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Guerrillas

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Paper Prints approximate image size is: 15x21

Exploding out of the murky shadows of the Missouri landscape, a band of guerrillas sweeps down upon their unsuspecting prey with a bloodlust born of the raw passions of desperate times.

These men are part of the loose brotherhood of guerrillas led by William Clarke Quantrill and his lieutenants Bloody Bill Anderson, George Todd and others. The men they led included a few who achieved notoriety after the war: Frank and Jesse James, Cole Younger and his clan.

The guerrillas were effective, brutal raiders, well mounted and well armed with shotguns, carbines and the ubiquitous Colt revolver. Many of the men carried four or more Colts each, enabling them to fire repeatedly before reloading.

They even had a uniform of sorts… the “Guerrilla Shirts” of loose fit, open collar, large pockets and embroidered lace trim usually done by a female admirer.

Quantrill’s men fought on behalf of the Confederacy but his ties to military authority were tenuous and his methods were unfettered by convention. His recruits were obligated to “kill all those who serve and support the Union”.

Such was the nature of the Civil War in Missouri, particularly along the Kansas border where conflict between abolitionists and pro-slavery people had brewed violence and hatred since the 1850’s. Border ruffians, Jayhawkers, bushwhackers, Red Legs and guerrillas… many of these men fought for causes they believed in but the general lawlessness and brutality inevitably led to random killings, robbery and destruction

.

September 2006

 

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