CPT William Clarke Quantrill

CPT William Clarke Quantrill

Dover, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, USA
Death 6 Jun 1865 (aged 27)
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Dover, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, USA
Plot Flat marker
Memorial ID 5556 · View Source
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Civil War Confederate Partisan Leader. The leader first of the Missouri Partisan Rangers, then the "Quantrill's Raiders" guerillas during the Civil War, he won renown for possessing excellent leadership skills, horsemanship and exercised unique warfare tactics. Born in Canal Dover, Ohio (now simply Dover) the oldest of 8 children to a father who labored as a tin smith, he was educated at Canal Dover Union School, of which his father was a Director and afterwards superintendent. After the untimely death of his father, Quantrill became a teacher in one of the lower grades helping to support the family. He went to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and furthered his education and studied Latin, trigonometry, philosophy and surveying. On returning to Dover, his journey to Kansas was consummated by his mother who arranged for neighboring farmers to purchase a Kansas claim in his name and then accompany them west. Upon the start of the Civil war, Quantrill joined the Confederate army. When the defeated Southern forces left the state, he stayed behind and formed his own band of guerrillas. Among them was teenager Cole Younger and Frank James, the brother of Jesse. Their revenge raid on the town of Lawrence, Kansas still lives today in infamy, for they killed 150 townspeople while burning and looting. After four years of operation, Quantrill and remnants of his raiders were cornered in a barn in Spencer County, Kentucky by a Union Cavalry detachment. While attempting an escape, a shot left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was transferred to the Federal military hospital in Louisville, then to a Catholic Hospital. Lingering for a month, he died at age 27. He had made arrangements with the hospital priest for purchase of a lot with marker and burial in St. Mary's Cemetery. The priest, fearing vandals, ordered the grave restored to a natural condition without a marker. Some twenty years later, the strange odyssey and the disbursement of his bones began. Quantrill's mother arrived in the company of her son's boyhood friend. A request made to take the remains back to Ohio was refused. However, it was agreed the grave would be dug up and the contents viewed. Quantrill's friend took the skull to Mrs Quantrill who identified it based upon a chipped tooth. Under cover of darkness, the entire box was stolen. Upon return to Dover, the bones were interred in the family plot in the Dover 4th St Cemetery minus the skull and various bones the unscrupulous friend had removed and kept. Some bones ended up at the Kansas State Historical Society and the skull to the Dover museum until buried in a separate container in the family plot. The stolen parts were repatriated by the Missouri Division of the Sons of Confederate Veteran's and are buried among his comrades at the Old Confederate Veteran's Home Cemetery, Higginsville, Mo. Most monuments to William Quantrill's legacy are located in Lawrence, Kansas. With his famous order: "Kill every man and burn every house" the total destruction of the town followed and was left a smoldering ruin. Today much of its Civil War history remains. Many of the buildings constructed following the raid are still in use. Most noteworthy was the destroyed Free State Hotel which was rebuilt using the original corner stone and it became the Eldridge Hotel. After the raid the resilient citizens of Lawrence buried most of the dead in old Oak Hill Cemetery and erected a freestanding Monument.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield





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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 May 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5556
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for CPT William Clarke Quantrill (31 Jul 1837–6 Jun 1865), Find a Grave Memorial no. 5556, citing Fourth Street Cemetery, Dover, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .