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William Clarke Quantrill, a Confederate guerilla leader at the time of the American Civil War, was born on July 31, 1837, in Canal Dover, now Dover.
Quantrill William joined a guerrilla band of robbers that roamed around the border of Kansas and Missouri, apprehending escaped slaves. He endured a turbulent upbringing and subsequently became a school teacher. Quantrill's Raiders was the name given to a group of Confederate soldiers, which was a pro-Confederate army partisan ranger organization noted for its often brutal guerrilla tactics.
William Clarke Quantrill is credited for influencing the thoughts of many bandits, outlaws, and hired shooters in the early days of the old west.
In one of the last battles of the Civil War, Quantrill was terminally wounded by the Union authorities in Central Kentucky in May of 1865.
On the June 6, 1865, he succumbed to his wounds and died.
William Clarke Quantrill was born in Canal Dover, a city in the state of Ohio, on July 31, 1837.
Thomas Henry, a resident of Maryland, was Quantrill's father, and Caroline Clark, a local of Pennsylvania, was Quantrill's mother. William Clarke Quantrill was the oldest of 12 children; four of them died while still in infancy. Quantrill began teaching school in Ohio at just 16 years old.
His father, who was an abuser, died of TB in 1854, leaving the Clarke family in financial ruin. To make money, Quantrill's mother converted her house in a boarding place. During this period, Quantrill continued to work as a schoolteacher to support and help his family, but he left after one year and moved to Mendota in Illinois.
Quantrill got a job unloading timber from rail carriages in lumberyards. He killed a man while working a late shift one night. Quantrill was temporarily detained by authorities, although he claimed that he was acting in self-defense.
Quantrill led a big group of neighborhood friends to build a village on the Tuscarora Lake after William was set free. He continued his work as a teacher in Indiana. However, in January 1858, after neighbors noticed Quantrill taking items from others cabins, he was expelled from the community.
Quantrill later became a nomad after joining a gang of Missouri outlaws. For a fee, the organization protected the farmers of Missouri from the Kansas jayhawkers and slept in any place they could find. He also discovered that capturing fugitive slaves was profitable, so he devised strategies to utilize free black males as lures for slaves that ran away, whom he then caught for bonus money.
Quantrill accompanied slaveholder Marcus Gill to Texas in 1861. They encountered Joel B. Mayes there and decided to join the Cherokee Nations.
The commander of the Cherokee Nations in Texas was Myes. He was half Scottish-Irish and half Cherokee Confederate army sympathizer. In 1838, from Georgia, he relocated to the former Indian Territory. Mayes enrolled in the Confederate army and acted in the Company A of the first Cherokee Regiment.
Mayes taught Quantrill guerilla warfare methods, including Native American union ambush fighting, Quantrill's tactics, and sneak invasions and facade.
In August and September of 1861, Quantrill, together with the Cherokee Nations and Mayes, fought alongside General Sterling Price at the Battles of Lexington and Wilson's Creek. He escaped General Price's army in late September and Quantrill returned home to Missouri to organize his 'army' of faithful Quantrill's men. They believed in his leadership as well as the Confederate cause, and they became known as 'Quantrill's Raiders'.
By Christmas 1861, he recruited 10 men to join his Confederate guerilla outfit full-time, which included George Todd. They were later joined by 'bloody bill' Anderson.
Quantrill and his men defeated tiny Union forces at Aubry, Kansas, on March 7, 1862, and looted the town. Quantrill joined the Confederate forces under Colonel John T. Hughes on March 11, 1862, and took part in the attack on Independence, Missouri. The Confederate officer decided to guarantee Quantrill's loyalty after the First Battle of Independence by granting him a 'formal army commission' to the rank of captain.
After nightfall, along with 140 men, Quantrill traveled to Olathe, Kansas, on September 7, 1862, surprising 125 Union soldiers who were forced to surrender. The federal uniforms were forewarned about the attack and were able to counter the raiders, who set fire to a part of the townlet before fleeing.
On August 21, 1863, the most crucial event in Quantrill's guerilla career occurred.
General Thomas Ewing Jr. called for the imprisonment of any citizens assisting Quantrill's Raiders in the weeks leading up to the raid. Several of the rebels' female relatives were held captive in a pretend jail near the Missouri Kansas border. The structure collapsed on August 14, killed four young ladies, and mortally wounded others. Quantrill's troops believed the fall was premeditated, which infuriated them.
On the August 21, Quantrill came down from Mount Oread with a combined army of up to 450 guerrilla fighters, and the band attacked Lawrence.
On Quantrill's directives, the insurgents slaughtered roughly 150 men as well as adolescents who could use a rifle gun. When Quantrill's force arrived at around 9 a.m., the majority of Lawrence's constructions were on fire, except two shops.
In retribution for the invasion that resulted in the death of almost four Missouri counties near the border of Kansas, except a few targeted townlets, compelling thousands of residents to flee their homes, an order was issued on August 25.
Quantrill chose to strike Fort Blair in Baxter Springs, Kansas, on his route to Texas on October 6, following the Battle of Baxter Springs. After being pushed back, Quantrill ambushed and annihilated a Union army rescue column led by General James G. Blunt, who managed to flee, but almost 100 Union troops were murdered.
Quantrill along with his almost four hundred men fought while in Texas. His band broke into multiple smaller guerilla groups, one of which was driven by 'Bloody Bill' Anderson. Quantrill momentarily joined it during a battle in 1864 towards the northside of the Missouri River.
Quantrill mounted a lot of attacks on western Kentucky in 1865, heading only around hundred pro-confederate troops.
Quantrill as well as his guerrilla band were ambushed by the Union on May 10 at Wakefield Farm. He got shot in the back as well as paralyzed below the chest after being unable to flee due to a nervous horse. He was transported in a wagon to the hospital of a military prison located towards the north of Broadway near 10th Street in Louisville, Kentucky.
At the age of 27, he died of his injuries on June 6, 1865, and was buried in St. John's Catholic Cemetery Louisville, Kentucky.
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