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Encyclopedia > William Quantrill
William Clark Quantrill of Quantrill's Raiders

William Clarke Quantrill (July 31, 1837June 6, 1865), was a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War. Quantrill from LOC archive This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Quantrill from LOC archive This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... is the 212th day of the year (213th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom (1837 - 1901) 1837 (MDCCCXXXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Religion... Guerrilla warfare (also spelled guerilla) is a method of unconventional combat by which small groups of combatants attempt to use mobile and surprise tactics (ambushes, raids, etc) to defeat a foe, often a larger, less mobile, army. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total...


Early life

Quantrill, the oldest of 8 children, was born at Canal Dover (now just Dover), Ohio, on July 31, 1837. His father was Thomas Quantrill, formerly of Hagerstown, Maryland. His mother, Caroline Cornelia Clark, was a native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. They were married on October 11, 1836, and moved to Canal Dover the following December. Thomas Quantrill died December 7, 1854, apparently of tuberculosis. [1]. Dover is a city in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, United States. ... is the 212th day of the year (213th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom (1837 - 1901) 1837 (MDCCCXXXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Nickname: Motto: A Great Place to Live Work and Visit Location in Maryland Coordinates: , County Washington Incorporated 1813 Government  - Mayor Robert Bob E. Bruchey II Area  - City 27. ... Chambersburg is a borough in Pennsylvania, United States. ... October 11 is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1836 (MDCCCXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...

Little is known of Quantrill’s early years in Dover, though it appears that he was raised by his mother in a Unionist family and initially espoused Free-Soil beliefs. After several years working as a school teacher, Quantrill traveled to Utah with the Federal Army as a teamster in 1858, but left the army there to try his hand at professional gambling. In 1859, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and again taught school. When charges were brought against him for murder and horse theft, he fled to Missouri. The Union was a name used by many to refer to the Northern states during the American Civil War. ... In the United States, Free Soil was a position taken by northern citizens and politicians in the 19th century advocating that all new U.S. territory be closed to slavery. ... Official language(s) English Capital Salt Lake City Largest city Salt Lake City Area  Ranked 13th  - Total 84,889 sq mi (219,887 km²)  - Width 270 miles (435 km)  - Length 350 miles (565 km)  - % water 3. ... The United States Army is the largest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... 1858 (MDCCCLVIII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The term gambling has had many different meanings depending on the cultural and historical context in which it is used. ... Year 1859 (MDCCCLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Official language(s) English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City Largest metro area St Louis Metro[1] Area  Ranked 21st  - Total 69,709 sq mi (180,693 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 300 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ...

Guerrilla leader

When the Civil War began in 1861, Quantrill claimed he was a native of Maryland and may have joined the Missouri State Guard. However, his dislike of army discipline led him to form an independent guerrilla band by the end of that year. This bushwhacker company began as a force of no more than a dozen men who staged raids into Kansas, harassed Union soldiers, raided pro-Union towns, robbed mail coaches, and attacked Unionist civilians. At times they skirmished with the Jayhawkers, undisciplined Union militia from Kansas who raided into Missouri. The Union commanders declared him to be an outlaw, even though Quantrill apparently did secure a Confederate commission as a captain of partisan rangers. When the Union Army ordered all captured guerrillas to be shot, Quantrill ceased taking prisoners and started doing the same. He quickly became known to his opponents as a feared Rebel raider, and to his supporters as a dashing, free-spirited hero. A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... The Missouri State Guard (MSG) was a state militia unit organized in the state of Missouri during the early days of the American Civil War. ... Bushwhacking was a form of guerrilla warfare during the American Civil War that was particularly prevalent in rural areas where there were sharp divisions between those favoring the Union and Confederacy in the conflict. ... Jayhawkers were guerrilla fighters during the American Civil War in Kansas who often clashed with States Rights and pro-slavery partisans, as well as Missouri militia units. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Look up partisan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Lawrence Massacre

Main article: Lawrence Massacre

The most significant event in Quantrill's guerrilla career took place on August 21, 1863. Lawrence had been seen for years as the stronghold of the anti-slavery forces in Kansas. It was also the home of James H. Lane, a Senator infamous in Missouri for his rabid anti-slavery views and also a leader of the Jayhawkers. In the weeks immediately preceding the raid, Union General Thomas Ewing, Jr., had ordered the detention of any civilians giving aid to Quantrill's Raiders. Several female relatives of the guerrillas were imprisoned in a makeshift jail in Kansas City, Missouri. On August 14, the building collapsed, killing four young women and seriously injuring others. Quantrill's men believed the collapse was a deliberate, and the event fanned them into a fury. Many historians, however, believe that Quantrill had actually planned to raid Lawrence in advance of the building's collapse, in retaliation for the earlier Jayhawker attack and burning of Osceola, Missouri. In the United States, on August 21, 1863, bushwacker, pro-slavery and possibly bandit elements led by William Quantrill invaded the town of Lawrence, Kansas, burned it to the ground, and murdered more than 150 to 200 people. ... is the 233rd day of the year (234th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the abolition of slavery. ... James Henry Lane (June 22, 1814 – July 11, 1866) was a United States Senator and Union partisan. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... Thomas Ewing, Jr. ... Quantrills Raiders were a loosely organized force of pro-Confederate bushwhackers who fought under the leadership of William Clarke Quantrill. ... Nickname: Location in Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass Counties in the state of Missouri. ... is the 226th day of the year (227th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Osceola Osceola (1804 – January 20, 1838) was a war chief of the Seminole Indians in Flo. ...

Early on the morning of August 21, Quantrill descended from Mount Oread and attacked Lawrence with a force estimated at between 200 to 450 guerrillas. Senator Lane, a prime target of the raid, managed to escape through a cornfield in his nightshirt, but the bushwhackers killed about 200 men and boys, dragging many from their homes to kill them before their families. When Quantrill's men rode out at 9 a.m., most of Lawrence's buildings were burning, including all but two businesses. His raiders looted indiscriminately and robbed the town's bank. The Lawrence raid would become known in the North as one of the most vicious atrocities of the Civil War. is the 233rd day of the year (234th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Mount Oread is a geographical feature located near Lawrence, Kansas, to the southwest of Lawrence, at approximately 38°5747. ... An atrocity (from the Latin atrox, atrocious, from Latin ater = matte black (as distinct from niger = shiny black)) is a term used to describe crimes ranging from an act committed against a single person to one committed against a population or ethnic group. ...

On August 25, in retaliation for the raid, General Ewing authorized General Order No. 11 (not to be confused with General Ulysses S. Grant's General Order of the same name). The edict ordered the depopulation of three and a half Missouri counties along the Kansas border (with the exception of a few designated towns), forcing tens of thousands of civilians to abandon their homes. Union troops marched through behind them, burning buildings, torching planted fields and shooting down livestock to deprive the guerrillas of food, fodder, and support. The area was so thoroughly devastated that it became known thereafter as the "Burnt District." However, Quantrill and his men rode south to Texas, where they passed the winter with the Confederate forces. is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... General Order No. ... Ulysses S. Grant[2] (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American general and the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). ... General Order No. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ...

Last years

While in Texas, Quantrill and his 400 men quarreled. His once-large band broke up into several smaller guerrilla companies. One was led by his vicious lieutenant, William "Bloody Bill" Anderson, known for tying the scalps of his victims to his saddle. Quantrill joined them briefly in the fall of 1864 during fighting north of the Missouri River. William T. Anderson a. ...

In the spring of 1865, now leading only a few dozen men, Quantrill staged a series of raids in western Kentucky. He rode into a Union ambush on May 10 near Taylorsville, Kentucky, and received a gunshot wound to the chest. He died from it on June 6 at the age of 27.[1] 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... is the 130th day of the year (131st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Taylorsville is a city located in Spencer County, Kentucky. ... is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

As is often the case with famous figures, fanciful stories of his survival spread. One apocryphal story from British Columbia in Canada involves a recluse living in an isolated cabin on Quatsino Sound on northern Vancouver Island late in the 19th Century. Inquiries after the recluse allegedly were made in Victoria by unidentified Americans. The men claimed the recluse was Quantrill and later said they had killed him to avenge the deaths of fellow Union soldiers. Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo - Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 36 - Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area  Ranked 4th - Total 944,735 km... Vancouver Island is separated from mainland British Columbia by the Strait of Georgia and the Queen Charlotte Strait, and from Washington by the Juan De Fuca Strait. ... Location of Victoria within the Capital Regional District in British Columbia, Canada Country Canada Province British Columbia Regional District Capital Incorporated 1862[1] Government  - Mayor Alan Lowe (past mayors)  - Governing body Victoria City Council  - MP Denise Savoie  - MLAs Carole James, Rob Fleming Area [2]  - City 19. ...


During the war, Quantrill met fourteen-year-old Sarah Katherine King at her parents' farm in Blue Springs, Missouri. They married and she lived in camp with Quantrill and his men. At the time of his death, she was seventeen.[2] Blue Springs is a city in Jackson County, Missouri and is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. ...


Quantrill’s actions remain controversial to this day. Some historians view him as an opportunistic, bloodthirsty outlaw, while others continue to regard him as a daring horse soldier and a local folk hero. Some of Quantrill's celebrity later rubbed off on other ex-Raiders—Jesse and Frank James, and Cole and Jim Younger—who went on in after the war to apply Quantrill's hit-and-run tactics to bank and train robbery. The William Clarke Quantrill Society continues to research and celebrate his life and deeds. Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847–April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw, the most famous member of the James-Younger gang. ... Alexander Franklin James (January 10, 1843 – February 18, 1915) was an American outlaw and older brother of Jesse James. ... A wounded Cole Younger, after his arrest in 1876 Cole Younger as a young man Thomas Coleman Younger (January 15, 1844 – March 21, 1916) a famous Confederate outlaw during and after the American Civil War. ... A wounded Jim Younger after his arrest in 1876 A young James Younger James Hardin Younger (January 15, 1848-October 19, 1902) was a western outlaw and member of the James-Younger gang. ... William Clarke Quantrill Society is a 300-member organization dedicated to the study and remembrance of William Quantrill, leader of the famous Confederate guerrilla band Quantrills Raiders. ...

Major League Baseball relief pitcher Paul Quantrill is a distant relative of William. Media:Example. ...

According to Lost Treasure and similar related (and not very accurate) magazines, Quantrill allegedly cached treasure worth millions of U.S. dollars all over the area he operated in. Just where he is supposed to have obtained this fortune is never made clear. There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

In fiction

  • In 1968's "Bandolero!", Dean Martin plays Dee Bishop, a former Quantrill Raider who admits to participating in the attack on Lawrence. His brother Mace, played by James Stewart, was a member of the Union Army under General William Tecumseh Sherman.
  • Dark Command (1940), in which John Wayne opposes former schoolteacher turned guerrilla fighter "William Cantrell" in the early days of the Civil War. William Cantrell is a thinly veiled portrayal of William Quantrill. Ironically, in the movie True Grit (1969), it is strongly implied that Wayne's character Rooster Cogburn rode with Quantrill during the the Civil War.
  • Renegade Girl (1946) deals with tension between Unionists and Confederates in Missouri.
  • Kansas Raiders (1950), in which Jesse James (played by Audie Murphy) falls under the influence of Quantrill.
  • Woman They Almost Lynched (1953), featuring Quantrill's wife Kate as a female gunslinger.
  • The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953), in which a former Quantrill Raider becomes bank robber until his old comrades catch up with him.
  • Quantrill's Raiders (1958), focusing on the raid on Lawrence.
  • A 1959 episode of the TV show The Rough Riders entitled "The Plot to Assassinate President Johnson", as the title suggests, involves Quantrill in a plot to assassinate President Andrew Johnson.
  • Young Jesse James (1960), also depicts Quantrill's influence on Jesse James.
  • Arizona Raiders (1965), in which Audie Murphy plays an ex-Quantrill Raider who is assigned the task of tracking down his former comrades.
  • The TV series Hondo featured both Quantrill and Jesse James in the 1967 episode "Hondo and the Judas".
  • The Legend of the Golden Gun (1979), in which two men attempt to track down and kill Quantrill.
  • Lawrence: Free State Fortress (1998), depicts the attack on Lawrence.
  • Ride with the Devil (1999) stars Tobey Maguire and includes Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, KS.
  • The 2000 episode entitled "The Ballad of Steeley Joe" on the series The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne depicted both Jesse James and William Quantrill.
  • The USA Network's television show Psych, in an episode entitled "Weekend Warriors", featured a Civil War reenactment that included William Quantrill. The episode spoke about Quantrill's actions in Lawrence, but the reenactment featured his death at the hands of a fictional nurse Jenny Winslow, whose family was killed at Lawrence.
  • Quantrill's Lawrence Massacre of 1863 is depicted in Spielberg's mini-series "Into the West" (2005)

This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an iconic, Academy Award-winning American film and stage actor, best known for his self-effacing screen persona. ... William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. ... John Wayne (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979) was an iconic, Academy Award-winning, American film actor. ... True Grit by Charles Portis first appeared as a 1968 short story in The Saturday Evening Post. ... Reuben J. Rooster Cogburn is a fictional wild west character who first appears in the Charles Portis novel True Grit. ... Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847–April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw, the most famous member of the James-Younger gang. ... Also see: Audie Murphy legacy. ... Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the seventeenth President of the United States (1865–1869), succeeding to the presidency upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. ... Also see: Audie Murphy legacy. ... Ride With the Devil is a 1999 American Civil War drama directed by Ang Lee. ... Tobias Vincent Maguire (born June 27, 1975) is an American actor. ... USA Network is a popular American cable television network with about 89 million household subscribers as of 2005. ... Into the West is a 2005 miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks which began as a six-week event on June 10, 2005 on Turner Network Television (TNT). ...


  1. ^ William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, Miami County Part 2
  2. ^ Sarah King Head at Find a Grave

External links

  Results from FactBites:
William Quantrill at AllExperts (1036 words)
William Clarke Quantrill (July 31, 1837 – June 6, 1865), was a pro-Confederate guerrilla fighter during the American Civil War whose actions, particularly a bloody raid on Lawrence, Kansas, remain controversial to this day.
On May 10, Quantrill was shot in a Union ambush and died from the wound on June 6 at the age of 27 from a gun shot in the chest.
William Cantrell is a thinly veiled portrayal of William Quantrill.
  More results at FactBites »



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