November 17, 2017 10:00 AM EST Cincinnati


Confederate Pass Signed by Captain William C. Quantrill

Manuscript pass, approx. 4.25 x 4.5 in.

August 15th 1862

Permit Jno. McCoy, family,
and conveyance and
baggage to pass unmolested

by order of

W.C. Quantrill
Capt. com C.S.A.

Consignor relates that the pass was among papers from the McCoy family of Ohio. The McCoys may have been Copperheads -- hence, the Confederate pass.

William Clarke Quantrill (1837-1865) enlisted as a captain in late 1861 (exact date uncertain). A native of Canal Dover, Ohio, Quantrill first worked as a teacher from the age of 16. He tried to support his family after his father died, but teaching salaries were not very high even then. For a short time he wandered West, into Illinois, then after encountering some trouble, back into Indiana. He worked his way back to Ohio shortly after that. In 1857 he joined a couple others in town moving to Kansas in hope of acquiring larger land holdings. But Quantrill was easily bored, and instead of farming the joint claim, he started wandering the wilderness with a rifle.

He worked a few other jobs, such as a teamster with the US Army. Not much is known of his time in the West other than he gained a lot of experience at poker, even winning large sums of money, which he then gambled away (sometimes all at once on one large bet). He joined some drifters, for a time becoming paid protectors for Missouri farmers. It was in this time that he apparently made his first trip to Lawrence, Kansas. There he taught school again for a short time, but the school closed and he began just earning a few dollars wherever he could. It was during this time that his political views also began to solidify, apparently anti-slavery/pro James Lane, then anti-slavery and detesting James Lane. By the time War erupted, he was squarely on the side of the Confederacy.

Early in 1861 he went to Texas with a slaveholder, and met Joel Mayes. Mayes was half Cherokee, and a Confederate sympathizer. He appears to have been instrumental in teaching Quantrill guerrilla warfare tactics. Quantrill joined General Sterling Price, and fought at Wilson's Creek and Lexington in August and September, 1861. He deserted and returned to Missouri to form his own company of loyal men, who ultimately became "Quantrill's Raiders." His most notorious raid was on Lawrence, which he saw as "ground zero" for anti-slavery forces, and incursions into Missouri. By the time Quantrill left Lawrence about 9 a.m. on August 21, about 150 men and boys were dead and most of the town was in flames.

The western Confederate forces did not surrender with Lee (April 9) or Johnston (April 26). On May 10, Quantrill was caught by Union forces at Wakefield Farm in Western Kentucky, where they had been raiding for much of the spring of 1865. Quantrill was shot in the back. He was taken to the military prison hospital in Louisville, where he died on June 6.


Had been folded many times. Separation of central vertical fold.

Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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