Bill Quantrill: Heroes Of The Civil War

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Brock Roach Civil War to Reconstruction 29 July 2012 Bill Quantrill History prefers legends, to men. It prefers nobility, to brutality. Soaring speeches, to quiet deeds. There were heroes on both sides of the Civil War, as is true of all conflict, men who would lay down their lives and push themselves above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that their side had victory that day. Some of these heroes are great leaders of men; Lee and Grant. Some of the men are “child prodigies” McClellan and Custer, all individuals of great military note, and great men of action who are known to the majority of the world for their deeds. But what of the men who fought in the shadows? The men who ensured that travel was dangerous…show more content…
The man’s name was Joel B. Mayes and he was a confederate sympathizer as well as the War Chief of the Cherokee Nation in Texas. He was a half Scotch-Irish, half Cherokee and a private in Company A of the First Cherokee Regiment in the Confederate army. It was Mayes who taught William the ambush fighting tactics used by the Native Americans as well as sneak attacks and camouflage. He learned the art of Guerilla warfare. He learned the ability to hit hard and fast and vanish without a trace, appearing as if from nowhere and then disappearing so quickly that he may have not been there at all. Using these new skills Quantrill, in the company of Mayes and the Cherokee Nations, joined with General Sterling Price and fought at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek and Lexington in August and September of 1861. Bill, however, not wanting to serve another man’s needs, and feeling that he could lead men in this fight, deserted Price’s unit and went to Blue Springs, Missouri where he eventually gathered a core group of men who believed in him and his ambitions for the Confederacy. By 1862 his numbers counted among them the Younger and James Brothers as well as the man who would become his second in command and share equal fame and infamy: William “Bloody Bill” Anderson. Bill Anderson,…show more content…
It prefers nobility to brutality. Soaring speeches to quiet deeds. There were legends in the civil war, great men that history speaks of often and fondly, good or bad. It remembers surrender over taking a last stand, showing those who stand as brave but forgotten. It recalls great speeches that stir the soul and drive men to fight for a cause they may not fully understand and give their all for but it hides and shuns the men who are willing to fight the darkest part of war. The dirty, unconventional part that “civilized” men aren’t willing to take part in. He fought the war that few dared because he believed in it; Bill Quantrill finally found something that was worth it to him. Shaped by his environment and specific events in his life, he committed himself to a side and stuck to it with every breath he had in him. He found a cause to fight and give his all for and that is a commendable and rare thing. He was a wanderer who rose to the ranks of infamy instead of legend, overshadowed by the deeds of the James and Younger brothers, whom he taught every skill that they would use to someday pass into legend themselves. He deserves his place among the pantheon of heroes, not as a murdering guerrilla fighter, but as a man who gave it all for his cause. But alas history is written by the victors and men like him will forever only be known for their brutality, not their commitment to something bigger than

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