Brilliantly weaving together eyewitness accounts, letters, memories, newspaper articles, and military reports into a riveting narrative, this definitive biography reveals the personality of William Clarke Quantrill (1837-1865) and the events that transformed a quiet Ohio schoolteacher from a staunchly Unionist family into a virulent pro-slavery Confederate soldier and the most feared and despised guerrilla chieftain of the Civil War. This ground-breaking work includes the most accurate account ever written of the 1863 Lawrence, Kansas massacre (the greatest atrocity of the Civil War), when Quantrill and 450 raiders torched the Unionist town and executed roughly 200 unarmed, unresisting men and teenage boys. It also details the postwar outlaw careers of those who rode with him,Frank and Jesse James, and Cole Younger. No other history so fully penetrates the myth of a cardboard-cutout psychopath to expose Quantrill in all his brutality and human complexity.
Edward E. Leslie is a professional writer and author of the internationally acclaimed Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls. He lives in Ohio.
* Introduction * The War over Kansas Territory, 18541861 * Quantrills Family Background and Early Years * Quantrills Western Travels * The Morgan Walker Raid * Quantrill Becomes a Guerrilla * Ambushes and Reprisals * The Raid on Independence * Prelude to the Lawrence Massacre * The Lawrence Massacre * The Pursuit of Quantrill and the Issuing of Order No. 11 * The Baxter Springs Massacre * The Usurpation of Quantrill * During the Summer and Fall of 1864 * The Death of Quantrill * The Postwar Years * Epilogue: The Bizarre History of Quantrills Remains