Friday, June 30, 2023

Alamo Jones Is Still Rockin' The Old West Journal

 June 30, 2023

   Taped a new YouTube video on Jesse James today. Meanwhile. . . 

Alamo Jones Rocks Old West Journal Shirt!

    Got this photo from a True West reader, Alamo Jones who hails from St. Louis, asking me if I remember the Old West Journal (see the logo on his sleeve). Well, yes, of course I do. When we bought the magazine in 1999 we actually acquired three titles: Frontier Times, Old West magazine and True West magazine. For about a year we re-formatted Old West, into the Old West Journal, which was an offshoot publication, oversized in an effort to try something new and more hip.

Old West Journal, gone but not forgotten

   Our editor at the time, Marcus Huff led the charge on this and, in fact, he designed this Warhol-ish T-shirt design which still sells today. This shirt is twenty years old and Alamo is still wearing it! Here's the punk ad he probably answered to order the shirt:

Too Hip for The Room?

   Shot on location at a local church in Cave Creek. She had purple hair and worked in the mail room and he is a famous re-enactor nicknamed "Doc."

   The back cover, shot at the Boulder's in Carefree. Deann Giago, Flint Carney and two good looking friends who didn't want their names used in association with the title.

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there."

—Old Vaquero Saying

Thursday, June 29, 2023

A Rebel Angel Gets His Due

 June 29, 2023

   What is the definition of a rebel angel? Someone who rips the ears off his dead enemies, but does it for a noble cause.

Daily Whip Out: "Rebel Angel"

   Yes, I wanted to portray his pistol so large it might be mistaken for an aircraft carrier, and, yes, I know this is somewhat blasphemous, but, as the Rebs are fond of saying, "All's fair in love and war." Well, happy dismembering to you, too!"

Birth of A Bushwhacker

   Who taught Jesse James to be a stone-cold killer? This guy.

Daily Whip Out: "Bloody Bill"

Did Jesse James Suffer From Lead Poisoning?


How Crazy Was Jesse James?


Who Made Jesse James A Martyr?

   This guy.

The Coward

The Terrible Wounds of Jesse James

   How many bullets was Jesse James still carrying in his body when he was assassinated? At least two.

Who Was Not A Fan?

Allan Pinkerton On Horseback

“I consider Jesse James the worst man, without any exception, in America. "

—Robert Pinkerton, 1879

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Hey, Siri, How Many In-dins Are There In The Little Bighorn Area?"

 June 27, 2023

   Well, I knew it was coming, I just didn't know it would be this funny.


"Hey, Siri, how many In-dins are there

in the Little Big Horn area?"

 Siri's Probable Answer:

“Would you like that estimate BY TRIBE or do you just want a TOTAL number?”

—Alan Watkins

Dead Daltons Checking Their Phones

One Last Time

Googled "How to Hold Up Stage" instead of "How to Stage a Hold Up"

—Steve Sanders

This Mug Is On The House

   The Murphy-Dolan House has got nothing on this Regulator. When it comes to loving Billy the Kid, nobody can top Linda Pardo, seen here with a cup of Joe in her "Hello, Bob" coffee mug which I gave to her "on the House," if she promised to send me a groovy photo of herself using it. I think she completed the assignment.

Linda Pardo's "On The House" Mug

   If you want your own mug, check them out right here:

"It doesn't matter how old you are, buying snacks for a road trip should always look like an unsupervised 10-year-old was given $100."

—Old Road Tripper Saying

Monday, June 26, 2023

Was Jesse James An Angel Sent From Heaven?

 June 26, 2023

   This just in: some of the facts in my Jesse James stories might be untrue. Which Jesse James stories? You know, the one with facts in them.

Daily Whip Out: "Crazy Jesse James"

   Here are a couple corrections, rebuttals and additions to my postings:

   "While Jesse undoubtedly had some input, the James-Younger gang, which met its end at Northfield, Minnesota in 1876, was co-led by Frank James and Cole Younger. The number of their robberies is debatable. Jesse wasn't a leader until 1879, when he formed his own gang. He was by then almost certainly suffering from lead poisoning, having a .36 caliber bullet fired from an 1851 Colt Navy revolver imbedded in his right lung since May, 1865. Among the textbook symptoms he exhibited were poor judgement, extreme mood swings and paranoia. Between 1879 and his death in 1882, he was definitely involved in the Oct. 8, 1879 train robbery at Glendale, the robbery of the Dovey coal mine's company store in Muhlenberg County, Ky. in the spring of 1880, the robberies of two stagecoaches near Mammoth Cave, Ky. on Sept. 3, 1880 and the robbery of a government paymaster near Muscle Shoals, Al. on March 11, 1881. He is almost universally implicated in the July 15, 1881 train robbery at Winston, Mo. and the Sept. 7, 1881 train robbery at Blue Cut (in present-day Independence, Mo.). They were definitely committed by members of his gang, most likely led by James Andrew "Dick" Liddil. who, with Charlie Ford, robbed a stagecoach near Excelsior Springs, Mo. on August 15, 1881 and, with Bob & Charlie Ford and Clarence & Wood Hite, a stagecoach near Lexington, Mo. on Aug. 25, 1881. There is ample reason to doubt that Jesse took part in the train robberies at Winston and Blue Cut."

—Chuck Rabas

Daily Whip Out: "Paranoid Jesse James"

Whatever You Want Him to Be

   "I think this is what has enabled Jesse to be interesting for so long. He can be what you want him to be —the romantic Robin Hood character who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, the freedom fighter who handed out social justice rather than currency, the political terrorist who murdered in the name of a cause but who is ultimately defeated in the same way we must hope to defeat terrorism. But that is all what WE want him to be. What we think he is based on what we think he did. A real person, manipulated through time until he is lost. In that sense, he's probably more like Robin Hood than we realize.

   "'At intervals they invited all their neighbors to their Big Bottom place and served an excellent dinner, which was followed by dancing. Hospitality is the soul of the south.' St. Louis Post Dispatch  June 24, 1923, containing interviews with those who knew Jesse and Zee during their time in Tennessee. 'He was a lithe, handsome fellow, in spite of chin whiskers which would have ruined a more virile face, and he rode like a Centaur.' Same newspaper."

—Michelle Pollard

Daily Whip Out: "The Angel Jesse James"

   Somewhere between what historians have said he did and what his enemies claimed he did and what we want to believe he did is the real Jesse, but as Michelle Pollard points out, above, Jesse has been manipulated so much through time he has all but been lost. Well, this may sound pretentious, but I intend to find the real Jesse. How? By showing every aspect of his crazy life—vetted to the max—until it sits up and sings.

   For starters, did Jesse James and his fellow robbers wear bandana masks like in all the old Westerns we grew up watching?

The Adair, Iowa Robbery

“Got out of there, damn you get out of there; we are grangers, and rob the rich and give to the poor.” …The remaining robbers, fully masked Ku-klux style sacked the express safe…"

—St. Louis Daily Globe July 23, 1873

   Okay, there goes that concept. Ha. I have a hunch there will be a few more before we go to press.

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but rather their inward significance."


A New Way to Access True West!

 June 26, 2023

   Our tech team has just created a new way to access True West magazine. Check it out:

True West Magazine has launched its first mobile app to a global audience across all major platforms, including Apple, Google, and Amazon.


The new app puts everything True West right at users’ fingertips and all in one simple place.


Users can unlock specific issues for a small fee, just like purchasing a copy on the newsstand. Users can also subscribe, either monthly or annually, unlocking all issues back to 2015. 

The new True West Mobile App is a stand-alone subscription product and is not connected to or included with existing True West Print or Digital subscriptions. A separate and unrelated subscription is required to use the app and is managed through the app platform providers—Apple App Store, Google Play, or Amazon App Store.


Before any purchase commitment, each issue allows free 5-minute access to give users a “test drive” and all subscriptions start with a 1-week free trial that users can cancel for any reason.


True West is offering all downloads of the app 100% free access to its July/August issue, featuring Kit Carson the Conquest of California.


True West Magazine followers can now experience all that is True West in one, simple and unified mobile platform, downloadable on all Apple and Android devices, through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon App Store. Download by clicking the links below or by scanning the QR code.


Apple App Store:

Google Play:

Amazon App Store:

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Weston Allen Out West Reading The 66 Kid

 June 25, 2023

   It was ten years ago yesterday that I was first introduced to this stylish little cat with the hat.

Weston Allen Checks In

   Here he is recently, reading a certain book about the shenanigans of his grandfather and great grandfather.

Weston Out West Reading "The 66 Kid"

   Our man, Steve Todd, has been set up on Allen Street in the Town Too Tough to Die all weekend.

Steve Todd Does Community Service

   This is the weekend of the 30th Anniversary of the film 'Tombstone' and Steve tells me there are some 4,000 people in town for the event.

"For men, the first 50 years of childhood are the hardest."

—Old Macho Saying

Saturday, June 24, 2023

How Crazy Was Jesse James? And, Can We Believe His Crime Stats?

 June 24, 2023

   Crazy times make crazy people. Just look at our current times. I, for one, am crazier than ever!

   Meanwhile, just how "crazy" was Jesse James? Well, for starters he was born into a  ridiculous, firestorm of violence which he had nothing to do with. And, that, for starters, gives him a wide berth when it comes to the interpretation of the word "crazy."

Daily Whip Out: "Born Into A Firestorm"

   Here's what one of my blog friends has to say about it:

Seven Shades of Crazy

"Correct me if I'm wrong but any illustration of Jesse should reflect the 'crazy' in the guy. Was it his Mama? His daddy leaving home, never to return? Or, perhaps that bomb thrown through the window leaving Mama Z with an amputated arm? Seeing his step-daddy strung up? His own gunshot wounds, his rampant paranoia.....whatever....he was a good deal south of sane. But by golly....the guy had sand."

—Desert Sun

Daily Whip Out:

"Dark & Paranoid Jesse #2"

   Here's another angle I'm working on for the book and it's far from complete.

Jesse James by The Numbers

• 24 robberies

• 11 banks

• 7 trains

• 3 stagecoaches

• 1 town looted

• 1 fairgrounds gate receipts robbery

• 1 steamboat robbery

• 19 year career of committing "crimes"

• $323,000 estimated dollars stolen (a gang member, "Doc" Miller claimed the actual take was much higher because of under-reporting by railroads: $1,038,000)

• 17 number of killings (not all can be attributed to Jesse and some were done in wartime)

• O minutes spent behind bars. Jesse was never arrested or captured

• 27,000 the estimated number of Missourian deaths from guerrilla violence during the Civil War.

• 37 number of movies about Jesse, so far

   Do any of these stats change the way we think about Jesse? Not really, because. . .

"There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics."

—Old Vaquero Saying

Friday, June 23, 2023

Jesse James Ensnared by A Wasp-Waisted Yankee Babe!

 June 23, 2023

   Still noodling cover ideas. First up is a What would Bob Dylan do concept?

Daily Rough Cover Whip Out:

"Jesse's Good lookin' 'Cause He's So Hard to See"

   Okay, that's actually more John Lennon than Dylan, but you get the picture. One thing is certain, I'm thinking this next book needs a bold, red cover.

Daily Whip Out Sketch:

"The Horseback Pillager"

   And, speaking of pillaging, I found the below illustration in Frank Leslie's Illustrated History of The Civil War showing Union troops "foraging" for supplies. I have a strong hunch if the exact same scene was representing Confederate troops they would be described as "pillaging."

North vs. South: Foraging vs. Pillaging

   And, now we come to the gifting generously department. I found this little Jesse gem, below, while looking for something else and it was a gift from my artist friends Merrill and Jeanne Mahaffey who were at a Hospice Gift Store and they sent it to me with a note: "thought you might enjoy." Oh, yes and it will be in the book. Thank you!

Jesse James Ensnared by A
Wasp-Waisted Yankee Babe

   I think this is my favorite Bushwhacker photo, so far.

Quantrill's Raiders

   And, here's a sweet little sidebar on the walls at the Arrow Rock Museum in Missouri.

   I'm compiling quite a list of great quotes, more tomorrow.

"Got to be good lookin' 'cause he's so hard to see."

—John Lennon, "Come Together"

Thursday, June 22, 2023

That Time I Got Shown the Show Me State


June 22, 2023
   Last May I had the privilege of visiting a whole slew of Jesse James history sights in the great state of Missouri (Missour-ah, as they pronounce it). Thanks to the knowledge and generosity of my guide, Mark Lee Gardner, we hit the high spots, from the Jesse James Farm to the Jesse James Home in Saint Joe, and many battlefields and graveyards in between.
   Besides the rich history I discovered (I never knew the Santa Fe Trail started in Franklin, Missouri!) we encountered great people and great food, from BBQ in Jeff City (what they call the state capital Jefferson City) to Boudreaux's Louisiana Seafood and Steaks, catty-ccorner from the Buchanan County Courthouse where Bob and Charley Ford pleaded guilty to Jesse's murder. All of these great sites are available for anyone who loves history like we do. In fact, we are planning a return visit and tour next year to celebrate the publishing of my next book, The Illustrated Life & Times of Jesse James. Stay tuned, we're going to make this a fun road trip for and all the readers of True West magazine.

Mark Lee Gardner's Itinerary
   Fly into Kansas City. I'm assuming you've already been to the Jesse James Home in St. Joe, but if you haven't, that's obviously a must-see. Even if you have seen it, I'm guessing you'll be planning to go back. Anyway, it's 37 miles north of KCI. Also while in St. Joe, don't skip the Buchanan County Courthouse, built in 1873. The judge's bench in Division 6 is supposed to be the bench where Bob and Charley pleaded guilty to Jesse's murder. You'll have to ask to see it. A very cool historic building. If it's around lunchtime, Boudreaux's Louisiana Seafood and Steaks is catty-corner to the courthouse. The restaurant has a wonderful antique backbar that came from Chadron, Nebraska. Also check out the 1859 Missouri Valley Trust Building, just two and a half blocks away on Felix Street. If you can get inside, you'll see a perfectly preserved 19th-century bank interior. Amazing. The movie Paper Moon includes a scene at this building. 

Before leaving St. Joe, visit the Heaton Bowman Smith Sidenfaden Funeral Home. (Yes, I said funeral home.) They have on display the original undertaker's basket that was used to carry Jesse's body to the Sidenfaden establishment and also Sidenfaden's original 1882 ledger that contains the entry for the outlaw.

The Jesse James Birthplace Museum is 27 miles northeast of KCI. Allow yourself at least half a day here, because not only will you want to go through the house, but you'll want to spend some time in their Milton F. Perry Research Library. The research files in the file cabinets are what you want to concentrate on. Anything pertaining to Jesse, Frank, the James family, the James-Younger gang, known robberies, etc., has a file. Extremely useful. Beth can also show you some things that aren't on display. For example, the Jesse ambrotype and other fascinating artifacts.

Daily Whip Out: "Dapper Mr. Howard"

After your done at the James farm, drive three miles east to Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and Historic Site. The Watkins family were neighbors of the Jameses, and their correspondence often mentions the doings of the boys. The home and mill date to before the Civil War and would have been well known to Jesse and Frank. Be sure to take the mill tour, as well as the house tour. The mill contains nearly all of its original machinery. The Watkins home featured in several scenes in Ride With The Devil, which you definitely want to watch before your trip. Watch the Criterion Collection edition.

The Jesse James Bank Museum is in nearby Liberty. Jesse wasn't involved in this robbery, but it marks the beginning of Missouri's bank and train robbery era.

Forty minutes southeast of the James Farm is the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site, which you should definitely visit. But on your way, stop in Richmond. Bob and Charley Ford are buried in the Richmond Cemetery, just a few blocks west of the courthouse square. The homestead of the Ford family was within site of this cemetery to the west. About six or so blocks north of the courthouse square is the Pioneer Cemetery. This is the final resting place of Bloody Bill Anderson (in the corner). By the way, there's a great bronze of Alexander Doniphan, the legendary hero of Sacramento, in the courthouse square. Now, head on to Lexington. Frank James participated in this fight, known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales. The small visitor center does a good job of interpreting the conditions in Missouri prior to the outbreak of the war. Next take time to see the historic buildings in town, including the antebellum courthouse, which has a cannonball embedded in one of the columns. A wounded Jesse recuperated in a Lexington hotel after his surrender, and bushwhacker and James boys pal Arch Clements was killed in Lexington shortly after the war. If it's lunchtime, hit the old Maid-Rite drive-in, a local institution. I grab a Maid-Rite sandwich there at least once a year, a real treat.

You'll of course want to visit one of the James-Younger gang robbery sites, and there's none better than Rocky Cut, an hour and twenty minutes southeast of Lexington. The robbery site is just east of the little town of Otterville. There's a historical marker in BrownField Roadside Park, on old Highway 50. Leave your vehicle in the park's parking lot and walk west downhill until you can cut through the narrow slip of woods on your left, separating you from the railroad tracks. When you get to the tracks, look east and you'll get a good view of the cut through the limestone bluff. The opening chapter of my Shot All To Hell chronicles this famous robbery.

Make time after or before visiting Rocky Cut to stop in Sedalia, Missouri, which is 15 miles west of Rocky Cut. Lots of meal options there (home of the Missouri State Fair!). Also, be sure and check out the restored Katy Depot, 600 E. Third Street. A wonderful building and restoration.

If you can squeeze it in before heading back to KCI, visit the 1859 Jail Museum in Independence. You can see the original jail cell where Frank James was held awaiting trial.
—Mark Lee Gardner

And Now We Have to Say Goodby
to Cormac One More Time
"Why would someone want to read a novel whose graphic acts of brutality make Hieronymous Bosch's paintings look like a children's coloring book? A simple answer is Mister McCarthy's writing. Without question he was one of the best stylists of the 20th Century—stripping punctuation to its studs, embracing diction archaic and mellifluous, apt to reduce sentences to the fewest possible words but unafraid to let them gallop along at full tilt when they needed to. A dying man lets out 'a howl of such outrage as to stitch a caesura in the pulsebeat of the world.' Parties passing in the night are 'pursuing as all travelers must inversions without end upon other men's journeys.'"
—Brian P. Kelly, revisiting Cormac McCarthy's "Masterpiece" in The Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

First Pass at Jesse James Intro Pages

 June 21, 2023

   Here is the view from my art desk this morning.

Jesse James On The Brain

   I'm busy noodling the first eight pages of my next book where I will give a glancing blow at the themes therein.

Every Kid has a future

"Jesse James Before The Storm"

Every criminal has an excuse

"His sister was crushed"

Every alias has a clue

"The Dapper Mr. Howard"

Every legend has a curse

"Oh, I want that reward!"

Every survivor has a secret

"He killed Joseph Heywood"

"Out of this tragedy rose a legend that resonates to this day."

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Bloody Bill's Bloody Scalps Puts The Apaches In The Shade

 June 20, 2023

    It's hard to imagine anyone being more of a deadly sociopath than William Anderson, better known as "Bloody Bill." Often donning the uniforms of their opponents, Bill and his men, including Jesse James, spread fear throughout Missouri during the Civil War. They were all known for decorating their saddles with the scalps of slaughtered foes. His men called him the Old Man, but Bloody Bill was 23-years-old.

Daily Whip Out:

"Bloody Bill's Bloody Scalps"

   When Union troops finally brought him down in an ambush and they rounded up his horse they discovered "two fresh scalps on his bridle."

  So, here is a touchy—to say the least— subject: where on the bloody Bushwhacker's bridle might he have hung human scalps? To me, it seems like it would freak out the horse. I have asked several cowboys and horsemen I know and they all agreed, most horses would not like the proximity of bloody human hair to be remotely near their face. When I asked Mark Lee Gardner this burning question, he sent me these two ledger drawings, by Lakota warriors illustrating where they displayed their scalps.

Lakota Scalps Horseback Placement

   I have a hunch, hanging scalps from the bridle bit might be an option (as an extension of the scalp dangling in the above illustration shows). I'm curious, anyone know of any specific description of this brutal custom?

   And yes, I must say, this gruesome and brutal tradition during the war in Missouri puts the Apaches in the shade.

"The bodies of the dead, even of a savage enemy shall not be subjected to indignities by civilized and Christian men."

—Colonel H. S. Jarrett

Monday, June 19, 2023

What In The Sam Hill? Crowd Sourcing & More Jesse Conundrums

 June 19, 2023

   It was my Norwegian grandmother's favorite saying: What in the Sam Hill? Thus the title of this photo.

What in The Sam Hill Crowd

Photo taken at my history talk last Saturday night at the Prescott History Foundation dinner in the historic Sam Hill Warehouse. Left to right, our editor, Stuart Rosebrook, Amy Moseley, BBB, Nancy Beets and Dennis Gallagher, the founder of the organization. We had some major fun.

A Fun fact: Nancy Beets lives in Prescott, works for Southwest Airlines as an air hostess out of Sky Harbor in Phoenix. She drives to work (two plus hours each way) and it is a job she has had for the last 41 years! I know. Good genes right there.
Speaking of good genes, here is my Norwegian grandmother on her wedding day.

Minnie Hauan Bell

More Jesse James Conundrums
He was the son of a Baptist preacher who owned slaves. He prayed fervently and often out loud. He allegedly shot his nearest neighbor, Daniel Askew, three times in the face. He has been described as a kind man and a dapper dresser. He had a prankish charm. He laughed at everything.

Daily Whip Out:
"Jesse Watches As The World Burns"

Of course, Jesse was the exception and some Bushwhackers went on to become solid citizens after the war.

Daily Whip Out: "A Partisan Ranger"

The truth is not facts lined up. And, if that isn't enough to ruin a historian's day, here is another fact: writers who lean on just the facts, are, in fact hacks.

"Clear writing gives poor thinking nowhere to hide."

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them."
—Ray Bradbury

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Jesse James In A Box of Staggering Contradictions

 June 18, 2023

   I absolutely love finding old photographs, especially if they show unique clothing styles, random, dangling weapons and bizarre hat choices. Here is a good example.

A Rare Quantrill's Raiders Photo

Bill Bassham on right, unidentified on left. from the Wilbur Zink collection

How Do We Make History More Popular?

   Spoke to members of my tribe last night, at a gathering of the Prescott Western History Foundation crew. Gave my talk in the Sam Hill Warehouse, about the epidemic failure of history appreciation and how to overcome it. Cliff Notes version: Tell better stories!

Preaching to The Choir

This is not to say, the telling of true history is easy.

Down The Rat Hole of History

   In virtually all history, there are so many contradictions, so many opposing views, so many interpretations of all of the above, that it's hard to get at even small, tiny truths, much less THE truth. A case in point.

Daily Whip Out:

"Jesse James In A Box, Within A Box, of
Staggering Contradictions"

   Here's a sad truth about the search for facts and the truth. I could have sworn the quote, below, is from Richard Avedon, but when I Googled it, the only two references that confirm it, are from my blog. Ha!

"There is no history. There is no truth. There is only the way the story is told."

—Richard Avedon

Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Stars & Bars vs. Quantrill's Flag? Frank James Humorless?

 June 17, 2023

   Frank James allegedly quoted Shakespeare at odd times during his violent career, prompting a fellow gang member to comment, "What good is Shakespeare at a time like this?" Or, words to that effect.

Daily Whip Out: "Frank James Seriously"

   And, according to a noted newspaperman, Frank was a bit humor challenged. John Newman Edwards, rode out to the James family farm north of Kearney, Missouri, and interviewed the brothers and captured the differences between them, in a St. Louis Dispatch article, published on November 22, 1873:

“Jesse laughs at everything—Frank at nothing at all. Jesse is light-hearted, reckless, devil-may-care—Frank sober, sedate, a dangerous man always in ambush in the midst of society. Jesse knows there is a price upon his head and discusses the whys and wherefores of it—Frank knows it too, but it chafes him sorely and arouses all the tiger that is in his heart. Neither will be taken alive. Killed—that may be."

  One of the fascinating discoveries I have found from doing Jesse James and the Civil War, is that the contentious Stars & Bars—the ubiquitous Confederate flag in all those Civil War movies we grew up on—was not used by the partisan rangers in Missouri, which begs the question: did the Bushwhackers carry any flags?

Daily Whip Outs: "Jesse & The Stars & Bars"

  Thanks to Paul Hoylen for turning me on to a history site called Kansapedia, an arm of the Kansas State Historical Society, where I found this interesting item:

   "Just after midnight on September 7, 1862, the town of Olathe, Kansas, was overrun by Confederate guerrillas.

   "In the hours before dawn the raiders killed several men and looted businesses and private homes. This flag apparently was carried by one of the raiders and dropped in the public square.

A Quantrill Battle Flag?
(and more importantly,
is that a fist, or a bad tree?)

   "The flag's existence raises many questions. Quantrill is not known to have carried any sort of flag; this is supported by some of his men in post-war accounts. Claims that he carried a black flag with the misspelled name 'Quantrell' in red originated in popular writings of the 1880s and have no basis in fact.

   "The flag's small size—just seven by 13 inches—also is unusual. One possible reason for the flag's small size is offered in Alan Sumrall's Battle Flags of Texans in the Confederacy, which cites a flag from the First Texas Infantry Regiment at approximately the same dimensions. It is referred to as a 'streamer' flag, placed on the staff above the regimental flag. But if Quantrill carried no large flag, a companion 'streamer' flag would not seem to be justified.

   "Another explanation may be found in the traditional use of "Bible" flags by both northern and southern families. These textiles were placed in the large family Bibles of the time to mark passages of scripture. Perhaps one of the raiders carried the flag as a keepsake, only to lose it in Olathe."


   To read the entire entry, go here:

A Quantrill Battle Flag?

"I have been under the impression that during the Civil War the stars and bars were, uniquely, the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and it was only after the war that it became ubiquitous. To fly the actual national flag of the CSA would still be an act of rebellion but the battle flag while, as you put it, contentious, wasn't outright rebellion. It has been my impression that Quantrill's Raiders and the other 'Partisan Rangers' fought under their unit banners and only adopted the Stars & Bars flag after the war."

—W. Fleetwood