THE LONG RIDERS

I had a couple of hours downtime yesterday and I decided to watch a western movie. I picked one from my collection of DVD’s that I hadn’t seen in a while…The Long Riders.

This movie was written and produced by Stacey and James Keach. It’s about the James-Younger gang. As far as I’m concerned it’s an extraordinary film. The unique thing is that actor brothers play outlaw brothers. The Carradines are the Youngers, and the Keachs are Jesse and Frank. Even Robert Ford and his brother are played by brothers.

Historically, it’s fairly accurate as well. Probably Bell Starr had a bigger role in the movie than she did in the life of Cole Younger.

What’s your opinion of the movie?

WILLIAM QUANTRILL

On June 6, 1865 William Quantrill died of wounds encountered in a skirmish with Union Soldiers.

At one time I referred to Quantrill as a man without any redeeming qualities. I was promptly told not to go into the Deep South and say that. I may not return under my own steam.

William Quantrill was Frank and Jesse James’ mentor. He was born in Ohio and after getting into trouble in Utah and Kansas he fled to Missouri where he became a strong supporter of slavery, even getting into violent conflicts with neighbors.

When the Civil War broke out…It’s also referred to by some as “the war of Northern aggression”…he formed a group of gorilla irregulars. As indicated earlier, Frank and Jesse James were members of Quantrill’s Raiders.

Quantrill not only attacked Union forces, he would attack unguarded pro-Union towns; most notably Lawrence, Kansas where the raiders shot every man and boy they could find. After killing 150 civilians, they left the town ablaze.

Incidentally, since Quantrill’s guerillas weren’t considered legitimate soldiers, they were never given amnesty after the conclusion of the war.

PEARL HART