The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
Historical Manuscripts Home
Alphabetical List of All Collections | Collections Listed By Subject

Collection Title: Quantrill (William Clarke) Research Collection

Collection Number: M243

Dates: 1858,1860, 1862-1865, 1870, 1884, 1888, 1896-1897, 1903-1910, 1959, 1962-1964

Volume: Two Boxes

Provenance: Donated by Ernest A. Walen to the University of Southern Mississippi in October 1969.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

William Clarke Quantrill was born at Canal Dover, Ohio, on July 31, 1837, the eldest of eight children. His parents were Thomas Henry and Caroline Cornelia (Clarke) Quantrill. William was a school teacher in Ohio and Illinois for a brief period before going to Kansas with a party of settlers in 1857. Although he filed a claim to a tract of land, he was not suited to the settled farmer's life, and in 1858 he joined an army provision train enroute to Utah. Along the journey, at Fort Bridger and Salt Lake City, Quantrill seems to have assumed the name of Charley Hart and become known as a gambler.

Quantrill returned to Kansas and taught school from the winter of 1859 to 1860. During 1860 he lived in the area of Lawrence, Kansasa, continuing his use of the assumed name, Charley Hart. He was connected with several murders and deaths, and a warrant was issued against him for horse stealing. Fleeing the law in December 1860, Quantrill joined a band of five Missouri abolitionists who planned to free the three slaves of a local farmer, Morgan Walker. Quantrill, however, was pro-slavery and made the band's intentions known to Walker. Quantrill fled to Kansas where he was arrested on the earlier charge of horse stealing but was aided in escaping to Missouri.

At the start of the Civil War, Quantrill was associated with the Confederate Army, and he fought at Lexington, Missouri. He became the chief of a guerilla band which raided and sacked communities throughout Missouri and Kansas and experienced numerous conflicts with Union troops. The Union authorities declared Quantrill and his men outlaws in 1862. The Quantrill gang joined with Confederate troops in capturing Independence, Missouri, in August 1862, and that same year was mustered into Confederate Service, with Quantrill being assigned the rank of captain. On later occasions, Quantrill referred to himself as "Colonel", but no official promotion was ever recorded in the Official Records.

On August 21, 1863, Quantrill, with about 450 men, attacked Lawrence, Kansas, destroying homes, stores, and other buildings. Men, women, and children, reportedly between 150 and 182, were murdered and much of the town burned. Two months later a small group of Quantrill's men defeated a Union force at Baxter Springs, Kansas. Through the latter years of the war, Quantrill and his men continued their guerrilla tactics. When, in early 1865, Quantrill and thirty-three men entered Kentucky, they were surprised by a small Federal force near Taylorsville in Spencer County. Quantrill, fatally wounded in the May 10 encounter, died almost a month later in Louisville, Kentucky.

Captain William H. Gregg was an original member of Quantrill's guerrilla band and one of Quantrill's chief lieutenants. After the gang broke up, Gregg joined the Confederate Army in late 1864. Greg and William Elsey Connelley corresponded about Quantrill in the early 1900's for Connelley's book about Quantrill, during which time Gregg was a resident of Kansas City, Missouri.

William Elsey Connelley (1855-1930) was born in Johnson County, Kentucky. He was the author of many books, among them Quantrill and the Border Wars, Doniphan's Expedition, Mexican War, Memoirs of John James Ingalls, , The Heckenwelder Narrative, and The Provisional Government of Nebraska Territories. He was the secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society. Connelley's sentiments were pro-Union and pro-Kansas.

Sara Tappan Doolittle (Lawrence) Robinson (1827-1911) was born in Belchertown, Massachusetts, and became the wife of Dr. Charles Robinson, the first governor of Kansas in 1856. Dr. Robinson became governor again in 1861, and the couple was present in Lawrence, Kansas, on August 21, 1863, the day of Quantrill's raid. Mrs. Robinson was the author of Kansas: Its Interior and Exterior Life in 1855.

Scope and Content:

This collection of documents relating to Confederate Army Colonel Willliam Clarke Quantrill was assembled by Ernest A. Walen to aid his personal research on Quantrill.

The bulk of this collection, Series I, consists of letters and notes from Captain William H. Gregg, who served under Quantrill, to William E. Connelley regarding Connelley's book, Quantrill and the Border Wars (1910). There is also correspondence from Connelley to Gregg; Gregg's manuscript entitled "Quantrill and the Border Warfare"; letters between Charles W. Journey and Connelley dealing with Journey's relative, William McWaters; a letter from Second Lieutenant R. A. Randlett including a letter to him from Colonel John McNeal regarding Randlett's capture; and several newspaper clippings.

The documents in Series I contain information about Quantrill's ancestors, his birth and early life, his excursions in the West, his guerrilla band, some of the men he fought against, other people directly or indirectly involved with him, and his death. They consist largely of personal recollections by participants and spectators, primarily by William Gregg, and often written to William Connelley.

Series II contains miscellaneous information about Quantrill. There are copies of records dealing with Quantrill and his guerrilla band, and letters concerning certain parts of Quantrill's career in the war. Also included are an unsigned, undated pamphlet about the Lawrence Raid, a picture of Frank and Jesse James and Bob and Cole Younger, and a postcard of a Quantrill reunion.

Series III consists of correspondence between Walen and Isobel Baylor Woodson, who was conducting research on Quantrill for Walen, along with several of Walen's drafts of an introduction for his own work, an invoice on the purchase of several research documents, and a letter from Walen's publisher telling Walen how to improve his introduction.


Copies of books by William E. Connelley about William Clarke Quantrill are available in the Cook and McCain Libraries:

Quantrill and the Border Wars (Cedar Rapids, Ia.: The Torch Press, 1910), call number E470.45 .C75 (McCain).

Quantrill and the Border Wars (Cedar Rapids, Ia.: The Torch Press, 1910) [microform], call number Z1236 .L5 and Z1236 .L5 LAC 15003 (Cook).

Quantrill and the Border Wars (New York: Pageant Book Co., 1956), call number E470.45 .C75 1956 (McCain).

Series I: William E. Connelley Research Materials on Quantrill-Box 1.

Series II: Miscellaneous Quantrill Documents collected by Walen-Box 2.

Series III: Materials collected through Walen's research on Quantrill-Box 2.

Box and Folder List:

(Note: Folders Containing both an original and a transcript are indicated are indicated by ** following the folder number.)
Box 1 Series I: Connelley Research Material on Quantrill
Folder 1 ** Gregg to Connelly February 11, 1903; Baxter Springs Affair.
Folder 2**   May 14, 1903; Meeting with John Noland.
Folder 3**   July 31, 1903; General Correspondence
Folder 4**   September 3, 1903; General Correspondence
Folder 5*   November 24, 1903; Quantrill's mother.
Folder 6   December 8, 1903; McFarland's comments on Quantrill; Political comments on the South; newspaper clippings.
Folder 7 Connnelley to Gregg February 8, 1904; Transcribed account of Quantrill's gang at Baxter Springs written by Connelley as told by Gregg.
Folder 8**   November 26, 1904; Spy activity of John Noland
Folder 9**   December 2, 1904; Quantrill's affairs at Morgan Walker's.
Folder 10**   May 13, 11905; Gregg's appointment as Deputy Sheriff of Independence, Missouri, and reunion of guerilla band.
Folder 11   April 30, 1906; Gregg's plans to write more of Quantrill's exploits.
Folder 12   May 13, 1906; Gregg's plans to write more of Quantrill's wartime activities and near arrest in Texas.
Folder 13   July 6, 1906; Gregg's relatives.
Folder 14   October 2, 1906; Earlier settlers of Kansas and the activities of Jim Lane's Marauders.
Folder 15   Gregg to Connelley February 25, 1907; Remarks about T.T Crittenden.
Folder 16 Randlett to Connelly February 25, 1908; Randlett's capture by Quantrill.
  Mcneal to Randlett March 17, 1862; McNeal's feelings about Randlett's capture.
Folder 17 Connelley to Gregg October 12, 1908; Lawrence, Kansas, Raid: Copy of the newspaper article, " Gov. Robinson in the Raid," with comments; Sara Robinson's article," Personal Recollections.of the Quantrill Raid.
Folder 18 Greg to Connelly May 19, 1909; General correspondence.
Folder 19   June 28, 1909; Mentions Morgan Mattox, Frank & Jesse James, Wayman; comments on Sara T.D. Robinson article, Skaggs, Bill Anderson, and Governor Robinson.
Folder 20 Connelley to Gregg August 13, 1909; Asks about reunion and visit with Randlett, and invites Randlett and Cyrus Leland, Jr. to reunion.
Folder 21 Greg to Connelley August 14, 1909; Invitation to reunion.
Folder 22** Connelley to Gregg August 21, 1909; Information on Quantrill from Sylvester Akers.
Folder 23   August 26, 1909; Recommendation to Governor Hadley.
Folder 24 Gregg to Connelley August 31, 1909; Report of interview with Governor Hadley.
Folder 25 Journey to Connelley January 18, 1910; Request for a copy of Connelley's book and offer of information on William McWaters.
  Connelley to Journey February 22, 1910; Report of Connelley's interest in McWaters' information.
  Journey to Connelley April 20, 1910; Information on William McWaters.
Folder 26** Gregg's account of his ancestry No Date.
Folder 27** Gregg's account of his marriage to Elizabeth E. Hook No Date.
Folder 28** Gregg's account, October 1863 - 10 March 1864 Account of Captain Andrew Blunt with Quantrill's Raiders from October, 1863, to March, 1864.
Folder 29** Gregg's account of disintegration of Quantrill's band No Date.
Folder 30** Gregg's account of his horse, Scoggins. No Date.
Folder 31 Gregg's handwritten No Date; "Quantrill and the Border manuscript "Warfare".
Folder 32 Gregg's typescript No Date; "Quantrill and the Border manuscript "Warfare".
Folder 33 Gregg's additions to the manuscript No Date.
Folder 34 Contracts for Gregg's manuscript April 30, 1903; January 18, 1908; Hand-written and typewritten copies of a contract betweeen Gregg and H.L. Arnold for the purchase of Gregg's manuscript.
Box 2 Series II: Miscellaneous Quantrill documents collected by Walen
Folder 1 Photocopies of Quantrill's war records. September 24, 1863; December 2, 1865; (ordered September 24, 1963.)
Folder 2 Photocopies of C.S.A. pay vouchers, etc. November 30, 1862-April 3, 1863; Requisitions and receipts from Quantrill's company.
Folder 3 Photocopies of documents relating to criminal charges against Quantrill. November 18, 1863; September 14 and 15, 1864; December 2, 1865.
Folder 4 Pamphlet. The Lawrence Massacre by a Band of Border Ruffians under Quantrill, August 18, 1863, ca. 1884.
Folder 5 Photograph of Frank & Jesse James and Bob & Cole Younger. No Date.
Folder 6 Postcard of Quantrill reunion. Circa 1907.
Folder 7 George Deitzler to Governor Charles Robinson January 31, 1884; February 22, 1884; Request for information on early Kansas Territory.
Folder 8 P.A. Hawkes to W.W. Scott September 12, 1888; Information on Quantrill in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1858.
Folder 9 W.O. Hutchings to W.W. Scott October 28, 1888; Reports a talk with Mr. Langford. Tells about Quantrill's death and burial under a sugar tree.
Folder 10 Reverend Thos. M. Cobb to Reverend Lutz March 17, 1896; Report of the LawrenceRaid and Quantrill going through Kentucky. Also includes a physical description of Quantrill.
Folder 11 Reverend Lutz to W.W. Scott February 16, 1897; Comments on MorganWalker Raid, and chance of existing pictures of Quantrill.
Folder 12 Sara T.D. Robinson No Date; Recollections of Quantrill.
Folder 13 Photocopy of an essayabout Quantrill 1884; History of Tuscarawas County, pp. 463-4.
Folder 14 Article about Quantrill No Date.
Folder 15 Martin E. Ismert October 13, 1959; Critique of Connelley's Quantrill and the Border Wars, with additional details on the Quantrill/Hart controversy.
Folder 16 Jesse Lee James April 1962; Climax magazine article: "Incredible Ghost Life of Jesse James," pp. 9-20.
Box 2 Series III: Material dealing with Walen's research on Quantrill
Folder 17 H.C. Revercomb to Walen May 9, 1963; Invoice of sale of P.A. Hawkes and Sara T.D. Robinson documents with Connelley's comments.
Folder 18 Woodson/WalenCorrespondence August 31, 1963; Information on Quantrill and a request for his records. See September 4, 1963
    September 13, 1963
    September 24, 1963
    December 11, 1963
    December, 13, 1963
Folder 19 Woodson to Walen February 18, 1964; Research information on Quantrill; photocopy of Lawrence, Kansas, 1860 census listing Charles Hart.
    March 29, 1964
    May 5, 1964
    May 11, 1964
Folder 20 Miscellaneous May 4, 1964
Folder 21 Garrity to Walen December 3, 1964; Concerning Walen's introduction to the book.
Folder 22 Walen's Introduction March 31, 1964
  Walen's Introduction June 19, 1964

Photograph Log: Available.

Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148