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William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson (1839 – 1864) was one of the deadliest and most brutal pro-Confederate guerrilla leaders in the American Civil War. Anderson led a band that targeted Union loyalists and Federal soldiers in Missouri and Kansas. In this badly preserved photo, Anderson lies dead after shooting it out with a Union Army detachment lead by Lt Col Samuel P. Cox near Richmond, Missouri. Historian James Reid posits that Anderson suffered from sadistic personality disorder.
Massacre at Centralia Missouri Bloody Bill Anderson 1864 U s Civil War Card
Frank and Jesse James in 1872. The James brothers were Confederate guerrillas in Missouri during the Civil War.
John Jarrette was a member of William Clarke Quantrill’s Guerrillas. He Rode with Quantrill during the raid on Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, and with Bloody Bill Anderson during the massacre at Centralia, Missouri 1864. After the war, Jarrette joined the Jesse James gang, and was a suspect in the robbery of the bank in Kentucky in 1868. In the photo he wears a captured Union waistbelt plate in the photo.
William "Bloody Bill" Anderson's body photographed and on display for public viewing hours after his death in Richmond, Missouri by Colonel Cox and his Union forces. Anderson, noted Southern Guerrilla leader often riding with Quantrill, his body was found with a string that had 53 knots - symbolizing each person he had killed.
During the Civil War, Missouri was in constant turmoil from raids by heavily armed bands of marauders loosely affiliated with the Confederate army. Federal troops fought more than 1,000 battles in Missouri—mostly with guerrillas. But these numbers mask the level of violence because they do not include attacks on civilians. Ordinary persons felt the dread of uncertainty when riders approached their homes. Were they Union soldiers or guerrillas in blue coats taken off soldiers they had ambushed?