"The Devil Knows How to Ride:
The True Story of William Clarke Quantrill and His Confederate Raiders"
This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 10/17/05 and covered Chapters 14, 15 & Epilogue
10/17/2005 9:00 pm (et) ks:
”Here’s a Sigh to Those Who Love Me”: The Death of Quantrill
Seems like we’ve waited forever for this chapter. ;) Sigh away...
10/17/2005 9:02 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Right off the bat, Leslie continues to analyze Connelley. Leslie determines that "Wayman lied" to Connelly "on several matters," but doesn't feel the need to identify those matters.10/17/2005 9:04 pm (et) Babs: Bugged me too that somehow he knew which accounts were true and which were false. Must be nice to be able to figure that out from such a distance.
10/17/2005 9:04 pm (et) Basecat: amhg, I agree, which has bothered me since I picked up this book. I thought it was supposed to be on Q, and yet all those pages on Connelley drove me nuts. Heck, right a book on what you thought Connelley got wrong, and it's obvious to Leslie, he got everything wrong.10/17/2005 9:05 pm (et) Basecat: Babs...Well said...and wondered if Leslie built a time machine out of a DeLorean...Great Scott!...:)
10/17/2005 9:05 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I thought the book mis titled, Should have been something like, "Myths, Legends and Storys about WCQ10/17/2005 9:06 pm (et) Babs: He probably bought a flux capacitor on eBay.
10/17/2005 9:06 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Not the "True Story"10/17/2005 9:06 pm (et) Basecat: Notice also how they seemed to find religion" by releasing prisoner's after Price was defeated, which is my way of thinking, boys we could be in a lot of trouble for what we done.
10/17/2005 9:06 pm (et) Harry: I will not get into all the different instances where Leslie's bias was so obvious. But it never seemed to occur to him that if individuals did not actively participate in an insurrection that the authorities may not have been so hard on them.10/17/2005 9:07 pm (et) ks: Myths, Legends Stories and most likely LIES as well...
10/17/2005 9:07 pm (et) Babs: about WCQ and anyone else he happened to have some note on.10/17/2005 9:07 pm (et) Basecat: Harry. A very good point..No one is above the law, and it's obvious they surely felt they were right. Deeper I got into this book, the more disgusted I got, as this is not war at all, but just plain killing for the heck of it.
10/17/2005 9:08 pm (et) Harry: The guy strikes me as that most obnoxious of all rebels, the Yankee southern wannabe. Like Krick!10/17/2005 9:08 pm (et) Harry: Both Quantrill and Leslie.
10/17/2005 9:08 pm (et) ks: Terrell sure seemed a fitting lowlife for the job.10/17/2005 9:08 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The death of Jim Little as described by Leslie bothered me a bit too. Q didn't say it, it seems no one said it, but Leslie determined that the death of Little was "An evil omen," because he had been with Q for so long. No doubt others who had been with him from the start had been killed, what made Little's death an "evil omen."
10/17/2005 9:08 pm (et) Basecat: I don't even think he was a rebel...but that's just me.10/17/2005 9:09 pm (et) Harry: Terrell seemed to be as bad as Quantrill...though Leslie obviously thought of him as much worse. Why, I don't know.
10/17/2005 9:09 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Terrel sure seems a piece of work - but then maybe it takes one to catch one.10/17/2005 9:09 pm (et) Basecat: amhg..Liked that one.."evil omen"...Sheesh the writing was on the wall once the raid in Lawrence occurred IMHO.
10/17/2005 9:09 pm (et) Harry: I think of Quantrill as I think of Manson or any other homicidal maniac.10/17/2005 9:10 pm (et) ks: And the injury of his horse was another "omen". I felt like that was Leslie's way of adding to the supposed climax of Q's death. But it didn't read as climactic.
10/17/2005 9:10 pm (et) Babs: Well, Leslie is no Truman Capote.10/17/2005 9:11 pm (et) Harry: Babs, remind me to tell you a very interesting story about Capote, Harper Lee, and "To Kill a Mockingbird" some time.
10/17/2005 9:12 pm (et) amhistoryguy: When I checked some of the sources, like the story of Old Charlie (the horse) it comes from the same sources (Connelley) that Leslie rips as in accurate in other places.10/17/2005 9:12 pm (et) Harry: Well, I guess we all feel pretty much the same about old Bill Quantrill.
10/17/2005 9:12 pm (et) Harry: And about Leslie as well.10/17/2005 9:12 pm (et) ks: Interesting that the Kentucky papers barely mentioned Q's death when it occurred. He was dead but the legends/myths were taking root.
10/17/2005 9:12 pm (et) Babs: You actually used those annoying notes in the back?!?!10/17/2005 9:12 pm (et) Basecat: ks...Made me feel like Q thought he would live through all of this..Came off exactly as you stated. Me, I was screaming, will you kill the SOB already so I can get on with my normal life on Mondays?? :)
10/17/2005 9:13 pm (et) ks: So Leslie uses Connelley's work when it suited his purposes. Interesting...10/17/2005 9:13 pm (et) Harry: ks...true, Q's death was not climactic at all. But not a let down either, since I didn't give a rat's patootie about the man.
10/17/2005 9:13 pm (et) Basecat: Babs..stopped reading the "notes', and I am a notes guy, but that confused me even more.10/17/2005 9:13 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Some of Leslie's choice adjectives are interesting, after losing some men, the "Somber Missourians" rode off. How does he know they were somber. They had been killing and been being killed for years. IMO, you don't say something you don't know is true.
10/17/2005 9:14 pm (et) Harry: Now, T. J. Jackson's death can be couched in somewhat sympathetic terms for me, even though I find the man somewhat reprehensible. Although Robertson's over the top blood sugar tampering version turned me way off.10/17/2005 9:15 pm (et) Babs: Base, I didn't read the notes either as they were a jumble.
10/17/2005 9:15 pm (et) ks: Last line of the chapter I found particularly interesting. The priest's instructions to the sexton and his wife that they should throw their "kitchen slops and night soil" over Q's grave to obscure it so that the body wouldn't be stolen...10/17/2005 9:15 pm (et) Harry: Those notes were garbage, so after a few pages I gave up on them as well.
10/17/2005 9:16 pm (et) Harry: ks...it sounded like a good idea to me.10/17/2005 9:16 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The Sue Munday/ Clark stuff was interesting. Although again, Leslie describes how Clark "cryptically explained" something, without going into how it was "cryptically explained."
10/17/2005 9:16 pm (et) Babs: Am I correct that "night soil" is the contents of a chamber pot?10/17/2005 9:17 pm (et) Harry: ahg...there was way to much "for some unknown reason" stuff in this book for me. It's the job of the historian to find the reason.
10/17/2005 9:17 pm (et) Basecat: Babs...Yeppers...totally apropo, IMHO.10/17/2005 9:17 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Leslie also mentions Clark had "a rather impressive military career" and then goes on to describe his capture and escape from POW camp. Not at all impressive IMO.
10/17/2005 9:18 pm (et) Harry: OTOH, this book has piqued my interest somewhat. I have "Jesse James: The Last Rebel" here and just may have to read it.10/17/2005 9:18 pm (et) ks: Babs, that's what I imagined it to be. And Harry, I too thought it was a good idea. Fitting AND really probably a good deterrent to those who might go digging looking for Q.
10/17/2005 9:18 pm (et) Basecat: Harry..Has piqued my interest in finding a better book on the subject, and like you, have the Stiles book on James here as well to be read.10/17/2005 9:19 pm (et) ks: Other comments on the death of Quantrill?
10/17/2005 9:19 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Nothing like a poorly written book to get me looking at other sources on a subject. Thank you Leslie.10/17/2005 9:19 pm (et) Harry: "Good Riddance"
10/17/2005 9:19 pm (et) Harry: I have Duane Shultz's "10/17/2005 9:20 pm (et) Harry: "Quantrill's War" here
10/17/2005 9:20 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The similarity in death of Q and Booth was intersting.10/17/2005 9:20 pm (et) Harry: Don't have Castel's book.
10/17/2005 9:20 pm (et) Basecat: ks...Just one from me...all of the musters we have gone on, and heard how many soldiers died in the war, and the stories of their deaths remain with you. Can honestly say Quantrill is one of those who got killed during those years as very deserving.10/17/2005 9:20 pm (et) ks: Other than those expected from Harry, I mean. ;) ;) If not...
”The Outlaw Is a Deformity on the Face of Nature:” The Postwar Years
10/17/2005 9:21 pm (et) Harry: ahg...other than being shot in a barn and Booth's being paralyzed for the last few minutes of his life, I don't see a whole lot of parallels.10/17/2005 9:21 pm (et) Harry: ks...am I becoming too predictable?
10/17/2005 9:22 pm (et) Basecat: Booth was nuts, Q was nuttier...10/17/2005 9:22 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Harry besides that, the almost immediate claims that he had somehow escaped death.
10/17/2005 9:22 pm (et) Babs: I would like to fault the editor(s) too. Who let in the following sentence? "Clark, an artilleryman, had had a rather impressive military career- among other things he had been imprisoned in Indiana after the surrender of Fort Donaldson, imprisoned at Fort Morton, in Indiana, escaped, and made his way south." Did we need to be told twice in the same sentence it was in Indiana?10/17/2005 9:22 pm (et) ks: AHG, yes, it was. And for some reason it brings to mind that I'd intended to mention Q's deathbed conversion to Catholicism as interesting as well. Harry, naw. ;) I was thinking more along the lines of my agreeing with you and you saying the things I was thinking.
10/17/2005 9:23 pm (et) Harry: Booth had a cause, though. As misdirected as it was, as hopeless as it was, it was a cause. Q, on the other hand...10/17/2005 9:23 pm (et) Basecat: Babs..an excellent point, and this book was published by Random House, which is not no fly by night outfit...Editing was aful in this book.
10/17/2005 9:24 pm (et) Harry: ks...well, you know there is the whole "Catholics and the Pope murdered Lincoln" thing...10/17/2005 9:24 pm (et) Basecat: Harry...True...maybe a better comparison would be akin to a Mounds Bar and an Almond Joy...
10/17/2005 9:24 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The confusion created by the notes almost acted like a smokescreen for poor scholarship.10/17/2005 9:25 pm (et) Harry: Editors make or break any book. Beatie's AotP books are horribly edited, but there is just way too much good stuff in the books to ignore.
10/17/2005 9:25 pm (et) ks: There is?? Tell me about that one later, Harry.10/17/2005 9:25 pm (et) amhistoryguy: While it did seem a bit out of place in a book claiming to be the "True Story," of Q, the short paragraphs on what happened to others was interesting, if true.
10/17/2005 9:26 pm (et) Harry: ks...I'll send you links to the websites devoted to the cockamamie theory.10/17/2005 9:26 pm (et) Basecat: Hate to say it, most interesting thing I learned in this book, that Leslie's neighbor was a mass murderer. In Leslie's defense, I do think he captured the raid at Lawrence very well. Book went downhill from there though, as just faceless and way too many names got killed, etc.
10/17/2005 9:26 pm (et) ks: I found myself actually pretty intrigued with all of the accounts in the Postwar years of citizens turning on the guerrillas. I guess I've heard so much from Missourians about how the people supported the guerrillas. But the people had obviously had enough treachery.10/17/2005 9:27 pm (et) Harry: Well, my twin is currently filming a movie about Jesse James, so maybe some Q stuff will be in it.
10/17/2005 9:27 pm (et) ks: I'd appreciate that, Harry.10/17/2005 9:27 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I found it kind of telling that in later years, men like Cole Younger "justified" in their own minds things like the Lawrence raid, by claiming there were 600 Union soldiers in Lawrence to fight them. Sort of blocking out the murder of civilians.
10/17/2005 9:28 pm (et) Basecat: Harry...:) Yep, you and Brad Pitt are dead ringers..;)10/17/2005 9:28 pm (et) Harry: BS from a BSer.
10/17/2005 9:29 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Didn't think Leslie's rip of a John Wayne movie, on the Lawrence raid, had a place in the book except to further identify Leslie's agenda.10/17/2005 9:29 pm (et) Harry: He has hands, I have hands, He has eyes, I have eyes. He has Angelina Jolie, I have....
10/17/2005 9:29 pm (et) Babs: Seems Jesse wasn't with Q for very long.10/17/2005 9:29 pm (et) Basecat: And I liked that movie...Yeah it was historical nonsense, but it was well done in terms of being interesting.
10/17/2005 9:30 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Movies are supposed to be entertainment.10/17/2005 9:30 pm (et) Basecat: Exactly amhg...
10/17/2005 9:31 pm (et) Basecat: The Pittsburgh Pirates..;)10/17/2005 9:31 pm (et) Harry: No comparison, Base.
10/17/2005 9:31 pm (et) ks: Now that was in the Epilogue about the movie. I was plumb fascinated by that movie info. Also confused. To me it read like the movie was filmed in a day.10/17/2005 9:31 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The Pirates of Penzance
10/17/2005 9:32 pm (et) Harry: And as much as I hated what I read, I am glad I read the book.10/17/2005 9:32 pm (et) Basecat: ks...1940 IIRC, and one of the only big budget movies Roy Rogers ever starred in..but I digress.
10/17/2005 9:33 pm (et) ks: It was just referring to a movie premiere in Lawrence, wasn't it? Nothing for that film was actually shot there, was it??10/17/2005 9:33 pm (et) Harry: And would like to nominate for a later date and NFFF, Drew Gilpin Faust's "Mothers of Invention."
10/17/2005 9:34 pm (et) Basecat: ks..Don't think so..Have a book on John Wayne films here, and was filmed in California.10/17/2005 9:34 pm (et) amhistoryguy: No, the burning scene shot there with the help of the National Guard, IIRC.
10/17/2005 9:35 pm (et) ks: I chuckled at the burning of Lawrence being staged in "South Park". But then I am similarly amused when they host any Lawrence historical events in SP. That episode of SP concerning CW reenactment comes to mind (not that I regularly watched SP...but I did see that one).10/17/2005 9:35 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Ok, see that the burning staging was for the premier.
0/17/2005 9:36 pm (et) ks: Well, since we're already well into Epilogue material by mention of the movie...
”What Would His Skull Be Worth to Your Society?”: The Bizarre History of Quantrill’s Remains
10/17/2005 9:36 pm (et) ks: AHG, confused me as well.10/17/2005 9:37 pm (et) Basecat: Just read parts of this, and said enough for today. Hard to believe that all this time has been wasted in trying to figure out if bones were actually Q's bones.
10/17/2005 9:37 pm (et) Basecat: To me, just not a major historical event, IMHO.10/17/2005 9:38 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Part of the Myth, Legends and Storys of William Clarke Quantrill.
10/17/2005 9:38 pm (et) Basecat: or whatever his name was..;)10/17/2005 9:38 pm (et) ks: Those accounts of how some of Q's bones ended up with the KSHS and other parts of him elsewhere seemed a fittingly bizarre conclusion to the book. How did reading about the Guerrilla Reunions come across to you all?
10/17/2005 9:40 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Odd, it was almost as if they were looking to somehow justify their criminal behavior as a part of "the war," holding reunions like other war veterans.10/17/2005 9:40 pm (et) Basecat: ks...The reunions did not bother me, for one reason, right or wrong, they did ride together and natural for old cronies to get together as the years went on. That said, those who were proud of their "service", well that bothered me.
10/17/2005 9:42 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The Manson bunch held a "reunion," it might be a bit upsetting.10/17/2005 9:43 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...Have said many times since we got deeper into this book, what took place out there was not war...and hard for me in the future to hear a talk given by someone who would state it was.
10/17/2005 9:44 pm (et) ks: ahg, same thought here. Odd, very odd. But in the final years the comment from Frank James urging his comrades to "adopt a new spirit of humility"...that was a surprise to me. Actual admission that they'd done some very bad things and that they must forgive if they expected to be forgiven.10/17/2005 9:44 pm (et) amhistoryguy: It's either admirable or just dumb luck that there was not violence at these "reunions."
10/17/2005 9:44 pm (et) amhistoryguy: other than the two folks who got shot in the foot.10/17/2005 9:46 pm (et) Basecat: ks.."new spirit of humility"..makes me wonder why that was not thought of during those years they all rode together.
10/17/2005 9:47 pm (et) ks: Expect there would have been violence had they followed through on the Frank Gregg suggestion to hold a guerrilla reunion IN Lawrence with ex-bushwhackers riding "as near as possible" the original route followed 44 years previously. I tend to believe those riders would have taken fire all along their route as well as experienced something very violent IN Lawrence.10/17/2005 9:48 pm (et) Basecat: That's brain surgeon thinking there...Had not read that far, and yep ks, just not a good idea at all.
10/17/2005 9:48 pm (et) ks: Pretty easy to imagine those "roars and lamentations, threats of prosecution and even lynching" that were being mentioned. ;)10/17/2005 9:49 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Yeah, that wouldn't have gone over too good with the descendants of Lawrence victims for sure. I thought the idea to lead the parade with Q's leg bones especially brilliant.
10/17/2005 9:50 pm (et) Basecat: Precedent to that amhg, after all Danny Boy took his dates to see his leg bones from wound at Gettysburg in DC..:)10/17/2005 9:50 pm (et) ks: Base, when you get there it was a KC Journal piece that was *supposedly* the plan of Frank Gregg. But when it came out they pointed out that he'd already been dead for 2 month. It was a political dirty trick to embarass a Confederate veteran who was running for KS governor.
10/17/2005 9:52 pm (et) ks: Which reminds me... ;) That "plan" of Gregg's mentioned asking for the loan of the Quantrill thigh bones that were to be borne at the head of the procession to Lawrence. Outrageous piece, it was.10/17/2005 9:52 pm (et) Basecat: ks...will keep an eye out for that, and yes, I will finish the book...and then place it on the bookshelf, where it will gather dust for the rest of my life as it is highly doubtful it will be used during my remaining time here..;)
10/17/2005 9:52 pm (et) ks: Oh, see that was covered. Answered phone and wasn't up to snuff here. ;)
10/17/2005 9:53 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I'm taking my copy back to the library, pay the overdue fine and never pick it up again.10/17/2005 9:54 pm (et) amhistoryguy: At least I don't have it taking up space on my bookshelves.
10/17/2005 9:54 pm (et) ks: Any thoughts on the re-burial of Q's bones and the military honors, the comments by the priest not wishing to go along with the PC crowd, etc.10/17/2005 9:54 pm (et) Basecat: amhg, Usually we score a ten with books we pick for chats...This has to rank up there with the "Bloody Promenade" book chat as one of the worst choices we have made...:)
10/17/2005 9:56 pm (et) Babs: It's not quite that bad, but close.10/17/2005 9:56 pm (et) Basecat: ks..Priests are like that, as they forgive...part of the job. Military honors makes no sense, as am still trying to figure out what he did that was Military.
10/17/2005 9:56 pm (et) ks: Basecat, but it was more interesting to read than the Bloody Promenade book IMO. Didn't seem like history, but it had it's bizarre qualities that kept me wondering what I might read next.10/17/2005 9:56 pm (et) Babs: I am glad mine is a library copy.
10/17/2005 9:56 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I don't think it was a BAD choice - I learned some things, and now know that this isn't a very good book. It was still interesting.10/17/2005 9:57 pm (et) Basecat: Babs, and ks...agreed, but as I did when we finished that book, will be doing a jig of happiness when this chat is over..;)
10/17/2005 9:57 pm (et) ks: Well MINE is a HB, 1st edition that I acquired via History Book Club. And I'm glad I've finally read it. :) I just wish archie had been along for the entire ride.10/17/2005 9:57 pm (et) amhistoryguy: "Military honors" is a real stretch. I think that would have been contested even by the Confederacy.
10/17/2005 9:58 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Hope Archie is ok. I am surprised he dropped off the face of world without a word.10/17/2005 9:59 pm (et) ks: ahg, I hope this doesn't get me in trouble with anyone who reads the scroll, but as I read of the honors accorded Q by the SCV I had to wonder if they were that desperate to honor someone that they'd stoop to this performance for Quantrill. :(
10/17/2005 9:59 pm (et) Basecat: Paid $6.07 for my copy here...so, I think I got my $6.07 worth out of the book..;)10/17/2005 10:00 pm (et) Basecat: As for Arch, am sure he is OK, and probably found a new job, hence why he has not stopped by of late.
10/17/2005 10:01 pm (et) amhistoryguy: An explanation for "Honoring" folks like Q, is that they were portrayed as avenging Union atrocities.10/17/2005 10:01 pm (et) ks: I can agree with the priest who was stating that it's not our place to judge what transpires between a man and his creator in his dying moments and that he deserved a decent burial. But the gun salute, the reenactors.... :(
10/17/2005 10:01 pm (et) Basecat: BTW...Hats off to ks and amhg for carrying on the entire chat on this book. You each deserve a battlefield promotion..;)10/17/2005 10:02 pm (et) Babs: I agree that he hardly deserves the same type of honors as say the Hunley crew.
10/17/2005 10:02 pm (et) ks: Basecat, do we get points for perfect attendance??10/17/2005 10:03 pm (et) Basecat: ks..Just my opinion, SCV is starved for publicity, but sometimes publicity ain't what it is supposed to be, IMHO.
10/17/2005 10:03 pm (et) amhistoryguy: OH BOY ! On my permanent record ?!!!10/17/2005 10:03 pm (et) Basecat: ks..:) Gave you both a gold star on your report cards..;)
10/17/2005 10:04 pm (et) ks: Thenkew. Thenkew vera much. ;)10/17/2005 10:05 pm (et) Basecat: OK..BRB..off to do my dance..;)
10/17/2005 10:05 pm (et) Babs: New book next week? or waiting 'til Nov.?10/17/2005 10:06 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I enjoyed the discussion very much - and appreciated the insights provided by folks participating. Really pointed out lots I would have missed otherwise - Thanks everyone.
10/17/2005 10:06 pm (et) ks: And we end the book much as we started with reflection on the contents of the refrigerator at the Dover Historical Society. The wax head of Q being slammed in the door so that his nose is smashed. And we're told that it's festooned at Christmas with red and green ribbons. ??? This of a figure honored by the SCV. ???10/17/2005 10:07 pm (et) Basecat: amhg, as did I, and why I truly enjoy these book chats. No one here reads books that I read, and what a pleasure to discuss with folks from all over who share the same interests I do..Thank you ALL!!!
10/17/2005 10:07 pm (et) ks: I'd just as soon wait until November myself. I could probably chat on Halloween, but not without distractions. Things that go bump in the night will be about, I'm sure.10/17/2005 10:08 pm (et) ks: November and Gettysburg Address....doesn't that just FEEL right somehow? ;)
10/17/2005 10:09 pm (et) Basecat: Am all for waiting until November, as am sure events here could occur that would make me miss chats.10/17/2005 10:09 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Sounds good to me ks
10/17/2005 10:10 pm (et) Babs: Good point about Remberance Day. Looking forward to finally reading Edward Evert's comments.10/17/2005 10:10 pm (et) ks: Okay! I'll post accordingly on YODB. Now if you all don't already have a copy of the Wills book, hustle on out and get one! ;) Babs, are you going to be able to take part, or will you be doing the Day 2 Gettysburg book??
10/17/2005 10:11 pm (et) Babs: I will do Gettysburg and join in for Pfranz when it is practical. I will be late if I am here at all this coming Sunday.10/17/2005 10:12 pm (et) ks: Thank you to all who shared in this book chat!
10/17/2005 10:13 pm (et) ks: Headed on out now. Dobre noc! :)
RETURN TO INTRO PAGE