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Noted Guerrillas


A Terrible Quintette


Jesse James - Frank James - Cole Younger - John Younger - Arthur C. McCoy


Quantrill - Bloody Bill Anderson - George Todd - Fletch Taylor - Peyton Long - Arch Clements - Dave Poole - Oll Shepherd - Allen Parmer - William Gregg - Woot Hill - Thomas Maupin - and many more

The Missouri Guerrillas who became the country's most famous outlaws... their stories by a man who knew them, and in their own words.

Two scarce accounts - one unseen for 129 years - are offered together for the first time on a searchable CD-ROM.

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"Noted Guerrillas, or the Warfare of the Border", John N. Edwards, 1877, 488 Pages, 26 illustrations.

Quantrill (“Quantrell”), Bloody Bill Anderson, George Todd, Arch Clements, Fletch Taylor, Jesse James, Frank James, Cole Younger, John Jarrette, Arthur C. McCoy, John Thrailkill  —they’re all here, described by a man who knew them. Hundreds of desperate battles, big and small, are described, including the sack of Lawrence, Kansas, the Centralia massacre, and the deaths of Quantrill, Bloody Bill Anderson, and George Todd.

Noted Guerrillas is a genealogist’s dream, with names of lesser-known individual Civil War participants flying thick and fast all over the place.

Unlike some reprints that have been offered of Noted Guerrillas, our edition contains all of the original illustrations, scanned at high quality.

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“A Terrible Quintette”, John N. Edwards, St. Louis Dispatch, Nov. 22, 1873. 21,000 words.


"Edwards had for the first time put together some of the most important ingredients of the James Legend."  --William A. Settle, Jr, author of Jesse James Was His Name, describing "A Terrible Quintette"

This is  one of the most often cited, yet most seldom actually read of the contemporary accounts of Jesse James, Frank James, Cole Younger, John Younger, and Arthur C. McCoy. It took years of hunting in libraries, archives, and other sources, to find what appears to be one of the very few surviving copies of this famous article.

Jesse & Frank James, Cole & John Younger, and Arthur C. McCoy were the "Terrible Quintette" of outlaw fame at that time. Of these, John Younger was to die within four months of the article's appearance in a gunfight with Pinkertons. Cole Younger, Frank and Jesse James became famous, or notorious, but within ten years were out of business, or dead. And Arthur C. McCoy almost vanished from history. It's a puzzlement because he was, at least according to John Newman Edwards, who knew all these men personally, a key player in the outlaw gang to the point where McCoy is counted as one of the five most significant names as of November 1873.

The most exciting feature of this article that appears nowhere else is the extended quoting of Jesse James and Arthur McCoy –in their own 'voices' (extensive quoted print interviews)—explaining their conduct since the end of the war, with loving detail lavished on their alibis for the several robberies of which they were suspected. Often, everyone in an Edwards’ piece 'sounds' remarkably like Edwards himself—particularly if the quotation is of extended length. His flowery prose is very distinctive and practically impossible to hide. Yet in “A Terrible Quintette” the long quotations from Jesse James and McCoy seem to be authentically their own stories, in their own words. They do not 'sound' like Edwards at all, and they don’t 'sound' like each other either. Jesse even remonstrates with Edwards to “...please print it as near my own way of saying it as possible.”

It is, of course, another story as to whether you accept some or all of the alibis offered.  However, what is clear is that “A Terrible Quintette” contains the longest (and in McCoy’s case, the only one known) telling of their story in their own words on record.

Click here to see a portion of "A Terrible Quintette", including Jesse James talking about his wartime adventures




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