William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson

Bloody Bill Anderson, Quantrill, Quantrell, Guerrillas, Raiders, Missouri, Texas, Civil War, William C. Anderson, Henry C. Fuller, Salt Creek, Brown County, Brownwood, Knights of the Golden Circle, mystery, KGC


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The Legend of Jesse James on the Travel Channel

Posted by Jay Longley on January 29, 2015 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The Travel Channel will broadcast Expedition Unknown: The Legend of Jesse James this Thursday night, January 29, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. Central Time. Our Bloody Bill Anderson Mystery group's member Bud Hardcastle will appear in this episode so I remind you to set your recorder and mark your calendar because you won't want to miss it.





Henry Ford's Funeral in Brownwood

Posted by Jay Longley on January 3, 2015 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

From: Unknown News Service, Brownwood, Texas, Tuesday March 8, 1910.


Members will get some very important leads to follow from this

important article. One you will notice is that Judge Charles H.

Jenkins is listed as a "life long friend" of Henry Ford just as he

was referred to in Colonel William C. Anderson's obituary.







Town is Closed for Two Hours and Thousands Follow Remains to

Cemetery – Was Man Loved by the Masses.



"Brownwood has never witnessed such a funeral procession in all its

history as that which followed the remains of Henry Ford to the

Greenleaf cemetery this afternoon about 4 o'clock. Funeral services

were conducted on the lawn in front of the Ford residence, beginning

at 3 o'clock, and at the close of the services a procession was

formed that reached from the residence to the cemetery a mile away.

The services were conducted by Rev. A. H. P. McCurdy of the First

Presbyterian church, and brief tributes were paid the deceased by

Judge C. H. Jenkins, T. C. Wilkinson, Will H. Mayes, I. J. Rice,

Brooke Smith and C. I. McCartney. These men were life long friends

of the deceased and their talks were but fitting eulogies to the

manner of life he lived.

Henry Ford was a man whom the masses loved and for that reason he was

laid to rest by the people, independent of fraternal orders or

societies to which he belonged. The pall bearers were selected from

his life-long and intimate friends and were Messrs C. I. McCartney,

C. H. Jenkins, C. H. Bencini, N. A. Perry, J. A. Austin, Brooke

Smith, I. J. Rice, T. C. Wilkinson, Will H. Mayes, M. M. Scott, I. P.

Allison, I. E. Walker, F. S. J. Whitehead and G. N. Harrison.

As a mark of the esteem in which the deceased was held the whole town

responded to the proclamation of the mayor and the doors of every

business house in the city are closed promptly at 2:30 o'clock. The

public schools with which he was connected as a member of the board,

were likewise closed during the day, and the school children were

assembled in front of the High school building, which was draped in

crepe, to watch the procession pass. With bowed down heads the

Brownwood school children stood while the great procession was

passing, conscious of the fact that they had lost a true and loyal

friend. In the procession that followed the remains to the cemetery

were people from all parts of the state, who once lived here and who

upon hearing of the death, hurried back to the old home to pay their

respects to the memory of a man they loved.



The floral offerings were beautiful in the extreme and consisted of

the rarest flowers that could be had. The cotton men of the town,

the Commercial Club, the Floral Club, the school board and numerous

individuals sent in lovely designs. The bier was banked with floral

offerings that in a measure testified to the love Brownwood people

bore the deceased. A choir composed of trained voices from the

different churches rendered sweetest music and the pastor of the

deceased spoke at length upon the life of the man all Brownwood

loved. Comforting words were spoken to the bereaved ones as the

people in their own good way laid the remains tenderly to rest.


County Feels Death

The death of this good man is felt elsewhere than in Brownwood. He

stood close to the people of the whole county and of the Brownwood

country. Friends came from all points to attend the funeral. At

Zephyr, the town is closed to a store and a majority of the

inhabitants are here in attendance at the funeral. People are here

also from Williams Ranch where he formerly lived, from Mullin, from

Goldthwaite, from Winchell and from Comanche. A great many of the

farmers of the county, who have known Henry Ford as a friend to the

farmer, are here to pay their respects."



"Bloody Bill" Anderson & the Projectionist

Posted by Jay Longley on November 23, 2014 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Mike Jackson contacted me last night and told me the following story about William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson. Col. George Day is a former District Attorney from Brownwood and is also a local historian and an author.



"The story I got told from George Day was that his Grandfather knew Anderson and there was a small hole in the wall movie house and they were showing a movie about the North and the South fighting and of course the North won and Anderson stuck a gun to the projectionist's head and told him if he showed that movie one more time he'd kill him. Needless to say that movie had a short run in Brownwood."



~Jay Longley

Brownwood, Texas

[email protected]


Walter Daniels Meeting with Bill Anderson - 1924

Posted by Jay Longley on July 3, 2014 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I've transcribed the short but very important article about Walter Daniels' visit with Bill Anderson in January, 1924, just a few months before Bulletin staff writer Henry C. Fuller conducted a series of interviews with William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson which resulted in numerous widely-published articles in newspapers and magazines.

Discovered by Moderator Gayla McDowell of the Bloody Bill Anderson Mystery group.



Walter Daniels Interview with Bill Anderson


From: Brownwood Bulletin, Brownwood, Tex., Vol. 24, No. 71, Ed. 1, Monday, January 7, 1924.


"The Bulletin news man, Walter Daniels and the father of Walter Daniels spent Sunday afternoon at the residence of Uncle Bill Anderson on the May road north of Brownwood. Several hours were spent pleasantly around an old time log fire while Uncle Bill went into some interesting and unpublished history of stirring events of other years in which he occupied a leading part. Uncle Bill owns one of the prettiest and most valuable places in Brown county and the sun of his long life is setting in peace and quietude."




Bill Anderson in Indian Territory

Posted by Jay Longley on June 29, 2014 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

From: "A Texas Cow Boy" by Chas. A. Siringo, reprinted in 1980 from

original 1885 edition, published by Time-Life Books, originally

published in 1885 by M. Umbdenstock & Co., Chicago, Illinois, pages

146 & 147.


This was Charles Siringo's first book. It was published when he was

about 29 years old, before he even began his 22 year service to the

Pinkerton Detective Agency. After reading Ganis's "Uncommon Men" and

comparing it to this one, I believe that the Bill Anderson that

Siringo wrote about here is our William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson of

Salt Creek, Texas. One of Siringo's shortcomings is that he was

obviously new to writing when he wrote his first book and he did not

remind the reader what specific year he was writing about. I can

tell for sure, from reading the preceding and subsequent chapters,

that this event at Erin Springs occurred sometime in the early

1870s. Oh yes, I bought my copy of this beautiful book on eBay.


[early 1870s, Erin Springs, Oklahoma Indian Territory]

"After breakfast next morning the whole crowd, ladies and all, went

down the river five miles to witness a `big' horse race at `Kickapoo'


After the `big' race, which was for several thousand dollars, was

over the day was spent in running pony races and drinking whiskey.

By night the whole mob were gloriously drunk, your humble servant

included. There were several fights and fusses took place during the

day, but no one seriously injured.

It being against the laws of the United States to sell, or have

whisky in the Indian territory, you might wonder where it came from:

A man by the name of Bill Anderson, said to have been one of

Quantrell's men during the war, did the selling.

He defied the United States marshals and it was said that he had over

a hundred indictments against him. He sold it at ten dollars a

gallon, therefore you see he could afford to run quite a risk."





Cole Younger and Frank James in Brownwood, Texas

Posted by Jay Longley on April 6, 2014 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (2)

I first posted this passage on this board in 2006.  It further documents important visits to Brownwood and Brown County by two "outlaws" who are important to our work.  The Brown County Historical Society doesn't currently carry "From the Memories of Men" but I found my First Edition copy in excellent condition on eBay a few years ago.  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bloodybillandersonmystery


I am posting an excerpt from a book in our Brownwood Public Library's
Locked Case entitled "From the Memories of Men" by T.C. Smith, 1954.
Re-prints of this excellent Brown County history book may be
available from the Brown County Historical Society whose link is in
our Links section. Please pay close attention from John Walter
Tabor's first-hand account of both Cole Younger and another unnamed
guerrilla's visit to Brownwood. Everything in this passage is
directly from the mouth of Tabor who was an early-day resident of
Brown County, Texas. I am not sure the dates involved. This is just
further documentation of at lease one visit, by Cole Younger and
Frank James, to Brownwood.


"I saw Cole Younger, in Brownwood, after his release from prison. He
was on Center Avenue, and was talking with some Civil War veterans.
On another occasion, I saw Frank James, after he had given himself
up. It was in Dallas, and he told me that he had spent the night in
Brownwood a short time before. Later, back home, I mentioned this to
a man who ran a blacksmith shop. 'Yes, he was here,' said the
man. 'He spent the night at my house.' At the time he spent the
night here, there was a ten thousand dollar reward on his head, a
fact well known to his Brownwood host.
Another old timer came to Brownwood, after the Civil War, from
Missouri. Missouri had been a hotbed of warfare, much of it
irregular, in which men were forced to choose sides. He was a
Southerner, and rode with Quantrill. I asked him, once, why they
burned Lawrence, Kansas. 'Because,' he said, 'they burned one of our
towns. We did to them as they did to us.'
There were a lot of fine men in those days, and those days were
That's just about the story, and, as I mentioned before, That's the
way it was."

Bill Anderson Had True Grit

Posted by Jay Longley on March 14, 2014 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm reposting a message I originally posted on this board in 2007 because it has to do with the "mob" violence in the area during that time.


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Bill Anderson Had True Grit


From: "In The Life And Lives of Brown County People", Scrapbook II

Book #19, Brown County Historical Society, Brownwood Public Library's

Locked Case.



"Your only contact with barbed wire may have been a sharp one - a

scratched leg, or torn clothing while climbing over a barbed wire

fence. You may not realize that the barbed wire, which was developed

in 1873 to protect farm lands from intruders, changed the course of


Life for the early settlers and homesteaders was not easy. In

addition to hardships such as separation from loved ones, marauding

Indians and the lack of materials, they found it practically

impossible to build efficient fences that would establish their

boundary lines and keep cattle out of their crops.

Rocks and timber were used but it took months to build a fence.

Smooth wire had been invented, which was expensive and wasn't

practical because cattle had no fear of it. When barbed wire came to

Central Texas in the early 1880s farmers and ranchers were able to

protect their property. Without the wire, homesteaders could not

have successfully farmed the land.

In 1882, George Iverson Goodwin brought the first barbed wire into

Brown County. He had read about the wire and seen some land fenced

and knew that the cattle feared the sharp wire. Little did he know

that this wonderful invention would bring strife among the people of

Brown County.

When the wire cutting wars began Goodwin's fence was completely

destroyed. Conflicts among the cattle people and homesteaders became

so violent that Mr. Goodwin and other landowners went to Austin and

asked for laws to control the wire cutting. Mr. Goodwin framed a

bill making it a felony to cut fences. The bill passed by the Texas

Legislature in January of 1884.

Scrapbook Column, Brownwood Bulletin July 28, 1991

The following is part of the Scrapbook Column of July 6, 1997

Most people had depended on the running streams for their water

supply. The law provided the fences to be opened for the settlers to

have water. Many of the people begin hand digging wells for their


The 'Farmer Alliance' a state organization that helped farmers,

organized a chapter in Brown County to help the farmers during the

wire cutting days. Wire cutting had gotten out of control. The

ranchers also called the Texas Rangers to Brown County to help stop

the wire cutting.

According to the book, 'Early Communities of Lake Brownwood' by

Pattie Lee Cross Weedon the Alliance would meet and decide when and

where to cut the fences. There were about thirty members, Joe

Copeland, a hired informer and a Texas Ranger, was hired by the

ranchers to catch the wire cutters. He told the group that Morg

Baugh had fenced his cattle off from the water and asked for help.

Four young men volunteered.

Joe reported to the Rangers and the ranchers when and where the wire

was to be cut. On the morning of Nov. 9, 1886, the men ambushed the

wire cutters, killing Jim Lovell and badly wounding Amos Roberts who

died three days later in the county jail. Both men were well known

in their community.

Joe Copeland came to Brownwood the next day and no one was his friend

and his life was threatened several times. On his way home he was

waylaid in the Salt Creek community and would have been killed had he

not had his little boy with him.

He was slightly wounded and went to Bill Anderson's home for help,

but was refused and was told to leave or he would finish the job. He

left Brown County.

There had been a number of arrests and charges against the wire

cutters in Brown County. After the two men were killed the charges

against the wire cutters were dropped. No one wanted to be involved

with the fence conflicts any longer. Brown County residents were

ready to settle down and accepted the barbed wire as a part of their





Review of Surratt's Diary

Posted by Jay Longley on February 19, 2014 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)




The most memorable part for me though was Surratt's recording of his relationship with John Wilkes Booth. Throughout the journal, he's telling us of Booth's involvement with the KGC as well as his own. I was most interested in learning all I could about Booth as I was aware of an old newspaper article about John Ravenswood who spent a year in Brownwood in 1871 and I've always been fascinated by the Lincoln Assassination. Here's our Bloody Bill Anderson Mystery group's post where I transcribed the article from an old local history book.




Hi members. I found this story many years ago when I first

read "Frontier's Generation" by Tevis Clyde Smith (Sr.), 1931, pages

46, 47, 48, & 49.




"And now we approach the Booth legend. Perhaps you have forgotten

the details of the story; let us go into it briefly:

Booth was not killed at the Garrett place by Boston Corbett; he made

his escape, drifted down to Mississippi, hid at the home of an uncle

until the broken bones in his leg knitted together: then he journeyed

to the Pacific slope, went from there to the South Seas, to India, to

Ceylon, back to North America, and to Mexico, where he became

embroiled in political intrigue; he would have lost his life there,

but someone saved him because he was a Catholic. Booth, disguised as

a priest, escaped from the country; he came to Texas, settled at

Granbury under the name of John St. Helen, and went into the saloon

business. But Booth took little interest in his saloon; he received

much money from some mysterious source, and spent most of his time

reciting Shakespeare. Becoming seriously ill, and thinking he was

about to die, he confessed to Judge Finis L. Bates of Granbury that

he was not John St. Helen, but in reality John Wilkes Booth. Bates

thought him delirious; Booth recovered, and moved to the Indian

Territory, where he took the name of David E. George. He committed

suicide at the Grand Avenue Hotel, in Enid, during the month of

January, 1903. Before his death, he told several people that he was

John Wilkes Booth. The Enid Wave printed the following story January

17, 1903.


'David E. George, a wealthy resident of the Territory, who committed

suicide here, on his death bed announced himself to be John Wilkes

Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln. He stated that he had

successfully eluded the officers after shooting Lincoln and since had

remained incognito. His statement caused an investigation. Surgeons

examined the body and stated the man to be of the age Booth would be

at this time, and that his leg was broken in the same place and in

the same manner as that of Booth after jumping from the president's

box at Ford's Theatre following the assassination. All the time

George has received money regularly from unknown sources. He had

previously attempted suicide at El Reno. It was at El Reno that Mrs.

Harper, who was mentioned in George's dying statement, had befriended

him and had listened to a similar supposed death bed confession. No

reason for the suicide is known. George maintained to the last to

his attendants that he was John Wilkes Booth, and his general

appearance closely resembles that of Booth.'


Bates, reading of George's death, took the train for Enid, and

identified David E. George as John St. Helen; he then had George

mummified, and placed on exhibition throughout the nation as the

assassin of President Lincoln. At the same time, he set to work on a

book, "The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth", which he

published in 1907. The book was read with avid interest throughout

the United States; Bates sold 75,000 copies.

The story died down, to leap into print from time to time. In 1920,

according to the Dearborn Independent, Bates tried to sell them the

body of George for one thousand dollars. The Independent took little

stock in Bates' story; deciding to investigate the facts, they sent a

reporter over the ground traversed by Bates; the reporter wrote his

observations, and the Independent editor filed them away. In 1924,

the story broke into print again, and in 1925, the Independent

published its 'exposure' of the legend. The series of articles, six

in number, were written by F.L. Black. Black claims that Booth was

killed at the Garrett place in Virginia; he says that it is all hokum

about no one knowing where Booth is buried - that he is interred in

the family burial plot; and he claims that the government, contrary

to Bates' statements, paid something like $75,000 in rewards to the

men who had a hand in the killing of the president's assassin.

There are two sides of the story. Many people believe Bates, others

discredit his version as a myth.

Boothng to stories appearing in the local newspapers in December,

1922, is supposed to have spent the year 1871 in Brownwood; while

here, he went under the name of John Ravenswood. One day, he told

several friends that he was hiding under a pseudonym. 'My name is

not John Ravenswood,' he said; 'it is, in reality, John Wilkes

Booth.' Later, when he expressed a desire to go to the Indian

Nations, these friends, to show their sympathy for him, gave him a

horse, and money with which to buy supplies along his route. So John

Ravenswood left Brownwood; he never appeared here again. Instead, he

went to the Indian Nations, and committed suicide at Enid in 1903.

The author of this newspaper article concludes by asking if anyone in

this section remembers a man by the name of Ravenswood, who visited

this country between the years of '68 and '72.

Five days later, he gets startling results. A Brownwood woman, who

says she is a cousin of Booth's, tells him that Booth was not killed

by Corbett; Booth escaped, fled to Mexico, then came to Texas, where

he lived under the name of Ravenswood. While in the Lone Star state,

Booth ran a grocery store; then, he went to Oklahoma, and adopting

the name of Joseph Johnson, entered the dry goods business. On March

4, 1913, he died from pneumonia; a short time before his death, he

revealed his identity to his wife.

This woman tells the reporter that she knows beyond a shadow of a

doubt that Booth died in Enid in 1913; she has read letters from

Booth to another one of his cousins, Olivia Booth. These letters

must have been widely circulated, and Booth must have had a host of

cousins, because I have read of about fifty of these close relations

who have been favored by a glimpse at John's correspondence. But

regardless of this, according to the newspaper man, his informant has

vouched for the truth of the story, so there you are.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find this lady, so I have not

traced this particular phase of the legend to my complete

satisfaction. But I have asked a number of oldtimers who were living

here in the sixties and the seventies if they remember a man named

Ravenswood. They reply that they do not - and all of them have

uncommonly sharp memories."




On pages 12 and 13 of Surratt's Journal, he tells of the horrible consequences he will face if it is discovered that he has written any information down about the Knights of the Golden Circle, their members, their organization, or their members. This part impressed me because it emphasized how important extreme secrecy was to the KGC. It also helped me better understand the one of the reasons some of the most mysterious men in Brown County, Texas including William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson and Henry Ford refused to tell anyone (even their families) about their lives before coming to Brown County. Henry Ford went to his death(?) in 1910 without ever revealing anything about his past to anyone with the probable exception of other KGC members including Bill Anderson. Bill Anderson was just a secretive about his past until 1924 when he allowed Brownwood Banner-Bulletin writer Henry C. Fuller to do a series of interviews with him at his Salt Creek, Texas farm. This was several years after his second wife had died (1916) and the KGC had ceased all operations (1916 also). Still, Anderson never divulged any secrets about the Knights, their organization or activities. That these ex-guerrillas, KGC members, and a large number of ex-Confederates who sought refuge in Brownwood and Brown County still feared prosecution or even death at the hands of the Federal Government these many years later also helps explain the necessity of having an underground tunnel network so that they could freely travel without detection all around this KGC stronghold.

Beginning on page 11 of Surratt's Journal, he begins describing the people who were present at the Baltimore Castle of the KGC. This chapter impressed me greatly because revealed that some of the highest and most-respected leaders in the country were in attendance including cabinet members, judges, congressmen, actors, and editors. This gave me a clearer understanding about the KGC's influence and membership and erased whatever doubt I had that they not only had members in the Southern States but they had members in the highest levels of the Federal Government and military. Reading pages 16 and 17 helped me to understand that the KGC had the utmost respect for our Revolutionary heroes and even patterned themselves after them. During the Civil War, the KGC even changed its name to the Sons of Liberty after the Revolutionary Sons.

Chapter III of the Journal beginning on page 25 gives a lot of historical details about the KGC's plans and works before and after Lincoln's first inauguration and tells a lot about Booth and his relationship with "that woman" who Surratt felt was a severe threat to their plans. The rest of the journal deals with the intricate plans and activities of Booth, Surratt, and the Knights and the many frustrating obstacles and defeats they faced throughout the War. The entire journal makes it clear that it was the KGC's official plans that Lincoln be kidnapped, not killed.

On about page 60 through 62, Surratt explains the plans to infiltrate the Federal military or to encourage recruits to reconsider and back out of enlisting.

Chapter XIII, beginning on page 80 tells about Booth's desire to kill, not kidnap Lincoln. This of course is very important to anyone who seriously studies the ensuing assassination.

One of the most important phrases to me in the entire journal is when Surratt says, on page 94, "If he (Booth) takes the road planned out, he will certainly escape. This suggests what I believe really did happen, that is, that Booth did escape and was not killed in the barn.

[email protected]


"Bloody Bill" Anderson's Real Full Name

Posted by Jay Longley on December 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

At our Bloody Bill Anderson Mystery group, we have thousands of messages and files dealing with this one topic alone. When I began my investigation into the controversial life and death of Bloody Bill Anderson, the first area of identification I began with, of course, was his complete name. I started with all the documentation I could find for the traditionalists' name for Bloody Bill Anderson, William T. Anderson. I thought that such a task would be relatively simple and that they surely had mountains of documentation supporting such a claim for one of the most famous men in the Old West and Civil War. I was right on the first count as finding their documentation was quite simple, as it seemed that all the "new historians" said that Bill's middle initial was a "T." There were only two or three documents giving Bloody Bill Anderson's middle initial as "T" and low and behold, NO ONE seemed to know what name the "T" stood for ! And they still don't know. Their best guess is that it stood for "Thomasson" but that is just a guess as they have no documentation supporting it. Their entire "T" initial theory is based on the following two primary documents:

1) 1860 Agnes County, Kansas census entry for William ? Anderson, son of William C. Anderson.
2) March 2. 1864 Sherman, Grayson County, Texas marriage certificate for Lieutenant William ? Anderson.

I will discuss the problems with the census entry first. In order to understand my objections to each of these documents, you need to have the a copy of the original in front of you. On first glance, the middle initial for young William Anderson, son of William C. Anderson, appears to be a "T". But this is where honest people make their mistakes. Let's say, to play the devil's advocate, that this letter on the entry IS a "T". Every genealogist knows of countless examples where census-takers have made honest errors in recording names AND middle initials so this one letter alone cannot even come close to countering all the evidence proving Bloody Bill Anderson's middle initial was a "C." but I will get to that later. First appearances can be deceiving so one needs to compare that capital letter with the other capital "T"s in that census that were written by that same census-taker. This is when you will see that this one written letter does NOT resemble other capital "T"s written by the very same census-taker. Why is that? I find at least two possible reasons. One is that it is not a "T" at all but possibly an "L" (standing for Lum which was the commonly-used shortened version of the name Columbus). Another is that this entry for young William did not include a middle initial at all when it was first recorded by the census-taker but was possibly added later for whatever reasons.
The second piece of evidence is the much-acclaimed marriage certificate for Bloody Bill Anderson and Bush Smith. When one looks at an enlarged copy of this original document closely, it is easy to see that it has been altered too, specifically, in the date for the decade where a "6" has been written over a "5". Why was that necessary? Well, the William "T" supporters claim that four years after the decade changed from the fifties to the sixties, the county had not ordered new revised certificate forms to be printed ! There sure must not have been many marriages in Grayson County during those four years and they must have over-ordered a lot of forms for the fifties. Let's say, for argument's sake, that this was actually the case. Then Quantrill's scout, John McCorkle, must have been badly mistaken when he clearly states in his book "Four Years With Quantrill" that Bill Anderson married Bush Smith "during Christmas week" at Sherman. Well, March 2nd sure isn't Christmas week ! John McCorkle WAS THERE as were many of Bloody Bill's comrades. Looking again at the highly-questionable marriage certificate, one finds a similar problem with the middle initial, in the two spots where the writers wrote it in William Anderson's name, as there is with the census entry. Both letters could have been another letter and the one at the top doesn't look too much different than the "L" in "Lieutenant. Once again, these letters could have been added in later for whatever reason.
A few other things need to be seriously considered before accepting these two documents as "proof" that Bloody Bill Anderson's middle initial was a "T."

1) Why do traditional or new historians not have a SINGLE handwriting specimen of William "T" Anderson's personal signature anywhere from the first 24 years of his life? He was one of the most famous individuals in our history, was a commander of his own band of Confederate Guerrillas so surely he signed his own orders and reports. We know he sent letters to the editors of newspapers for the attention of his Union foes. Where are these letters? The traditionalists' claim the Yankees found Bloody Bill's personal letters, orders, and papers after the ambush near Orrick in October 1864. Where are those valuable documents now? No, they want us to take their word for his middle initial, minus a proven middle name, based on two very suspicious and possibly altered documents.
2) Historians are notable for knowing not only the middle initial but the full middle name of famous people and their fathers. That is not the case when you look at most of the traditionalist historians/writers' accounts of Bloody Bill Anderson after 1990. They claim not to know either the father's, William C. Anderson's, middle name nor the middle name of his famous son. Take only the most famous leaders of Quantrill's Guerrillas which include Quantrill himself, Cole Younger, Frank James, and we all seem to know not only their middle names but also the middle names of their fathers. Why don't we know the middle names of Bloody Bill Anderson OR his father William C. Anderson? I believe many of the traditionalist historians DO know their full names and can prove them. Why, then, don't they? I'll let you form your own answer to that question.
3) What is the first job of any good investigator or detective? Their first job is always to determine the primary means of identification of the subject they are investigating. How do they do that? They match a face and physical description with their subject's FULL NAME.
4) EVERY book, newspaper article or magazine article written about Bloody Bill Anderson, written prior to 1969 when Donald Hale first inserted the "T" into Bloody Bill's name, gave Bloody Bill Anderson's name as: "William Anderson", "Bill Anderson", "Bloody Bill Anderson" or (get this) "William C. Anderson? These writers wrote closer to the Civil War times of Bloody Bill Anderson so they had many first-hand accounts from people who knew Bloody Bill Anderson that latter day writers and historians did not have access to. Some of these writers were Bloody Bill Anderson's own Guerrilla comrades. These comrades did not give a middle name or initial to their friend and comrade but called him simply either "Bill Anderson" or "William Anderson". If they knew his correct name, and some surely did, they would not have revealed it because saying his middle initial was a "C" or his middle name was "Columbus" (probably just like his father's), would have exposed their comrade Colonel William C. Anderson who still hadn't revealed that he had survived the 1864 ambush and was living mostly peacefully at Salt Creek, Brown County, Texas. They were not only bound by duty and allegiance to protect his identity but were bound by the Blood Oath of the Knights of the Golden Circle that provided "death" for any member who revealed another's identity or membership in that secret Confederate Organization. Other writers/historians were not bound by that code. I have found that of the book writers who gave a middle initial to Bloody Bill Anderson in their books that at least half of these called him "William C. Anderson"! I suppose they were not impressed by two scanty pieces of documentation later provided by the traditionalist historians but, rather preferred their own solid documentation. So, out of 26 letters in the alphabet, these notable historians/writers just reached into a hat and EVERY ONE of them just happened to pull out a "C". Preposterous! While I am not a mathematician, can you calculate the odds that these writers would all "guess" at the same letter "C"?
5) Some of the several renowned authors who referred explicitly to Bloody Bill Anderson as "William C. Anderson include the following but our members of the Bloody Bill Anderson Mystery group have listed several more and continue to locate others who agreed that the one and only Bloody Bill Anderson's real name was William C. Anderson:
- Dr. Robert S. Brownlee, "Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy"
- Shelby Foote, "The Civil War from Fredericksburg to Meridian", 1963.
- Robert L. Dyer, "Jesse James and the Civil War in Missouri", 1994.

6) Of course, the truest proof of Bloody Bill Anderson's full name comes from none other than the man himself who told Brownwood Bulletin-Banner staff writer in 1924 that he, William Columbus Anderson, was the one and only Bloody Bill Anderson, leader of Quantrill's Raiders. The Fuller interview appeared in newspapers and even magazines all across Texas and Missouri and the United States. After an exhaustive search by not only our large membership but also those of the opposing viewpoint, not a single Guerrilla comrade of Bill Anderson stepped forward to say that William C. Anderson's statement was untrue! To date, we have listed and documented 27 Quantrill's Raiders, who served with Bill Anderson, who were alive after this Interview was made public. It needs to also be pointed out that William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson's naysayers' claim he was the son of Stone County, Missouri's William M. Anderson, Sr. but have yet to provide the name of ONE member or descendant of this Stone County Anderson family, who knew the man they even called "Bloody Bill" Anderson, who stepped forward to say that their friend Colonel William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson was lying in the interview or that he was a member of their own immediate Anderson family.


Historians Lex Johnston and T.R. Havins

Posted by Jay Longley on December 2, 2013 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (1)
I was just retrieving some information from our extensive Messages Archives when I happened across the source of the information that Cole Younger did indeed come to Brownwood with a carnival after he was released from prison.  I've been hounded for years by the Smokescreen Gang and other "Bloody Bill" naysayers to produce the source (other than Dr. L.E. Skinner) of that information but I could never locate it, until now.  The source I've been seeking for these many years turns out to be probably the most respected of all Brown County historians, the late T. R. Havins!  You can either scroll down this message to near the end where Havins is quoted or you can read the entire message which is what I recommend you do as it contains some important facts that are relevant to our work here.  The part about Cole Younger visiting the area with the carnival is very important because the naysayers keep denying that Cole Younger was ever in Brownwood and that since he was never here, he couldn't have met with William C. Anderson at his Salt Creek farm/ranch and confirmed that our Bill Anderson was his Guerrilla comrade known as "Bloody Bill" Anderson.  Well, here's more proof that they are wrong about both things.
Originally posted at:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bloodybillandersonmystery

From: "Old Brown Trivia" by Lex Johnston (Henry Ford's great
grandson), Brownwood Bulletin. Also in Book No. Eleven of "In The
Life And Lives of Brown County People" by the Brown County Historical
Society. Brownwood Public Library's Locked Case. I encourage our
members to take a close look at the "W.L. (Uncle Billy) Williams" who
is mentioned in this article. Particularly interesting is where
Williams told his party, when starting to engage Indians, that the
fight was "going to be hand to hand." New members need to be aware
that Henry Ford was probably Colonel Anderson's closest confidant
during Brown County's early days.


"Most students of Brown County history are aware of the fact that
Henry Ford was a well liked and highly respected leading citizen of
early day Brown county. Numerous articles have been written through
the years concerning his various activities.
He served as county clerk (1876-1884) and as mayor of Brownwood. He
was instrumental in the formation of the county public school system
and Daniel Baker College.
As part owner and operator of a small private bank in Brownwood from
1884 until his death at age 64 in 1910 he was always involved in
various community and church efforts. He was considered by all who
knew him as honest with integrity beyond question.
It was in late summer in 1869, when Ford appeared as a stranger in
the small log-cabin settlement of San Saba. He was hired by the
Forsythe brothers as a cowboy on their isolated ranch in southeast
Brown county.
An unwritten code of the frontier was that no man should ask another
about his background. Unless an individual volunteered such
information his past would never be discussed and, as in Ford's case,
perhaps would never be revealed. His original home was evidently in
Virginia. Unconfirmed sources placed him briefly in Nebraska, Kansas
and Missouri before his arrival in Texas. R.D. Forsythe claimed to
have met him in New Mexico earlier that year. The code, however,
provided a barrier behind which practically all the background of his
youth was permanently hidden.
For two years Ford remained as a cowboy on the Forsythe ranch.
During that time he participated in cattle drives to New Mexico.
While on one drive he demonstrated his ability to use a 'six-
shooter.' The incident, described by R.D. Forsythe, occured on a
ranch near Santa Fe. Bud Forsythe was playing poker. A Mexican in
the game, evidently a poor loser, without warning, jumped from his
chair, with knife in hand, intending to stab Forsythe. Ford, who was
observing from across the room, quickly drew his pistol and shot the
assailant three times.
In 1871 Ford left the Forsythe ranch and became employed by W.L.
(Uncle Billy) Williams who also conducted a large cattle operation in
the same area. In 1872 he began his own cattle herd with borrowed
funds and remained a stockman until 1876. During those years he
married, began a family and lived in the rowdy frontier town of
Williams Ranch. It was during that period of time that the infamous
John Wesley Hardin frequented that area.
Ford was involved in at least two skirmishes with Indian raiding
parties while living in the William Ranch area. Details are sketchy
but years later he recalled one episode in a letter to W.L. Williams
in which he wrote: 'I remember that we were riding side by side at
the time the charge commenced, my first thought was to go to shooting
but you said hold your fire boys it is going to be hand to hand.'
By 1876 it was evident that Henry Ford was well educated. He could
speak several languages, including Greek, French and Spanish, and was
a talented mathematician.
The first regular election in Brown County following reconstruction
was in February, 1876. Ford's friends encouraged him to seek
election to the county clerk position. 'He rejected the idea but
they entered his name on the ballot anyway.' He was elected and
moved to Brownwood that year. His life from that time on was 'open
as a book.'
Henry Ford's activity prior to his arrival at the Forsythe ranch is a
mystery yet unsolved. Very little is known about his antecedents.
Queries from members of his family and friends about his youth always
went unanswered. When pressed on the subject he would become quite
disturbed. His personal papers contain few real clues to his
origin. He wrote to himself only that he was 'a Virginian by
birth.' After his death his wife furnished local newspapers with
sparce information indicating that his place of birth was Wheeling,
Ohio county, Virginia. However a search of the 1850 and 1860 census
records of that county fails to locate him there at that time.
A rumor that Ford had assumed a new name when he came to Texas was
often repeated.
A family legend is that he, in about 1865, shot a federal army
officer in retaliation for an insult to his sister, after which he
promptly left home.
A few rumors during his life, and many after his death, connected
Ford with the noted frontier outlaw gangs led by Jesse James and Cole
Younger. Many ridiculously believed he actually was Jesse James.
For years after his death various members of his family were
contacted by several individuals with tales that associated him with
James, Younger and the infamous Quantrell's guerilla army during the
civil war. A close study of James, Younger and Quantrell produces
nothing factual which associated him with any of their outlaw
An interesting event that created more speculation about Ford's past
occured in the mid-1880's. At that time two men rode into Brownwood
and proceeded to rob the Coggin, Ford, Martin Bank. While the
robbery was in progress Ford, unaware of the situation, arrived on
the scene. He and the robbers recognized each other. They greeted
each other by name and their dialogue suggested a friendship of
previous years. The robbery was promptly called off.
Many ex-members of Quantrell's army came to Texas after the Civil War
and it is interesting to note that in 1869, when Ford arrived in San
Saba, the James brothers were hiding in southwest Texas and the
Youngers were in Scyene (near Dallas), Texas.
In 1901 Cole Younger was released from prison. He and Frank James
organized a carnival and toured the United States. The show came to
Brownwood which prompted one author to write that 'James and Younger
visited their old friend Henry Ford.' The late Brown County
historian T.R. Havins referred to that meeting as follows: 'I
remember Cole Younger's carnival came to Brownwood, and I witnessed a
greeting of Younger by Ford and they called each other Henry and
After sifting through the many rumors and stories about Henry Ford's
background and with careful consideration of known facts, it is
reasonable to conclude that he did leave Virginia 'on the run' in
about 1864. He probably was a member of Quantrell's guerrilla army
during the later months of the Civil War, as were Jesse James and
Cole Younger. James, Younger and Ford were the same age and they
undoubtedly knew each other at that time. It is unlikely Ford used
an assumed name but he protected the mystery of his youth until his