were
mortally wounded and died afterwards; one, wounded and disabled,
quit the service; five, severely or slightly wounded, recovered;
and four, unhurt, reported that night in Kansas City that Quantrell
had attacked them with two hundred men, and had been driven off,
hurt and badly worsted, after three-quarters of an hour’s fight.
Press Webb and his four men did what work was done in less than
five minutes.

Little Blue

Captain Dick Yager, commanding ten men, the usual number the
Guerrillas then operated with, engaged twenty Federals under
Lieutenant Blackstone of the Missouri Militia regiments, and slew

Yager had ambushed a little above a ford over the Little Blue
and hid behind some rocks about fifteen feet above the crossing
place, and Blackstone, unconscious of danger, rode with his troops
leisurely into the water and halted midway in the stream that his
horses might drink. He had a tin cup tied to his saddle and a
bottle of whiskey in one of his pockets. After having drunk and
while bending over from his stirrups to dip the cup into the water,
a volley hit him and knocked him off his horse dead, thirteen
others falling close to and about him at the same time.

Jarrette and Poole, each commanding ten men, made a dash into
Lafayette County and struck some blows to the right and left, which
resounded throughout the West.

Poole pushed into the German settlement and comparatively surprised

Where Concordia now is, there was then a store and a fort, strong
and well built. This day, however, Poole came upon them unawares
and found many who properly belonged to the militia feeding stock
and in an exposed position. Fifteen of these he killed and ten he
wounded severely but not so severely as to prevent them from making
their way back to the fort.

Arrock Fight, Spring of 1864

Todd and Dave Poole went east through Fayette County to Saline
County and thence to Arrock, with one hundred and twenty men to
avenge the death of Jim Janes, Charles Bochman and Perkins, who
were captured by the Federals under Captain Sims.

The men who captured the boys made them dig their own graves and
shot them and rolled them into them. We made the raid for the
benefit of this captain and were successful. We caught him and his
men playing marbles in the street, unaware of any danger. We rode
slowly into town with our Federal uniforms on, Sim Whitsett in

“Boys,” said he, “I will knock the middle man out for you.”

He fired the first shot. Then it was a continuous fire and the
Federals surrendered in a very few minutes.

We killed twenty-five men, wounded thirty-five and had only one
man, Dick Yager, wounded.

Ben Morrow and I had the pleasure of capturing the captain in an
upstairs bed room of a hotel. He died with quick consumption with a
bullet through his head.

We captured one hundred and fifty men and swore them out of

Fire Bottom Prairie Fight, Spring of 1864

One of the most daring things I ever witnessed was when Ben Morrow
saved my life at the time they got me off my horse at the battle of
Fire Prairie Creek near Napoleon, Missouri, in the spring of 1864.

George Todd, in command, was sent out to meet a bunch of Federals
going from Lexington to Independence. We expected to meet them in
the road and charge them in the usual way, but they got word we
were coming and dismounted, hid their horses in the woods and came
up, on foot, and fired on us from the brush as we charged. They
caught my horse by the bridle and before they could shoot me I
jumped off over the horse’s head. As I went over, I fired at the
man holding him and he fell. I was on foot amidst the worst of
them. This gave me an advantage as I could fire in any direction I
wanted to and they could not, as their men were all around me and
in danger of being hit by their own bullets. I saw a hole where a
large tree had been uprooted, a hole large enough to conceal me
almost, and I made direct for it, firing at everything in sight as
I went.

Captain Todd ordered his men back, with three of them, Babe
Hudspath, Bill McGuire and Tid Sanders, so badly wounded they were
unable to go further.

I was left there in the hole, bullets blowing up the dirt all
around me, the hole being deep enough for me to get out of sight.
I lay on my back, loading my pistols and watched close as a hawk.
They said I was dead and wanted to come up and get my pistols.
Whenever one would show his head I took a shot at him and they saw
that I was very much alive and their scheme would not work.

One of the blue billies climbed a tree close by, thinking he would
be able to get a better shot at me. I waited until he got fairly up
in the tree and then shot him in the thigh and down he came. I kept
up firing, thinking the boys would hear it and come back and help

They were a quarter of a mile off when Ben Morrow said, “Boys, we
are all here except Harrison Trow, and do you hear that shooting?
He is still alive and by G--d I am going back to get him.” So on
came Ben Morrow, yelling and shooting with a pistol in each hand.
When within forty yards of me and letting in on the enemy with a
pistol in each hand, he saw me and came straight for me. I caught
the crupper of his saddle, jumped up behind him, and pulling two
pistols, one in each hand, firing as we went, we got safely away.
From that day on, I would have died any where, and any place and
any how for Ben Morrow, who saved my life at the risk of his own.

After the Fayette fight Lieutenant Jim Little, one of Quantrell’s
best men, was badly wounded in Howard County, Missouri, and
Quantrell went with him to the woods to take care of him until he

Then, after the Centralia fight, Ben Morrow, Bill Hulsh and I went
to where Quantrell and Jim Little were in the woods. Jim was much
better by this time, so that Quantrell could leave him and he came
back to us in Jackson County, where we swam the river on our horses
near Saline City. After we had crossed the river we went to a house
to get breakfast and dry our clothes. Quantrell wanted to intercept
General Price who was on a raid and have a consultation with him.

At this house we discovered some Federal clothing--caps, etc.--in
the hall and asked whose they were. We were told they belonged to
some Federal soldiers who had stayed there through the night and
attended a dance. We captured them at once and swore them out of
service. We then went on to intercept Price at Waverly, Saline
County, Missouri, where arrangements were made for Quantrell’s
men to take the advance clear on up through Fayette and Jackson
Counties, and up through Kansas City. We were in advance all of the
way from that time until Price started south, and we went with him,
about one hundred miles, almost to the Arkansas line, and turned
back to Jackson County.

Death of Todd and Anderson, October, 1864

Curtis’ heavy division, retreating before General Price all the way
from Lexington to Independence, held the western bank of the Little
Blue, and some heavy stone walls and fences beyond. Marmaduke and
Shelby broke his hold from these, and pressed him rapidly back to
and through Independence, the two Colorado regiments covering his
rear stubbornly and well. Side by side McCoy and Todd had made
several brilliant charges during the morning, and had driven before
them with great dash and spirit every Colorado squadron halted to
resist the continual marching forward of the Confederate cavalry.

Ere the pursuit ended for the day, half of the 2nd Colorado
regiment drew up on the crest of a bold hill and made a gallant
fight. Their major, Smith, a brave and dashing officer, was killed
there, and there Todd fell. General Shelby, as was his wont, was
well up with the advance, and leading recklessly the two companies
of Todd and McCoy. Next to Shelby’s right rode Todd and upon his
left was McCoy. Close to these and near to the front files were
Colonels Nichols, Thrailkill, Ben Morrow, Ike Flannery and Jesse

The trot had deepened into a gallop, and all the crowd of
skirmishers covering the head of the rushing column were at it,
fierce and hot, when the 2nd Colorado swept the road with a furious
volley, broke away from the strong position held by them and
hurried on through the streets of Independence, followed by the
untiring McCoy, as lank as a fox-hound and as eager.

That volley killed Todd. A Spencer rifle ball entered his neck in
front, passed through and out near the spine, and paralyzed him.
Dying as he fell, he was yet tenderly taken up and carried to the
house of Mrs. Burns, in Independence. Articulating with great
difficulty and leaving now and then almost incoherent messages to
favorite comrade or friend, he lingered for two hours insensible to
pain, and died at last as a Roman.

George Todd was a Scotchman born, his father holding an honorable
position in the British navy. Destined also for the sea, it was the
misfortune of the son to become engaged in a personal difficulty
in his eighteenth year and kill the man with whom he quarreled. He
fled to Canada, and from Canada to the United States. His father
soon after resigned and followed him, and when the war began both
were railroad contractors in North Missouri, standing well with
everybody for business energy, capacity and integrity.

Todd made a name by exceeding desperation. His features presented
nothing that could attract attention. There was no sign in visible
characters of the powers that was in him. They were calm always,
and in repose a little stern; but if anything that indicated “a
look of destiny” was sought for, it was not to be found in the face
of George Todd. His was simple and confiding, and a circumspect
regard for his word made him a very true but sometimes a very blunt
man. In his eyes the fittest person to command a Guerrilla was
he who inspired the enemy before people began to say: “That man,
George Todd, is a tiger. He fights always; he is not happy unless
he is fighting. He will either be killed soon or he will do a great
amount of killing.” It has just been seen that he was not to be
killed until October, 1864--a three years’ lease of life for that
desperate Guerrilla work never had a counterpart. By and by the
Guerrillas themselves felt confidence in such a name, reliance in
such an arm, favor for such a face. It was sufficient for Todd to
order a march to be implicitly followed; to plan an expedition to
have it immediately carried out; to indicate a spot on which to
assemble to cause an organization sometimes widely scattered or
dispersed to come together as the jaws of a steel trap.

Nature gave him the restlessness of a born cavalryman and
the exterior and the power of voice necessary to the leader
of desperate men. Coolness, and great activity were his main
attributes as a commander. Always more ready to strike than to
speak, if he talked at all it was only after a combat had been
had, and then modestly. His conviction was the part he played, and
he sustained with unflinching courage and unflagging energy that
which he had set down for his hands to do.

A splendid pistol shot, fearless as a horseman, knowing nature well
enough to choose desperate men and ambitious men, reticent, heroic
beyond the conception of most conservative people, and covered with
blood as he was to his brow, his fall was yet majestic, because it
was accompanied by patriotism.

Before the evacuation of Independence, Todd was buried by his men
in the cemetery there, and Poole succeeded to the command of his
company, leading it splendidly.

The night they buried Todd, Ike Flannery, Dick Burns, Andy McGuire,
Ben Morrow, Press Webb, Harrison Trow, Lafe Privin, George
Shepherd, George Maddox, Allen Parmer, Dan Vaughn, Jess and Frank
James and John Ross took a solemn oath by the open grave of the
dead man to avenge his death, and for the following three days of
incessant battle it was remarkable how desperately they fought--and
how long.

Until General Price started southward from Mine Creek in full
retreat, the Guerrillas under Poole remained with him, scouting and
picketing, and fighting with the advance. After Mine Creek they
returned to Bone Hill, in Jackson County, some going afterwards to
Kentucky with Quantrell, and some to Texas with George Shepherd.

Henceforward the history of the Guerrillas of Missouri must be the
history of detachments and isolated squads, fighting always, but
fighting without coherency or other desire than to kill.

Anderson had joined Price at Boonville and the meeting was a
memorable one. The bridles of the horses the men rode were adorned
with scalps. One huge red-bearded Guerrilla--six feet and over, and
girdled about the waist with an armory of revolvers--had dangling
from every conceivable angle a profuse array of these ghastly
trophies. Ben Price was shocked at such evidence of a warfare
so utterly repugnant to a commander of his known generosity and
forbearance, and he ordered sternly that they be thrown away at
once. He questioned Anderson Long of Missouri, of the forces in
the state, of the temper of the people, of the nature of Guerrilla
warfare, of its relative advantages and disadvantages and then when
he had heard all he blessed the Guerrillas probably with about as
much unction as Balaam blessed Israel.

General Price was a merciful man. Equable in every relation of
life, conservative by nature and largely tolerant through his
earlier political training, thousands are alive today solely
because none of the harsher or crueler indulgences of the Civil
War were permitted to the troops commanded by this conscientious

Finally, however, he ordered Anderson back into North Missouri,
and he crossed at Boonville upon his last career of leave taking,
desperation and death.

Tired of tearing up railroad tracks, cutting down telegraph poles,
destroying miles and miles of wire, burning depots, and picking up
and killing isolated militiamen, terrified at the uprising in favor
of Price, Anderson dashed into Danville, Montgomery County, where
sixty Federals were stationed in houses and strong places.

He had but fifty-seven men, and the fight was close and hot.

Gooley Robinson, one of his best soldiers, was mortally wounded
while exposing himself in a most reckless manner.

It was difficult to get the enemy out of the houses. Snatching up
torches and braving the guns of the entrenched Federals, Dick and
Ike Berry put fire to one house. Arch Clements and Dick West to
another, Theo. Castle, John Maupin and Mose Huffaker to a third,
and Ben Broomfield, Tuck, Tom and Woot Hill to the fourth.

It was a night of terror and agony. As the militiamen ran out they
were shot down by the Guerrillas in the shadow. Some wounded,
burnt to death, and others, stifled by the heat and smoke, rushed,
gasping and blackened into the air, to be riddled with bullets.
Eight, barely, of the garrison escaped the holocaust.

Anderson turned west towards Kansas City, expecting to overtake
General Price there. En route he killed as he rode. Scarcely an
hour of all the long march was barren of a victim. Union men,
militiamen, Federal soldiers, home guards, Germans on general
principles--no matter what the class or the organization--if they
were pro-United States, they were killed.

Later on, in the month of October, while well advanced in Ray
County, Anderson received the first news of the death of Todd and
the retreat of Price. By this time, however, he had recruited his
own command to several hundred, and had joined to it a detachment
of regular Confederates, guiding and guarding to the South a motley
aggregation of recruits, old and young. Halting one day to rest
and to prepare for a passage across the Missouri River, close to
Missouri City, Anderson found one thousand Federals--eight hundred
infantry and two hundred cavalry. He made haste to attack them.
His young lieutenant, Arch Clements, advised him urgently against
the attack, as did Captain A. E. Asbury, a young and gallant
Confederate officer, who was in company with him, commanding fifty
recruits. Others of his associates did the same, notably Colonel
John Holt, a Confederate officer, and Colonel James H. R. Condiff.
Captain Asbury was a cool, brave, wary man who had had large
experience in border fighting, and who knew that for a desperate
charge raw recruits could not be depended upon.

Anderson would not be held back. Ordering a charge, his horse ran
away with him and he was seventy-five yards ahead of his followers
when he was killed. Next to him was William Smith, a veteran
Guerrilla of four years’ service. Five balls struck him, and three
struck Anderson. Next to Smith was John Maupin, who was wounded
twice, and next to Maupin, Cundill, who was also hit, and next to
Cundill, Asbury, who got four bullets through his clothes. John
Holt, Jim Crow Chiles and Peyton Long had their horses killed. The
three Hill brothers and Dick West and ten others of Anderson’s old
company fought their way up to Anderson’s body and sought to bring
it out. Tuck Hill was shot, so was his brother Woot and Dick West.
Their wounds were severe, but not mortal. Once they succeeded in
placing it upon a horse; the horse was killed and fell upon the
corpse and held it to the ground. Still struggling heroically over
the body of his idolized commander, Hank Patterson fell dead, not
a foot from the dead Guerrilla. Next, Simmons was killed, and then
Anson Tolliver, and then Paul Debonhorst, and then Smith Jobson,
and then Luckett, then John McIlvaine, and finally Jasper Moody
and William Tarkington. Nothing could live before the fire of the
concealed infantry and the Spencer carbines of the cavalry.

A single blanket might have covered the terrible heap of dead and
wounded who fought to recover all that remained of that tiger of
the jungle. John Pringle, the red-headed giant of the Boonville
scalps, far ahead of his company, was the last man killed,
struggling even to the death to bear back the corpse. He was a
captain of a company, and a veteran of the Mexican war, but he did
what he would not order his men to do--he rushed up to the corpse
heap and fastened about the leg of Anderson a lariat that he might
drag the body away. The Federals killed his horse. Shot once,
he tugged at the rope himself, bleeding pitifully. Shot again,
he fell, struggled up to his feet, fired every barrel of three
revolvers into the enemy, and received as a counter blow two more

This time he did not rise again or stir, or make a moan. All the
wild boar blood in his veins had been poured out, and the bronzed
face, from being rigid, had become august.

Joseph and Arch Nicholson, William James, Clell Miller and John
Warren, all young recruits in their first battle, fought savagely
in the melee, and all were wounded. Miller, among those who strove
to rescue the corpse of Anderson, was shot, and Warren, wounded
four times, crawled back from the slaughter pen with difficulty. A
minie ball had found the heart of Anderson. Life, thank God, was
gone when a rope was put around his neck and his body dragged as
the body of a dog slain in the woods.

Many a picture was taken of the dead lion, with his great flowing
beard, and that indescribable pallor of death on his bronzed face.
The Federals cut his head off and stuck it on a telegraph pole.

Going South, Fall of 1864

Todd’s death fell upon the spirits of his men as a sudden
bereavement upon the hearts of a happy and devoted family. Those
who mourned for him mourned all the more tenderly because they
could not weep. Nature, having denied to them the consolation of
tears, left them the infinite intercourse and remembrances of
comradeship and soldierly affection.

The old bands, however, were breaking up. Lieutenant George
Shepherd, taking with him Matt Wyman, John Maupin, Theo. Castle,
Jack Rupe, Silas King, James and Alfred Corum, Bud Story, Perry
Smith, Jack Williams, Jesse James and Arthur Devers, Press Webb,
John Norfolk and others to the number of twenty-six, started south
to Texas, on the 13th of November, 1864. With Shepherd also were
William Gregg and wife, Richard Maddox and wife, and James Hendrix
and wife. These ladies were just as brave and just as devoted and
just as intrepid in peril or extremity as were the men who marched
with them to guard them.

Jesse and Frank James separated at White River, Arkansas, Frank to
go to Kentucky with Quantrell, and Jesse to follow the remnant of
Todd’s still organized veterans into Texas.

Besides killing isolated squads of Federals and making way for
every individual militiaman who supposed that the roads were
absolutely safe for travelers because General Price and his army
had long been gone, Shepherd’s fighting for several days was only
fun. On the 22nd, however, Captain Emmett Goss, an old acquaintance
of the Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, Jennison’s, was encountered,
commanding thirty-two Jayhawkers.

Of late Goss had been varying his orgies somewhat. He would drink
to excess and lavish his plunder and money on ill-famed mistresses,
who were sometimes Indians, sometimes negresses, and but rarely
pure white. He was about thirty-five years old, square built, had
broad shoulders, a swaggering gait, stood six feet when at himself,
and erect, had red hair and a bad eye and a face that meant fight
when cornered--and desperate fight at that.

November 22, 1864, was an autumn day full of sunshine and falling
leaves. Riding southward from Missouri Lieutenant Shepherd met
Captain Goss riding northward from Cane Hill. Shepherd had
twenty-six men, rank and file. It was an accidental meeting--one of
those sudden, forlorn, isolated, murderous meetings not rare during
the war--a meeting of outlying detachments that asked no quarter
and gave none. It took place on Cabin Creek, in the Cherokee
Nation. Each rank arrayed itself speedily. There were twenty-six
men against thirty-two. The odds were not great--indeed they never
had been considered at all. There came a charge and a sudden and
terrible storm of revolver bullets.

Nothing so weak as the Kansas detachment could possibly live before
the deadly prowess and pistol practice of the Missourians. Of the
thirty-two, twenty-nine were killed. One, riding a magnificent
race horse, escaped on the wings of the wind--one, a negro barber,
was taken along to wait upon the Guerrillas, and the third, a poor
emaciated skeleton, as good as dead of consumption, was permitted
to ride on northward, bearing the story of the thunderbolt.

Among the Missourians four were killed. In the melee Jesse James
encountered Goss and singled him out from all the rest. As
James bore down upon him, he found that his horse, an extremely
high-spirited and powerful one, had taken the bit in its teeth and
was perfectly unmanageable. Besides, his left arm being left weak
from a scarcely healed wound, it was impossible for him to control
his horse or even to guide him.

Pistol balls were as plentiful as the leaves that were pattering
down. However, James had to put up his revolver as he rode, and
rely upon his right hand to reinforce his left. Before he could
turn his horse and break its hold upon his bit, Goss had fired upon
him four times. Close upon him at last James shot him through and
through. Goss swayed heavily in his saddle, but held on.

“Will you surrender?” Jesse asked, recocking his pistol and
presenting it again.

“Never,” was the stern reply. Goss, still reeling in the saddle and
bleeding dreadfully.

When the blue white smoke curled up again there was a riderless
steed among the trees and a guilty spirit somewhere out in the
darkness of the unknown. It took two dragoon revolver bullets to
finish this one, and yet James was not satisfied with his work.

There was a preacher along who also had sat himself steadfast in
the saddle, and had fought as the best of them did. James rode
straight at him after he had finished Goss. The parson’s heart
failed him at last, however, and he started to run. James gained
upon him at every step. When close enough for a shot, he called out
to him:

“Turn about like a man, that I may not shoot you in the back.” The
Jayhawker turned, and his face was white and his tongue voluble.

“Don’t shoot me,” he pleaded, “I am the chaplain of the Thirteenth
Kansas; my name is U. P. Gardner, I have killed no man, but have
prayed for many; spare me.” James did not answer. Perhaps he turned
away his head a little as he drew out his revolver. When the smoke
lifted, Gardner was dead upon the crisp sere grass with a bullet
through his brain.

Maddox, in this fight, killed three of Goss’ men, Gregg five, Press
Webb three, Wayman four, Hendrix three, and others one or two each.

The march through the Indian country was one long stretch of
ambushments and skirmishes.

Wayman stirred up a hornet’s nest one afternoon, and though stung
twice himself quite severely, he killed four Indians in single
combat and wounded the fifth who escaped.

Press Webb, hunting the same day for a horse, was ambushed by three
Pins and wounded slightly in the arm. He charged singlehanded into
the brush and was shot again before he got out of it, but he killed
the three Indians and captured three excellent ponies, veritably a
god-send to all.

The next day about noon the rear guard, composed of Jesse James,
Bud Story, Harrison Trow and Jack Rupe, was savagely attacked by
seventy-five Federal Cherokees and driven back upon the main body
rapidly. Shepherd, one of the quickest and keenest soldiers the
war produced, had formed every man of the command in the rear of
an open field through which the enemy must advance and over which
in return a telling charge could be made. The three heroic women,
mounted on excellent horses and given shelter in some timber still
further to the rear of the Guerrilla line, bade their husbands,
as they kissed them, fight to the death or conquer. The Indians
bore down as if they meant to ride down a regiment. Firing their
pistols into their very faces with deadly effect, the rear guard
had not succeeded in stopping them a single second, but when in
the counter-charge Shepherd dashed at the oncoming line, it melted
away as snow in a thaw. Shepherd, Maddox, Gregg, the two Corums,
Rupe, Story, James, Hendrick, Webb, Smith Commons, Castle, Wayman
and King fought like men who wanted to make a clean and a merciless

John Maupin, not yet well from the two ugly wounds received the day
Anderson was killed, insisted on riding in the charge, and was shot
the third time by the Indian into whom he had put two bullets and
whose horse he rushed up to secure.

Jesse James had his horse killed and a pistol shot from his
hand. Several other Guerrillas were wounded but none killed, and
Williams, James Corum and Maddox lost horses.

Of the sixty-five Indians, fifty-two were counted killed, while
some, known to be wounded, dragged themselves off into the mountain
and escaped.

During the battle Dick Maddox’s wife could not keep still under
cover, and commenced to shoot at the enemy, and had a lock of her
hair shot off just above the ear.

The Surrender

Early in the month of March, 1865, Captain Clements, having been
reinforced by ten men under the command of Captain David Poole,
marched from Sherman, Texas, to Mount Pleasant, Titus County,
Arkansas. From Mount Pleasant, on the 14th of April, the march
began once more and for the last time into Missouri. Forming an
advance of David Poole, John Poole, John Maupin, Jack Bishop, Theo.
Castle, Jesse James and Press Webb, Clements pushed on rapidly,
killing five militiamen in one squad, ten in another, here and
there a single one, and now and then as many together as twenty. In
Benton County, Missouri, a Federal militiaman named Harkness, was
captured, who had halted a brother of Clements and burnt the house
of his mother. James, Maupin and Castle held Harkness tightly while
Clements cut his throat and afterwards scalped him.

At Kingsville, in Johnson County, something of a skirmish took
place and ten Federals were killed. A militiaman named Duncan,
who had a bad name locally and who was described as being a
highwayman and a house burner, also was captured at the same
time. Being fifty-five years of age and gray headed did not save
him. But before he surrendered he fought a desperate battle.
Knowing instinctively what his fate would be if he fell alive into
the hands of any hostile organization, much less a Guerrilla
organization, he took a stand behind a plank fence, armed with a
Spencer rifle and two revolvers, and faced the enemy, now close
upon him. Arch Clements, Jesse James and Jack Bishop dashed at
Duncan. The first shot killed his horse, and in falling the horse
fell upon the rider. At the second fire Clement’s horse also was
killed, but James stopped neither for the deadly aim of the old man
nor for the help of his comrades who were coming up as fast as they
could on foot. He shot him three times before he knocked him from
his feet to his knees, but the fourth shot, striking him fair in
the middle of the forehead, finished the old man and all his sins

The last of April a council was held among the Guerrillas to
discuss the pros and cons of a surrender. Virtually the war was
over. Everywhere the regular Confederate armies had surrendered and
disbanded, and in no direction could any evidences be discovered of
that Guerrilla warfare which many predicted would succeed to the
war of the regular army and the general order. All decided to do as
the rest of the Southern forces had done.

Anxious, however, to give to those of the command who preferred
a contrary course the dignity and the formality of official
authority, Captain Clements entered Lexington, Mo., on the
fifteenth, with Jesse James, Jess Hamlet, Jack Rupe, Willis King
and John Vanmeter, bearing a flag of truce. The provost marshall
of Lexington, Major J. B. Rogers, was a liberal officer of the
old regime, who understood in its fullest and broadest sense that
the war was over, and that however cruel or desperate certain
organizations or certain bodies of men had been in the past, all
proscription of them ceased with their surrender.

Shortly after the surrender, and as Jesse James was riding at the
head of a column with the white flag, eight Federals were met who
were drunk and who did not see the flag of truce or did not regard
it. They fired point blank at the Guerrillas, and were charged
in turn and routed with the loss of four killed and two wounded.
These eight men were the advance of a larger party of sixty, thirty
Johnson County militia, and thirty of the Second Wisconsin Cavalry.
These in the counter attack drove back the Guerrillas and followed
them fiercely, especially the Second Wisconsin. Vanmeter’s horse
was killed but Jack Rupe stopped under fire for him and carried him
to safety. James and Clements, although riding jaded horses--the
same horses, in fact, which had made the long inhospitable trip up
from Texas--galloped steadily away in retreat side by side, and
fighting as best they could. Mounted on a superb black horse, a
single Wisconsin trooper dashed ahead of the balance and closed
in swiftly upon James, who halted to court the encounter. At a
distance of ten feet both fired simultaneously and when the smoke
cleared away the brave Wisconsin man was dead with a dragoon ball
through his heart. Scarcely had this combat closed before another
Wisconsin trooper rushed at James, firing rapidly, and closing
in as he fired. James killed his horse, and the Federal in turn
sent a bullet through James’ right lung. Then the rush passed over
and past him. Another volley killed his horse, and as the Johnson
County militia galloped by, five fired at him as he lay bleeding
under the prostrate horse.

Clements, seeing horse and rider going down together, believed his
beloved comrade was killed, and strove thereafter to make good his
own escape.

Extricating himself with infinite toil and pain, Jesse James left
the road for the woods, pursued by five Federals, who fired at him
constantly as they followed. At a distance of two hundred yards he
killed the foremost Federal and halted long enough under fire to
disencumber himself of his heavy cavalry boots, one of which was a
quarter full of blood. He fired again and shattered the pistol arm
of the second pursuer, the other three closing up and pressing the
maimed Guerrilla as ravenous hounds the torn flanks of a crippled
stag. James was getting weaker and weaker. The foremost of the
three pursuers could be heard distinctly yelling: “Oh! g----d----n
your little soul, we have you at last! Stop, and be killed like a

James did not reply, but when he attempted to lift his trusty
dragoon pistol to halt the nearest trooper, he found it too heavy
for his hand. But reinforcing his right arm with his left, he fired
finally at the Wisconsin man almost upon him and killed him in the

Perhaps then and there might have been an end made to the career
of the desperate Guerrilla if the two remaining pursuers had been
Wisconsin Cavalry instead of Johnson County militia; but terrified
at the prowess of one who had been so terribly wounded, and who
killed even as he reeled along, the militiamen abandoned the chase
and James, staggering on four or five hundred yards further, fell
upon the edge of a creek and fainted. From the 15th to the 17th he
lay alongside the water, bathing his wound continually and drinking
vast quantities of water to quench his burning thirst and fever.
Towards sunset, on the evening of the 17th, he crawled to a field
where a man was plowing, who proved to be a Southern man and a

That night he rode fifteen miles to the house of a Mr. Bowman, held
upon a horse by his new-found friend, where he remained, waited
upon by Clements and Rupe, until the surrender of Poole, on the
21st, with one hundred and twenty-nine Guerrillas.

Major Rogers was so well satisfied that James would die that he
thought it unnecessary to parole him, and so declared. To give him
every chance, however, for his life, and to enable him to reach
his mother, then a fugitive in Nebraska, Rodgers furnished him with
transportation, money and a pass.

A good many of my men surrendered with Poole, while others planned
to go to Old Mexico with me and not surrender at all. However,
when I came up from the South, planning to go back to Old Mexico
and join General Shelby with his old command, some of my best
citizen friends insisted on my surrendering and going home, and
through their influence arrangements were made with Major Rodgers
to meet me at the Dillard farm, on Texas Prairie. There we held
a consultation, he and I, for about half a day, regarding my
surrender. He promised me protection and my side arms, and the
horse that I had, and I surrendered, receiving the protection he
had promised me.

I went home and went to work and took my part in trying to make
peace with the Federal soldiers, some of whom proved to be very
good friends to me, and we lived very peacefully after the war.

I very much opposed and tried to put a stop to the robbery,
thieving and horse stealing that was so prominent after the war,
and advised the boys that got into trouble to leave the country
time and time again, and go to Old Mexico while it was yet time to
get away.

I returned home with no money and no means at all, but found plenty
of friends who were ready to help me and who furnished me money to
start with.

I advise all who read this book to appreciate character above

Death of Quantrell

Quantrell, with forty-eight of the most daring of his old band,
accompanied Shepherd as far south as White River, Arkansas. He
left them there to go to his old home in Maryland. He passed all
Federal camps, had no trouble staying in Federal camps, eating with
Federal soldiers, playing Federal himself until he reached Upton
Station, in Hart County, Kentucky, where he crossed the Louisiana
& Nashville Railroad, still representing himself and his men as
Federal soldiers.

Near Marion County he entered the Lebanon and Campbellville
turnpike at Rolling Fork and traveled north to New Market, thence
east to Bradford, and from Bradford towards Hustonville, camping
for the night preceding the entrance into this place at Major
Dray’s, on Rolling Fork. Thirty Federal soldiers were at garrison
at Hustonville, possessed of as many horses in splendid condition,
and these Quantrell determined to appropriate. No opposition was
made to his entrance into the town. No one imagined him to be other
than a Union officer on a scout.

He dismounted quietly at a hotel in the place and entered at once
into a pleasant conversation with the commander of the post.
Authorized by their chieftain, however, to remount themselves as
speedily as possible and as thoroughly as possible, the Guerrillas
spread quickly over the town in search for horses, appropriating
first what could be found in the public stables and later on those
that were still needed to supply the deficiency, from private

As Quantrell conversed with the commander, a Federal private
made haste to inform him of the kind of work the newcomers were
doing, and to complain loudly of the unwarranted and outrageous

Enraged and excited, the commander snatched up a brace of revolvers
as he left his headquarters and buckled them about him and hurried
to the nearest livery stable where the best among the animals of
his men had been kept. Just as he arrived, Allen Parmer was riding
out mounted on a splendid horse. The Federal major laid hands upon
the bridle and bade Parmer dismount. It was as the grappling of a
wave with a rock.

No Guerrilla in the service of the South was cooler or deadlier;
none less given to the emotion of fear. He looked at the Federal
major a little curiously when he first barred the passageway of his
horse and even smiled pleasantly as he took the trouble to explain
to him the nature of the instructions under which he was operating.

“D----n you and d----n your instructions,” the major replied
fiercely. “Dismount!”

“Ah,” ejaculated Parmer, “has it really come to this?” and then
the two men began to draw. Unquestionably there could be but one
result. The right hand of the Federal major had hardly reached
the flap of his revolver, before Parmer’s pistol was against his
forehead, and Parmer’s bullet had torn half the top of his head off.

In June, 1865, Quantrell started from Bedford Russell’s, in
Nelson County, with John Ross, William Hulse, Payne Jones, Clark
Hockinsmith, Isaac Hall, Richard Glasscock, Robert Hall, Bud
Spence, Allen Parmer, Dave Helton and Lee McMurtry. His destination
was Salt River.

At Newel McClaskey’s the turnpike was gained and traveled several
miles, when a singularly severe and penetrating rain storm began.
Quantrell, to escape this, turned from the road on the left and
into a woods pasture near a postoffice called Smiley. Through this
pasture and for half a mile further he rode until he reached the
residence of a Mr. Wakefield, in whose barn the Guerrillas took
shelter. Unsuspicious of danger and of the belief that the nearest
enemy was at least twenty miles away, the men dismounted, unbridled
their horses, and fed them at the racks ranged about the shed
embracing two sides of the barn.

While the horses were eating the Guerrillas amused themselves with
a sham battle, choosing sides and using corncobs for ammunition. In
the midst of much hilarity and boisterousness, Glasscock’s keen
eye saw through the blinding rain a column of cavalry, one hundred
and twenty strong, approaching the barn at a trot.

He cried out instantly, and loud enough to be heard at Wakefield’s
house sixty yards away: “Here they are! Here they are.” Instantly
all the men were in motion and rushing to their horses.

Captain Edward Terrell, known well to Quantrell and fought
stubbornly once before, had been traveling the turnpike from the
direction of Taylorsville, as completely ignorant of Quantrell’s
proximity as Quantrell had been of his, and would have passed on
undoubtedly without a combat if the trail left by the Guerrillas in
passing from the road to the pasture had not attracted attention.
This he followed to within sight of the barn, understood in a
moment the character of the men sheltered there, and closed upon it
rapidly, firing as he came on.

Before a single Guerrilla had put a bridle upon a horse, Terrill
was at the main gate of the lot, a distance of some fifty feet
from the barn, and pouring such a storm of carbine bullets among
them that their horses ran furiously about the lot, difficult to
approach and impossible to restrain.

Fighting desperately and deliberately, and driving away from the
main gate a dozen or more Federals stationed there, John Ross,
William Hulse, Allen Parmer, Lee McMurtry, and Bud Pence, cut
their way through, mounted and defiant. The entire combat did not
last ten minutes. It was a fight in which every man had to do for
himself and do what was done speedily.

Once above the rattling of musketry, the neighing of horses and the
shouting of combatants, Quantrell’s voice rang out loud and clear:
“Cut through, boys, cut through somehow! Don’t surrender while
there is a chance to get out.”

The fire upon the Guerrillas was furious. Quantrell’s horse, a
thoroughbred animal of great spirit and speed, could not be caught.
His master, anxious to secure him, followed him composedly about
the lot for several minutes, trying under showers of bullets to get
hands upon his favorite.

At this moment Clark Hockingsmith, who was mounted and free to go
away at a run, saw the peril of his chief, and galloped to his
rescue. Quantrell, touched by this act of devotion, recognized it
by a smile, and held out his hand to his comrade without speaking.
Hockingsmith dismounted until Quantrell took his own place in the
saddle, and then sprang up behind him.

Another furious volley from Terrill’s men lining all the fence
about the great gate, killed Hockingsmith and killed the horse
he and Quantrell were upon. The second hero now gave his life to
Quantrell. Richard Glasscock also had secured his own horse as
Hockingsmith had done and was free to ride’ away in safety as he
had been.

Opposite the main entrance to the barn lot there was an exit
uncovered by the enemy and beyond this exit a stretch of heavy
timber. Those who gained the timber were safe. Hockingsmith knew
it when he deliberately laid down his life for his chief, and
Glasscock knew it when he also turned about and hurried up to the
two men struggling there--Quantrell to drag himself out from under
the horse and Hockingsmith in the agonies of death.

The second volley from the gate mortally wounded Quantrell and
killed Glasscock’s horse. Then a charge of fifty shouting, shooting
men swept over the barn lot. Robert Hall, Payne Jones, David
Helton, and Isaac Hall had gone out some time before on foot.
J. B. Tooley, A. B. Southwick and C. H. Southwick, wounded badly,
escaped fighting. Only the dead man lying by his wounded chief,
and Glasscock, erect, splendid, and fighting to the last, remained
as trophies of the desperate combat. Two balls struck Quantrell.
The first, the heavy ball of a Spencer carbine, entered close to
the right collar bone, ranged down along the spine, injuring it
severely, and hid itself somewhere in the body. The second ball cut
off the finger next to the little finger of the left hand, tearing
it from its socket, and lacerating the hand itself badly. The
shoulder wound did its work, however, for it was a mortal wound.
All the lower portion of Quantrell’s body was paralyzed and as he
was lifted and carried to Wakefield’s house his legs were limp and
his extremities cold and totally without sensation.

At no time did he either make complaint or moan. His wonderful
endurance remained unimpaired to the end. His mind, always clear in
danger, seemed to recognize that his last battle had been fought
and his last encounter finished. He talked very little. Terrill
came to him and asked if there was any good service he might do
that would be acceptable.

“Yes,” said Quantrell quietly, “have Clark Hockingsmith buried like
a soldier.”

After he had been carried to the house of Wakefield and deposited
upon a pallet, he spoke once more to Terrell:

“While I live let me stay here. It is useless to haul a dying man
about in a wagon, jolting out what little life there is left in

Terrell pledged his word that he should not be removed, and rode
away in pursuit of those who had escaped.

Some of the fugitive Guerrillas soon reached the well known
rendezvous at the house of Alexander Sayers, twenty-three miles
from Wakefield’s, with tidings of the fight.

Frank James heard the story through with a set face, strangely
white and sorrowful, and then he arose and cried out: “Volunteers
to go back. Who will follow me to see our chief, living or dead?”

“I will go back,” said Allen Parmer, “and I,” said John Ross, and
“I,” said William Hulse.

“Let us ride, then,” rejoined James, and in twenty minutes
more--John Ross having exchanged his jaded horse for a fresh
one--these four devoted men were galloping away to Wakefield’s.

At two o’clock in the morning they were there. Frank James
dismounted and knocked low upon the door. There was the trailing
of a woman’s garments, the circumspect tread of a watching woman’s
feet, the noiseless work of a woman’s hand upon the latch and Mrs.
Wakefield, cool and courtly, bade the strange armed men upon the
threshold to enter.

Just across on the other side of the room from the door a man lay
on a trundle bed. James stood over the bed, but he could not speak.
If one had cared to look into his eyes they might have seen them
full of tears.

Quantrell, by the dim light of a single candle, recognized James,
smiled and held out his hand, and said to him very gently, though a
little reproachfully: “Why did you come back? The enemy are thick
about you here; they are passing every hour.”

“To see if you were alive or dead, Captain. If the first, to save
you; if the last, to put you in a grave.”

“I thank you very much, Frank, but why try to take me away? I am
cold below the hips. I can neither ride, walk nor crawl; I am dead
and yet I am alive.”

Frank James went to the door and called in Parmer, Ross and Hulse.
Quantrell recognized them all in his old, calm, quiet fashion, and
bade them wipe away their tears, for they were crying visibly.

Then Frank James, joined in his entreaties by the entreaties of his
comrades, pleaded with Quantrell for permission to carry him away
to the mountains of Nelson County by slow and easy stages, each
swearing to guard him hour by hour until he recovered or died over
his body, defending it to the last. He knew that every pledge made
by them would be kept to the death. He felt that every word spoken
was a golden word and meant absolute devotion. His faith in their
affection was as steadfast and abiding as of old. He listened until
they had done talking, with the old staid courtesy of victorious
Guerrilla days, and then he silenced them with an answer which,
from its resoluteness, they knew to be unalterable.

“I cannot live. I have run a long time; I have come out unhurt from
many desperate places; I have fought to kill and I have killed; I
regret nothing. The end is close at hand. I am resting easy here
and will die so. You do not know how your devotion has touched my
heart, nor can you understand how grateful I am for the love you
have shown me. Try and get back to your homes, and avoid if you can
the perils that beset you.”

Until 10 o’clock the next day these men remained with Quantrell.
He talked with them very freely of the past, but never of the
earlier life in Kansas. Many messages were sent to absent friends,
and much good advice was given touching the surrender of the
remnant of the band. Again and again he returned to the earlier
struggles in Missouri and dwelt long over the recollections and the
reminiscences of the first two years of Guerrilla warfare.

Finally the parting came, and those who looked last upon
Quantrell’s face that morning as they stooped to tell him goodbye,
looked their last upon it forever.

Terrill had promised Quantrell positively that he should not be
removed from Wakefield’s house, but in three days he had either
forgotten his promise or had deliberately broken his pledge. He
informed General Palmer, commanding the department of Kentucky,
of the facts of the fight, and of the desperate character of the
wounded officer left paralyzed behind him, suggesting at the same
time the advisability of having him removed to a place of safety.

General Palmer sent an ambulance under a heavy escort to
Wakefield’s house and Quantrell, suffering greatly and scarcely
more alive than dead, was hauled to the military hospital in
Louisville and deposited there.

Until the question of recovery had been absolutely decided against
him, but few friends were permitted into his presence. If any
one conversed with him at all, the conversation of necessity was
required to be carried on in the presence of an official. Mrs. Ross
visited him thus--Christian woman, devoted to the South, and of
active and practical patriotism--and took some dying messages to
loved and true ones in Missouri.

Mrs. Ross left him at one o’clock in the afternoon and at four the
next afternoon the great Guerrilla died.

His passing away, after a life so singularly fitful and
tempestuous, was as the passing of a summer cloud. He had been
asleep, and as he awoke he called for water. A Sister of Charity at
the bedside put a glass of water to his lips, but he did not drink.
She heard him murmur once audibly--“Boys, get ready.” Then a long
pause, then one word more--“Steady!” and then when she drew back
from bending over the murmuring man, she fell upon her knees and
prayed. Quantrell was dead.

Before his death he had become a Catholic and had been visited
daily by two old priests. To one of these he made confession, and
such a confession! He told everything. He was too serious and
earnest a man to do less. He kept nothing back, not even the least
justifiable of his many homicides.

As the priest listened and listened, and as year after year of the
wild war work was made to give up its secrets, what manner of a man
must the priest have imagined lay dying there.

Let history be just. On that hospital bed, watched by the calm,
colorless face of a Sister of Charity, a dead man lay who, when
living, had filled with his deeds four years of terrible war
history. A singularly placid look had come with the great change.
Alike was praise or censure, reward or punishment. Fate had
done its worst and the future stood revealed to the spirit made
omniscient by its journey through the Valley of the Shadow of
Death. He had done with summer’s heat and winter’s cold, with
spectral ambuscades and midnight vigils. There would never be any
war in the land of the hereafter. The swoop of cavalry, the roar of
combat, the agony of defeat, white faces trampled by the iron hoofs
of horses, the march--the bivouac, the battle; what remains of
these when the transfiguration was done and when the river called
Jordan rolled between the shores of the finite and the infinite?
Nothing! And yet by those, standing or falling, must the great
Guerrilla be judged.

Quantrell differed in some degree from every Guerrilla who was
either a comrade or his contemporary. Not superior to Todd in
courage and enterprise, nor to Haller, Poole, Jarrette, Younger,
Taylor, Anderson, Frank James, Gregg, Lea, Maddox, Dan Vaughn, or
Yager, he yet had one peculiar quality which none of these save
Gregg, Frank James, Thrailkill, Lea and Younger possessed to the
same pre-eminent degree--extraordinary resource and cunning.

All the Guerrillas fought. Indeed, at certain times and under
certain conditions fighting might justly have been considered the
least of their accomplishments. A successful leader requires
coolness, intrepidity, robust health, fine horsemanship, expert
pistol practice, quick perception in peril, great rapidity of
movement, immense activity, and inexorable fixedness of purpose.

Those mentioned excelled in these qualities, but at times they were
too eager to fight, took too many desperate chances, or rushed too
recklessly into combats where they could not win. Quantrell counted
the cost of everything; watched every way lest an advantage should
be taken of him; sought to shield and save his men; strove by much
strategy to have the odds with rather than against him; traveled
a multitude of long roads rather than one short one once too
often; took upon himself many disguises to prevent an embarrassing
familiarity; retreat often rather than fight and be worsted; kept
scouts everywhere; had the faculty of divination to an almost
occult degree; believed in young men; paid attention to small
things; listened to every man’s advice and then took his own; stood
by his soldiers; obeyed strictly the law of retaliation; preferred
the old dispensation to the new--that is to say, the code of Moses
to the code of Jesus Christ; inculcated by precept and example
the self abnegation and devotion to comrade; fought desperately;
carried a black flag; killed everything; made the idea of surrender
ridiculous; snapped his fingers at death; was something of a
fatalist; rarely drank; trusted few women, but these with his
life; played high at cards; believed in religion; respected its
ordinances; went at intervals to church; understood human nature
thoroughly; never quarreled; was generally taciturn and one of the
coolest and deadliest men in a personal combat known to the border.
He rode like he was carved from the horse beneath him. In an
organization where skill with a pistol was a passport to leadership
he shot with a revolver as Leatherstocking shot with a rifle. He
drilled his men to fight equally with either hand. Fairly matched,
God help the column that came in contact with him.

As to the kind of warfare Quantrell waged, that is another matter.
Like the war of La Vendee, the Guerrilla war was one rather of
hatred than of opinion. The regular Confederates were fighting for
a cause and a nationality--the Guerrilla for vengeance. Mementoes
of murdered kinsmen mingled with their weapons; vows consecrated
the act of enlistment and the cry for blood was heard from
homestead to homestead. Quantrell became a Guerrilla because he had
been most savagely dealt with, and he became a chief because he had
prudence, firmness, courage, audacity and common sense. In personal
intrepidity he was inferior to no man. His features were pleasing
without being handsome, his eyes were blue and penetrating. He
had a Roman nose. In height he was five feet, eleven inches, and
his form was well knit, graceful and sinewy. His constitution was
vigorous, and his physical endurance equal to an Indian. His
glance was rapid and unerring. His judgment was clearest and surest
when the responsibility was heaviest, and when the difficulties
gathered thickest about him. Based upon skill, energy, perspicacity
and unusual presence of mind, his fame as a Guerrilla will endure
for generations.

Quantrell died a Catholic and was buried in a Catholic cemetery at
Louisville, Kentucky.

The Youngers and Jameses After the War

The end of the war also brought an end to armed resistance by the
Guerrillas. As an organization, they never fought again. The most
of them kept their weapons; and a few of them had great need to
keep them. Some were killed because of the terrible renown won in
the four years’ war; some were forced to hide themselves in the
unknown of the outlying territories, and some were persecuted and
driven into desperate defiance and resistance because they were
human and intrepid. To this latter class the Jameses and Youngers

No men ever strove harder to put the past behind them. No men ever
submitted more sincerely to the results of a war that had as many
excesses on one side as on the other. No men ever went to work
with a heartier good will to keep good faith with society and make
themselves amenable to the law. No men ever sacrificed more for
peace, and for the bare privilege of doing just as hundreds like
them had done--the privilege of going back again into the obscurity
of civil life and becoming again a part of the enterprising economy
of the commonwealth. They were not permitted so to do, try how they
would, and as hard, and as patiently.

After the death of Quantrell and the surrender of the remnant of
his Guerrillas, Frank James was not permitted, at first, to return
to Missouri at all, much less to his home in Clay County.

He lingered in Clay County as long as possible, very circumspect
in his actions and very conservative in his behavior. Tempted one
day by his beardless face and innocent walk and to bear upon him
roughly, four Federal soldiers set upon Frank James in Brandenburg
and made haste to force an issue. For a moment the old fire of his
earlier and stormier days flared up all of a sudden from the ashes
of the past and consumed as with a single hot blast of passion
prudence, accountability, caution and discretion. He fought as he
had fought at Centralia. Two of the Federals were killed instantly,
the third was desperately wounded, while the fourth shot Frank
badly in the joint of the left hip, inflicting a grievous hurt and
one which caused him afterwards a great deal of pain and trouble.

Staunch friends hid him while the hue and cry were heaviest, and
careful surgical attention brought him back to life when he lay so
close to death’s door that by the lifting of a hand he also might
have lifted its latch.

This fight, however, was not one of his own seeking, nor one
which he could have avoided without the exhibition of a quality
he never had known anything about and never could know anything
about--physical cowardice.

Jesse James, emaciated, tottering as he walked, fighting what
seemed to everyone a hopeless battle--of “the skeleton boy against
skeleton death”--joined his mother in Nebraska and returned with
her to their home near Kearney, in Clay County. His wound would
not heal, and more ominous still, every now and then there was a

In the spring of 1866 he was just barely able to mount a horse and
ride a bit. And he did ride, but he rode armed, watchful, vigilant,
haunted. He might be killed, waylaid, ambuscaded, assassinated; but
he would be killed with his eyes open and his pistols about him.

The hunt for this maimed and emaciated Guerrilla culminated on the
night of February 18th, 1867. On this night an effort was made to
kill him. Five militiamen, well armed and mounted, came to his
mother’s house and demanded admittance. The weather was bitterly
cold, and Jesse James, parched with fever, was tossing wearily in
bed. His pistols were under his head. His step-father. Dr. Samuels,
heard the militiamen as they walked upon the front porch, and
demanded to know what they wanted. They told him to open the door.
He came up to Jesse’s room and asked him what he should do. “Help
me to the window,” was the low, calm reply, “that I may look out.”
He did so.

There was snow on the ground and the moon was shining. He saw that
all the horses hitched to the fence had on cavalry saddles, and
then he knew that the men were soldiers. He had but one of two
things to do--drive them away or die.

Incensed at the step-father’s silence, they were hammering at the
door with the butts of their muskets and calling out to Jesse to
come down stairs, swearing that they knew he was in the house, and
that they would have him out, dead or alive.

He went down stairs softly, having first dressed himself, crept
close up to the front door and listened until from the talk of the
men he thought he was able to get a fairly accurate pistol range.
Then he put a heavy dragoon pistol to within three inches of the
upper panel of the door and fired. A man cried out and fell. Before
the surprise was off he threw the door wide open, and with a pistol
in each hand began a rapid fusillade. A second man was killed as
he ran, two men were wounded severely, and surrendered, while the
fifth marauder, terrified, yet unhurt, rushed swiftly to his horse
and escaped in the darkness.

What else could Jesse James have done? In those evil days bad men
in bands were doing bad things continually in the name of the law,
order and vigilance committees.

He had been a desperate Guerrilla; he had fought under a black
flag, he had made a name for terrible prowess along the border;
he had survived dreadful wounds; it was known that he would fight
at any hour or in any way; he could not be frightened out from
his native county; he could be neither intimidated nor robbed,
and hence the wanton war waged upon Jesse and Frank James, and
this is the reason they became outlaws, and hence the reason also
that--outlaws as they were and proscribed in county, or state or
territory--they had more friends than the officers who hunted them,
and more defenders than the armed men who sought to secure their
bodies, dead or alive.

The future of the Youngers after the war was similar to the
Jameses. Cole was in California when the surrender came, and he
immediately accepted the situation. He returned to Missouri,
determined to forget the past, and fixed in his purpose to reunite
the scattered members of his once prosperous and happy family, and
prepare and make comfortable a home for his stricken and suffering

Despite everything that has been said and written of this man,
he was, during all the border warfare, a generous and merciful
man. Others killed and that in any form or guise or fashion; he
alone in open and honorable battle. His heart was always kind, and
his sympathies always easily aroused. He not only took prisoners
himself, but he treated them afterwards as prisoners, and released
them to rejoin commands that spared nothing alive of Guerrilla
associations that fell into their hands.

He was the oldest son, and all the family looked up to him. His
mother had been driven out of Cass County into Jackson, out of
Jackson into Lafayette, and out of Lafayette into Jackson again.
Not content with butchering the father in cold blood, the ravenous
cut-throats and thieves followed the mother with a malignity
unparalleled. Every house she owned or inhabited was burnt, every
outbuilding, every rail, every straw stack, every corn pen, every
pound of food and every store of forage. Her stock was stolen. Her
household goods were even appropriated. She had no place to lay
her head that could be called her own, and but for the kindness
and Christianity of her devoted neighbors, she must have suffered

At this time Coleman and James returned to Missouri and went
hopefully and bravely to work. Their father’s land remained to
them. That at least had neither been set fire to nor hauled away in
wagons, nor driven into Kansas.

Western Missouri was then full of disbanded Federal soldiers,
organized squads of predatory Redlegs and Jayhawkers, horse thieves
disguised as vigilance committees, and highway robbers known as law
and order men.

In addition, Drake’s constitution disfranchised every property
owner along the border. An honest man could not officially stand
between the helpless of his community and the imported lazzaroni
who preyed upon them; a decent man’s voice could not be heard
above the clamor of the beggars quarreling over stolen plunder; and
a just man’s expostulations penetrated never into the councils of
the chief scoundrels who planned the murders and the robberies.

Coleman Younger’s work was like the work of a pioneer in the
wilderness, but he did it as became the hardy descendants of a
stalwart race of pioneers. He cut logs and built a comfortable log
house for his mother. He made rails and fenced in his land. In lieu
of horses or mules, he plowed with oxen. He stayed steadfastly
at home. He heard rumors of threats being made against his life,
but he paid no attention to them. He took part in no political
meetings. He tried to hide himself and be forgotten.

The bloodhounds were on his track, however, and swore either to
kill him or drive him from the country. A vigilance committee
composed of skulking murderers and red-handed robbers went one
night to surprise the two brothers and end the hunt with a
massacre. Forewarned, James and Coleman fled. The family were
wantonly insulted, and a younger brother, John, a mere boy, was
brutally beaten and then hung until life was almost extinct. This
was done to force him to tell the whereabouts of James and Coleman.

Mrs. Younger never entirely recovered from the shock of that
night’s work, lingering along hopelessly yet patiently for several
months and finally dying in the full assurance of the Christian’s
blessed hereafter.

The death of this persecuted woman, however, did not end the
persecution. Cole Younger was repeatedly waylaid and fired at. His
stock was killed through mere deviltry, or driven off to swell
the gains of insatiable wolves. His life was in hourly jeopardy,
as was the life of his brother James. They plowed in the fields
as men who saw suspended above them a naked sword blade. They
permitted no light to be lit in the house at night. They traveled
the public highway warily. They were hunted men and proscribed men
in the midst of their own people. They were chased away from their
premises by armed men. Once Cole was badly wounded by the bullet of
an assassin. Once, half dressed, he had to flee for his life. If he
made a crop, he was not permitted to gather it and when something
of a success might have come to him after the expenditure of so
much toil, energy, long-suffering and forbearance, he was not let
alone in peace long enough to utilize his returns and make out of
his resources their legitimate gains.

Of course there could be but one ending to all this long and
unbroken series of malignant persecutions, lying-in-wait, midnight
surprises, perpetual robbings, and most villainous assaults and
attempted murders--Coleman and James Younger left home and left
Jackson County. They buckled on their pistols and rode away to
Texas, resolved from that time on to protect themselves, to fight
when they were attacked, and to make it so hot for the assassins
and the detectives who were eternally on their track that by and
by the contract taken to murder them would be a contract not
particularly conducive to steady investments. They were hounded to

They endured every species of insult and attack, and would have
still continued to endure it in silence and almost non-resistance
if such forbearance had mitigated in any manner the virulence
of their enemies, or brought any nearer to an appeasement the
merciless fate which seemed to be eternally at their heels. The
peaceful pursuits of life were denied them. The law which should
have protected them was overridden. Indeed, there was no law.
The courts were instruments of plunder. The civil officers were
cutthroats. Instead of a legal process, there was a vigilance
committee. Men were hung because of a very natural desire to keep
hold of their own property. To the cruel vigor of actual war, there
had succeeded the irresponsible despotism of greedy highwaymen
buttressed upon assassination. The border counties were overrun
with bands of predatory plunderers. Some Confederate soldiers dared
not return home and many Guerrillas fled the country. It was dark
everywhere, and the bravest held their breath, not knowing how much
longer they would be permitted to remain peacefully at home, or
suffered to enjoy the fruits of the labors they had endured.

Fortunately for all, however, the well nigh extinct embers of
a merciless border war were not blown upon long enough and
persistently enough to kindle another conflagration.

But neither the Jameses nor the Youngers had been permitted to
rest long at any one time since the surrender of the Confederate
armies. Some dastardly deeds had been done against them, too, in
the name of the law. Take for example, Pinkerton’s midnight raid
upon the house of Mrs. Zerelda Samuels, mother of the James boys.
The family was wrapped in profound sleep. Only women and children
were about the premises, and an old man long past his prime. The
cowards--how many is not accurately known, probably a dozen--crept
close to this house through the midnight, surrounded it, found its
inmates asleep, and threw into the kitchen where an old negress was
in bed with her children, a lighted hand grenade, wrapped about
with flannel saturated with turpentine. The lurid light from this
inflammable fluid awakened the negro woman and she in turn awakened
the sleeping whites. They rushed to subdue the flames and save
their property. Children were gathered together in the kitchen,
little things, helpless and terrified. All of a sudden there was a
terrible explosion. Mrs. Samuels’ right arm was blown off above the
elbow, a bright little boy, eight years old, had his bowels torn
out. Dr. Samuels was seriously cut and hurt, the old negro woman
was maimed, and several of the other children more or less injured.
The hand grenade had done its work, and there had been a tragedy
performed by men calling themselves civilized, in the midst of a
peaceful community and upon a helpless family of women and children
and what would have disgraced Nero or made some of the monstrous
murders of Diocletian was as white is to black. Yet Pinkerton’s
paid assassins did this because his paid assassins knew better how
to kill women and children than armed men in open combat.

Dear Reader, what would you have done under the same circumstances?
Put yourself in the Jameses’ and Youngers’ places, and think it

When Jesse James was killed at St. Joseph, Missouri, Governor
Crittenden, then governor of the state of Missouri, wired me to
know if I would go up and identify him.

I wired him I would, providing I could go armed.

He answered, “Perfectly satisfactory to me. Meet me at Union
Station, Kansas City, Missouri, tomorrow morning.”

I secured several of my old Guerrilla friends to accompany the
Governor and myself to St. Joseph, Missouri, unbeknown to the
Governor, however, for I did not know how I stood with the people
at St. Joseph. I was just playing safety first. I met the Governor
at the depot. He asked me what attitude I thought Frank James would
take towards him for offering a reward and having Jesse killed. I
told him “If Frank wanted to kill him for revenge, he surely would.”

He looked pale, but not half so pale as he did the day Frank
surrendered. A heavy reward hanging over Frank James’ head, he made
his way past the guards and sergeant-at-arms, stationed at the
Governor’s mansion at Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, and
surrendered to Governor Crittenden in his office. On entering his
office, Frank said:

“Is this Governor Crittenden?”

“Yes,” was the reply.

“This is Frank James. I came to surrender,” at the same time
pulling two heavy dragoon pistols and handing them to the Governor.
“Here are arms, Governor, but not all I have, nor will I give them
up until I know you will give me protection.”

Frank told me afterwards that “Governor Crittenden’s face will
never be whiter when he is dead than it was the day I surrendered.”

I identified Jesse James at St. Joseph, Missouri, to the Governor’s
entire satisfaction. Since then it has been said that Jesse was
still alive and that it was a wax figure that was buried, but this
is all a lie.

There is one good act the James boys did while they were outlaws.

A southern widow woman some time soon after the war had mortgaged
her farm to an old Redleg who had moved from Lawrence, Kansas, to
Kansas City.

When the loan expired he drove out to see her and informed her that
if she did not have the money by ten o’clock the next morning he
would foreclose.

Soon after he had left, up rode Jesse and Frank James, and found
the lady crying and taking on. They inquired what was wrong, and
she related the whole story.

Frank said, “You send your son in the morning and tell the old
Federal to bring all releases and all papers fully signed and you
will pay him in full. Jesse and I will let you have the money.”

Next morning the boy went with the message, and in the evening out
came the old Federal in his bus with his negro driver, drove up
to the house, went in, and the lady paid him in full with cash,
getting all releases and papers fixed up. The old man bowed and
scraped and, tipping his hat, said, “Goodbye, lady,” and he and his
“nigger” driver started back to Kansas City. When but a few hundred
yards or so from the house and close to a ravine, Jesse and Frank
held him up and relieved him of the money they had loaned the lady,
together with all the rest he had for interest.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the World War, in conversation with friends, I told them
to take away from Germany her airplanes, gases and machine guns,
and if it were possible to call Quantrell’s old band together, of
which at no time were there over three hundred and fifty men, all
told, under Todd, Poole, Yager, Anderson, Younger, Jarrett, Haller,
Quantrell and myself, I could take these three hundred and fifty
men and go to Berlin in a gallop, for history does not now and
never will know the power there was in the Quantrell band. It has
been given up long ago that they were the most fighting devils the
world has ever known or ever will know.


Transcriber’s Notes

Transcriber added six missing chapter references to the Table of

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in the original book; otherwise
they were not changed.

Many simple typographical errors were silently corrected, but
several words that today would be considered misspelled have not
been changed.

Illustrations in this eBook have been positioned between paragraphs
and outside quotations.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles W. Quantrell
 - A True Report of his Guerrilla Warfare on the Missouri and Kansas Border During the Civil War of 1861 to 1865" ***

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