Revolutionary Radical: William Clark Quantrill – No Friend to either North, South or Himself

Quantrill portrait“On this day [March 28] in 1864, Civil War guerrilla leader William Quantrill was arrested by Confederate forces in Bonham, Texas. The Ohio native, wanted for murder in Utah by 1860, collected a group of renegades in the Kansas-Missouri area at the beginning of the Civil War. He fought with Confederate forces at the battle of Wilson’s Creek in August 1861 but soon thereafter began irregular independent operations. Quantrill and his band attacked Union camps, patrols, and settlements. While Union authorities declared him an outlaw, Quantrill eventually held the rank of colonel in the Confederate forces. After his infamous sack of Lawrence, Kansas, and the massacre of Union prisoners at Baxter Springs, Quantrill and his men fled to Texas in October of 1863. There he quarreled with his associate, William “Bloody Bill” Anderson, and his band preyed on the citizens of Fannin and Grayson counties. Acts of violence proliferated so much that regular Confederate forces had to be assigned to protect residents from the activities of the irregular Confederate forces, and Gen. Henry McCulloch determined to rid North Texas of Quantrill’s influence. On March 28, 1864, when Quantrill appeared at Bonham as requested, McCulloch had him arrested on the charge of ordering the murder of a Confederate major. Quantrill escaped that day and returned to his camp near Sherman, pursued by more than 300 state and Confederate troops. He and his men crossed the Red River into Indian Territory. Except for a brief return in May, Quantrill’s activities in Texas were at an end. Quantrill was killed by Union forces at the very end of the war.” – TSHA Online

The story of William Clark Quantrill is neither romantic nor praiseworthy. It has been said, “No one is completely worthless. They can always serve as a bad example.” Quantrill will forever serve as a bad example.

I think I see a little bit of the spirit of William Quantrill emerging in recent years. I see it in a broad spectrum of political activism from radicals to the right and radicals to the left.

Political activism unfounded on history and devoid of a knowledge of our Creator can only beget sorrow and loss of freedoms. Quantrill was a man outside of reason, because Quantrill was a man outside the realm of God’s Kingdom.

Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.” – Daniel Webster

Almost 2,000 years ago, Rabbi Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus Christ) bore witness of the Kingdom of God, first to the Jew, then to the Greek (non-Jews). His disciples added writings that serve as amendments to the Torah, God’s instruction book for mankind.

The tombs of various founders of religious sects can be seen today, but only an empty tomb stands to prove our Savior lives.

You may be hung up with Easter bunnies, chocolate rabbits or dyed eggs, but I invite you to turn your attention to the reason for the season: it’s to celebrate a risen Savior who calls you to a personal relationship with Him.

Jews call this celebration “Pesach”. Christians call it “Passover”. I invite you to experience both worlds next weekend when Eitz Chaim celebrates Pesach on Monday, April 6. Click on this link to make reservations:

John White​

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