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"The Bloodiest Man In American History " Topic

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603 hits since 19 May 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

"We like to think of the Civil War as the last romantic war—as a sort of gallant duel between gentlemen. There was a certain aura of "swords and roses" in the East, but west of the Mississippi, that neglected area of Civil War history, quite a different atmosphere prevailed. Here the fighting was grim, relentless, and utterly savage—a "battle to the knife, and the knife to the hilt."

Nowhere was this more true than in the bloody war-within-a-war that raged along the Kansas-Missouri border. There the people did not even wait for the bombardment of Fort Sumter. As early as 1855, armies of proslavery "border ruffians" from Missouri and antislavery Kansas "jayhawkers" clashed in the fierce struggle which determined that Kansas would enter the Union as a free rather than as a slave state.

This prelude to the Civil War engendered a mutual hatred and bitterness which, in 1861, flared into vicious reprisals and counterreprisals. As one Kansan later remarked, "The Devil came to the border, liked it, and decided to stay awhile." Led by Tim Lane, Charles Jennison, and Dan Anthony, Kansan raiders swirled through western Missouri, looting, burning, and killing. Missouri "bushwhackers" in turn made quick, devastating guerrilla forays into Kansas. Soon a border strip forty miles wide was a no man's land of desolate farmhouses, brush-grown fields, and prowling gangs of marauders…"
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This took my attention…

"…And everywhere they plundered and burned private houses, after first slaying every male occupant they discovered. They did not, however, kill or rape any women…."

Then there was some discipline among these bandits … or perhaps a certain "Southern Chivalry"?


goragrad20 May 2017 2:14 p.m. PST

As I recall, there were some Old Testament worldviews among the raiders on both sides who would take fire and sword to their enemies, but would scruple at other crimes.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 2:51 p.m. PST

Thanks!… at least the ladies and childrens were safe….


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