Cole Younger Rode with Quantrill During the Civil War
Border Wars along Kansas-Missouri line was a bloody chapter in the Civil War history.
Not as much has been said or
written about the Border Wars as about the Civil War. And yet, the two are a
part of each other. The fighting along the Kansas-Missouri line was cruel and
bloody. William Clark Quantrill was a guerrilla warfare leader in this area and
had among his followers such outlaws as the James brothers and Cole Younger and
Quantrill and his men were causing
such havoc along the border that Gen. Thomas Ewing Jr. issued Order No. 11, the
gist of which meant swift and cruel punishment to anyone harboring Confederate
soldiers. In this region it was hard to tell who leaned toward the Union and who leaned toward the Confederacy.
The story comes down through my
husband's family of an unusual incident that happened about this time. Cole
Younger took a chance when he knocked on the door of this farmer, asking for a
place for his band of men to camp. They needed to rest, eat and sleep, he told
This man stood in the door looking
at the band of rough-looking men. What was he to do? If he said they could
stay, he might be turned in as a Confederate sympathizer. If he told them they
couldn't stay, there was no telling what might happen. He silently assessed the
situation and decided for the sake of his family, he must tell them they could
stay. However, in return, he extracted a promise from Cole that no one in his
family would be harmed.
When the farmer started to tell
Cole where he should camp, Cole informed the farmer he had already checked out
the situation and had found the perfect place to camp. A spring, feeding into a
creek with tall trees and brush, which would hide his men from prying eyes,
would be the right site.