Friday, December 11, 2009

William Clarke Quantrill Bones in Kansas?

William Clarke Quantrill (July 31, 1837 – June 6, 1865), was a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War. After leading a Confederate bushwhacker unit along the Missouri-Kansas border in the early 1860s, which included the infamous raid and sacking of Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, Quantrill eventually ended up in Kentucky where he was killed in a Union ambush in 1865, aged 27.

Some people call this man a butcher and some heralded him as a partisan. Regardless the story after his death is as interesting as what happened before his death. He was buried in Kentucky after his death. His mother lived in Dover, Ohio. Twenty years after his death, she, accompanied by a boyhood friend of William, went to bring his body to be re-intered in the family plot in Dover. The cemetery in Kentucky refused their request. The priest did however let her view her son's remains. She identified him by a chipped tooth on his skull. In the dark of night sometime later he was dug up and his remains were stolen.

His skull ended up at the Dover Museum which had it buried in the family plot. His other remaining bones made their way somehow to the Kansas Historical Society as the story goes. The bones were acquired later by the Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans and intered with his former fellow comrades at the Confederate Home of Missouri at Higginsville. The caretaker f the Chapel and cemetery stated that only a few of his bones survived and are buried there. His skull of course is in the family plot in Dover, Ohio and since he was intered without embalming and in a simple wooden coffin initially some of his bones turned to dust. So in the end William C. Quantrill is buried in three different states.

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