Tuesday, May 8, 2012

William "Bill" Anderson

William Anderson usually referred to as "Bill" Anderson, was one of the most daring, brutal and bloodthirsty of those guerrilla captains who harassed Kansas during the early tears of the civil war.  He was born in Missouri but during his boyhood, and in fact up to the breaking out of the war in 1861, he lived with his father on the old Santa Fe trail at the crossing of Bluff creek.  Shortly after the war began, Bill Anderson and his brother James, Lee Griffin and the rice boys, all living in the same neigborhood, announced their intention of taking sides with the south.  Early in June, 1862, Lee Griffin stol a horse and started for Missouri, but he was over taken and brought before a justice of the peace named Baker at Agnes City, at the crossing of Rock creek in the north western part of Lyon County, where he was bound over for trail in a higher court.

This so incensed Bill Anderson father that he loaded his shot gun and started for Baker's residence to avenge the insult.  But Baaker, who been warned, was on the look-out and fired first, killing Anderson.  The tragic death of his father may have made Bill Anderson worse than he would otherwise have been, for he immediately commenced leading raids into Kansas, along the old Santa Fe trail, going as far into the state as Council Grove.

His three sisters Josephine, Mary and Jennie, returned to Missouri, where they were afterward arrested by order General Ewing, and by the fall of the buildind in which they were imprisoned one was killed.  This added gall and wormwood to Anderson, already embittered disposition, and from that time until his death he was more brutal then before.  It is said That his gang did more killing, at Lawrence than any other portion of Quantrill's command.  After the massacre at Baxter Springs he wanted to attack the fort but Quantrill would not consent.  Anderson was killed while on one of his raids, October 27, 1864, and after his death the scalps of two women were found on the headstall of his bridle.

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