Tarrant County TXGenWeb

Bill Quantrill - Still Alive?


Famous Guerilla Leader of Civil War Not Killed in Battle

Waxahachie Daily Light - August 1907
Contributed by Jean Caddel

According to a number of people who have talked to one John Sharp, who lives at Qualsino on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, Sharp is really Quantrill - now over 70 years old, wiry and grey. One such person is J. F. Duffy, a prominent timberman, who was a member of the Michigan troop of cavalry which cut up Quantrill's force. When he landed at Qualsino and met Sharp on the beach of Coal Harbor, he looked at the old man and said, "Is that you, Quantrill, you old rascal?"

Sharp invited him into his house where he talked at length of his raids in Kansas and elsewhere. He was very interested in Duffy's stories since he had been a member of the Union Army Cavalry. According to Sharp, he did not die his wounds at Louisville, Ky., as reported. He took a horse, rode for many miles and "disappeared ." He later went to South America, living a number of years in Chile, and then moved to Texas where he made considerable money in the cattle business. After the money was gone, he moved to Oregon and worked with cattle there. He moved to British Columbia nearly twenty years ago, first working as a logger at different camps on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island. Ten years ago he became a trapper on the northern coast and some seven years later went to Qualsino, where he worked in the West Vancouver mines.

R. E. Montgomery, a business man at Qualsino, who knew Quantrill at Fort Worth, Texas, and H. O. Herg, postmaster at Qualsino, also knew Sharp's true identity - supposedly Bill Quantrill.

Editor's Note: William Clark Quantrill was born in Ohio - and originally taught school there and in Kansas. To avoid being convicted for robbery and murder, he left that state for Missouri where he enlisted in the CSA. By late 1861, he was the leader of "Quantrill's Raiders" - a Confederate guerrilla and terrorist group. Operating along the Missouri-Kansas border, they constantly fought with Union soldiers, those who remained sympathetic toward the Union, and Union guerilla bands known as Jayhawkers. Although considered an outlaw by the Union, Quantrill was a real hero to his supporters and the Confederacy gave him the rank of captain. Perhaps the "highlight" of his career was a raid into Lawrence, Kansas in 1863 in which many citizens were killed and much of the town burned. When Union forces began to drive the Confederates back, Quantrill, with a small group of men, fled to Kentucky where he was shot by Union guerrillas. Even after his death, he and his gang remained heroes to their supporters. Jesse and Frank James and the Younger brothers, turned to more "fame" as bank and train robbers.


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