Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bloody Bill Anderson

My wife and I just returned from a weekend trip to north Missouri, and we passed through Huntsville, which was the boyhood home of notorious Confederate guerrilla William "Bloody Bill" Anderson. The Anderson family moved to Kansas in 1857, but Bill paid a return visit to his old hometown after he had become notorious. During the summer of 1864, he and his band rode in, fired a few shots, and placed the whole town under arrest. While still holding the town captive, Bill visited pleasantly with a couple of men he remembered from his youth. Then he and his gang loaded up all the valuables they could haul and galloped out of town.
Anderson, of course, operated mainly in north Missouri, but he did make at least a couple of forays into the Ozarks--one as a member of Quantrill's band in the fall of 1863 when the guerrillas attacked Baxter Springs and the other the following spring when he returned to Missouri leading his own small band after wintering in Texas. During the latter incursion, the Anderson gang captured a Union man in the northwest edge of Greene County and took him into Polk County, where they killed him and supposedly mutilated his body.

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