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Despite their gain in notoriety and expansion in numbers, accompanied by increasing expertise in the American Indian style of guerrilla fighting, the group was considered undisciplined and dangerous. The confidence of the men in their leader was slipping; many suspected that as a Northerner, Quantrill fought for no principles, just self-serving purposes of gathering plunder and increasing military rank.

When the command returned to west-central Missouri in the spring of , the final break occurred. With Anderson and Quantrill parting company before leaving Texas, Todd took command of the larger remaining splinter group. Quantrill supposedly informed his men that they would enter Kentucky and work their way to Washington, DC, where they would assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. But more than likely, Quantrill planned to link up with General Robert E.

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But public opinion had turned against the raiders. Bandits and renegades on both sides roamed freely throughout, robbing and killing at will. The Quantrill band joined with other guerrilla groups operating in the Bluegrass State, such as the group led by Marcellus Jerome Clark also known as Sue Mundy to terrorize with relatively little fear of reprisal or punishment. Ironically, the poseur would be chased by authentic guerrilla hunters.

With the end of the Civil War around the corner, the Union had driven the formal Confederate army presence from Missouri and was redirecting troops to hunt down the guerrilla bands still operating in the upper South.

I, Quantrill

Pursuit by guerrilla-hunting units became ruthless. Terrell himself held the poorest of reputations. At a very young age, he had joined the Kentucky Confederate troops.

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After about a year, he converted to the Union side where his federal guerrillas plundered and killed Southern sympathizers, an official but lawless band. Headquartered at the James H.

Enter the Raiders

Wakefield farm, the gang had sheltered its horses under the sheds around the barn, protecting them from a rainstorm. Some of the outlaws were relaxing, shedding tension with a sham battle of hurled corncobs and taking naps in a hayloft. Coming in range, fire was opened and yells set up to terrify the Missourians. At least two heard his pleas and turned back to wait for him, guaranteeing their demise from pursuing gunshots as their leader fell mortally wounded.

That eyewitness to history was a young soldier named John Langford. Those acquainted with him will understand why he has never been given prominence by the press for the act. He is a quiet, unassuming gentleman, and it was with some difficulty that we gained his consent to relate the incidents of the much-discussed event. After the Civil War, he drifted to Illinois and on to southwest Iowa.

In the late s, Langford settled in northwest Missouri, south of Albany. Langford brought this office a batch of letters from W. John Langford appeared to be a cautious man.

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With perhaps a bit of trepidation still in his heart, he delayed releasing much information locally except to family and close friends. The mild-mannered Langford did not consider the much-discussed event worthy of further dialogue and was said to be somewhat careful around regions where Quantrill loyalists still lived.

Quantrill Side / Bonaparte's March

One small group of raiders headed across the cow pasture for the timber. Langford, in pursuit, made his selection.

William Quantrill killed by Union soldiers - HISTORY

He was on a good horse, quick to gain on the footman. Seeing his target go down, Langford turned to assist the other soldiers of the Kentucky regiment. A doctor examined him and advised him that his days were numbered and he should settle his business affairs. Although Langford wrote that Quantrill had revealed his identity to him in the pasture soon after he was shot, the farmer in whose house the guerilla was taken has said that the wounded man later denied he was Quantrill.

He continued to claim that he was Captain Clarke of the 4th Missouri Cavalry, knowing he would be executed if his earlier confession was discovered. Two days later, Terrell returned, having concluded that the wounded man was Quantrill.

Terrell provided wagon transportation to a military hospital and prison in Louisville. During the caravan, Quantrill was heavily guarded but treated with respect. Press Reader. On the other hand, hatchet-wielding prohibitionist Carrie Nation has never been portrayed on the silver screen, at least not according to the Internet Movie Database. A couple of transplants to Kansas have enjoyed a long cinematic history.


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And William Clarke Quantrill , the Confederate guerrilla leader infamous for the August, , sack of Lawrence, Kansas, has been depicted on screen numerous times. The series is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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The shows begin at p. Robert W. For several decades he was the movie editor of the Kansas City Star ; he now writes a movie-themed blog at butlerscinemascene. He joined the Library's Public Affairs team in Readers Services. Signature Events. Family Storytelling Concert. Storytelling Spectacular. Thursday, November 14,