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

William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson - 1924

 Below is one of the articles written by Brownwood Banner - Bulletin staff writer Henry C. Fuller after Interviewing William C. "Bloody Bill" Anderson of Quantrill's Guerrillas of the Civil War at his home at Salt Creek, Brown County, Texas in 1924.  Henry Fuller's interview articles appeared in newspapers and magazines all across the United States. 

 

"Six miles from Brownwood, on the banks of Salt Creek, a pretty
stream, that flows between rocky banks through pecan groves and
lovely valleys to the Colorado River, lives Uncle Bill Anderson, now
85 years old, and one time member of the famous Quantrill band of
guerrillas. The writer formed the acquaintance of Uncle Bill about
five year ago when he came to
this part of Texas and has spent many hours talking to him about the
stirring days of the past, at his home on Salt Creek. Uncle Bill, as
everybody knows him, is a familiar figure on the streets of Brownwood
on Saturday, and spends most of his time when in town at the
courthouse, conversing with old time friends and acquaintances. He
seldom talks about his connection with the famous band of William
Quantrill, and it is only to the closest friends that he talks at all
on this subject.
He joined Quantrill at the beginning of the tragic career of that
stormy petrel of the Civil War and was with him in practically [all
his] raids against the armies of the Union. Uncle Bill Anderson is
supposed to be dead, and the official reports in the office of the
secretary of war at Washington, signed by Major Cox of the Union
army, show that he was killed in Ray County, Missouri, about the
close of the Civil War, and was buried near where he was killed.
In a book written some time ago by a man named Connelly, who is now
president of the Kansas Historical Society at Topeka, Kansas, pains
are taken to show just how Bill Anderson was killed by Union
soldiers. The story is that on a certain occasion while Anderson
with a small band of guerrillas was raiding in Ray County, Missouri,
far removed from the main band under Quantrill, the Union forces
found it out and sent Major Cox with a detachment of soldiers and
under sealed orders to go to Ray County and Cox was not to open his
orders until he had reached a certain locality, which he was to do by
night, using the utmost secrecy and stealth in doing so and not
intimating to his men where he was going.
Major Cox followed the directions, and on reaching the lonely spot in
Ray County, he opened his orders and was surprised that they told him
he was now in the immediate vicinity of the camp of Bill Anderson,
right hand man of Quantrill, and that while most of his men were to
ambush or conceal themselves behind a fence on both sides of a long
land that opened from a wooded area, a small detachment was to go
forward, locate the band of Anderson and as soon as they had done so,
beat a hasty retreat, running back through the lane, and the rest of
the men under Cox were to fire upon the guerrillas and kill them as
they came by.
The plan worked fine, but when the scouts located Bill Anderson, and
Anderson's men gave instant pursuit, Anderson himself did not go.
However, one of his lieutenants mounted on the fine horse of Anderson
had joined in the chase. Every man was killed in ambush in the lane,
just as the orders of Cox anticipated, and the one on the big horse
known to belong to Anderson, was taken for Anderson.
As soon as Bill Anderson heard the shooting he knew that an ambuscade
had told the story, and mounting another horse in camp he plunged
into the woods and escaped. This was his last escapade of the war.
Leaving Missouri, he rode southward and kept on riding, riding until
he reached what is now the State of Texas, and then he rode on and
on, intending to go to Mexico and locate there. By and by he reached
the lovely valley of Salt Creek, in what is now Brown County. Nobody
lived here then, and once in (a) while roving bands of Indians passed
through the country. It was a charming place on an extreme feather
edge of things. Bluebonnets were in bloom as far as the eye could
see. Antelope and deer and an occasional buffalo and wild turkeys
and prairie chickens added to the interest and beauty of the
landscape. Through this lovely valley the little stream that Uncle
Bill named Salt Creek wended its way, between great groves of pecan
trees.
In the distance great hills formed as attractive and satisfactory
background. As Bill Anderson, then a young man, looked upon the
peaceful scene, far removed from strife and from human habitation, he
made up his mind at once to go no further in search of a place in
which to locate and build a home. So tethering his horse in the
midst of as fine grass as was ever tasted by the equine species, and
after broiling a fine steak from a deer which he shot, the wanderer
spread his blanket and with his saddle under his head was soon
sleeping quietly, and dreaming perhaps of the stirring days with
Quantrill back in Missouri. On the following day he rode up and down
the valley, and at last selected the place on which to build his
house.
The house was built of logs - a double-roomed affair, and still
stands, although he has added to it as the years passed, covering it
by and by with lumber hauled on ox wagons from Fort Worth. In time
Bill married and children came to bless the union as the old saying
goes. These children grew to manhood and womanhood, married and now
in Brown County, all good people and doing their part toward making
the world and humanity better in every way."
****

For more information:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bloodybillandersonmystery

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