Loftin Woodiel: William C. Quantrill, The Father of Post-Civil War Missouri Banditry

October 5, 2023 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

During the American Civil War, Captain William C Quantrill commanded a band of Confederate irregulars who reeked death and destruction throughout the Missouri and Kansas borders. Tactical and technical perfection was a trademark of his organization. Prior to the war, Quantrill was a school teacher in the state of Ohio. A number of Quantrill’s men continued to hone their skillset, maintained these deviant behaviors and channeled them into post-war career banditry opportunities; e.g., James Robert Cummins, the James Brothers (Jessie and Frank), and the Younger Brothers (Cole, Bob and Jim). Just as a teacher motivates his students to adopt specific standards of academic and social behavior, did Quantrill’s pedagogical skillset propel his subordinates into deviant careers? This interdisciplinary research design employs historical context analysis, psychological evaluation of motivation in a running text, and the application of criminological theory.