2E--Moberly Monitor-Index Evening Democrat, Sun., June 24, 1973 Rocheport Searching for 'Bloody Bill Anderson' ROCHEPORT, MO. -- This Missouri River Town "Bloody R i l l Anderson called "my capilol" and where he attacked Ihe steamboat War Eagle, ambushed the steamboat Buffinglon tied up at dock, robbed Union stores and drank Ihe saloons dry is not afraid of another Bloody Bill Anderson. In facl Rocheport is looking for someone that resembles Bloody Bill Anderson but who does not act like the notorious A reward will be paid to the individual that most resembles Bloody Bill Anderson at the Rocheport Friends Fest June 23. Look-alikes will be judged at 3 p.m. during the celebration in the quaint river town that Bloody Bill called his Capitol. The notorious Civil War killer made Rocheport nis headquarters while he and his men were raiding and pillaging. killer. A trophy will be given to the individual that looks the most like Bloody Bill. The ocassion will be the annual Rocheporl Friends Fest which was held on Saturday, June 23, Bloody Bill Anderson was reared at Huntsvillc. He moved with his family to a farm near Council Grove, Kan., and soon was caught up in the border war. Bill's falher was killed in some forgotten foray and he and his brother joined the guerrillas. He rode w i t h Q u a n t r i l l without any special distinction until 1863 when General Ewing ordered Ihe arrest of wives, mothers and sisters of guerrillas in the border counties. They were jailed in buildings designated as military prisons in Kansas City. On Aug. 14, a large 3-sloried brick building which was being used as a prison for women- collasped. Among those in this prison were Josephine, Mary and Jennie Anderson. Josephine Anderson was one of the 4 girls crushed lo death and Mary Anderson was badly injured. Bill Anderson, who unlil now had been an unknown trooper in Ihe guerrilla company, rose as a dominant leader. He quickly earned the name Bloody Bill. On Aug. 21 Bill rode with Quantrill in (he sacking of Lawrence, Kan. In 2 hours ISO male citizens wore killed and there were tu q u e r r i l l a casualties. The men of Lawrence were chased like rabbits and shot down. Not one woman was i n j u r e d or physically violated. Some 185 buildings were destroyed and 80 widows and 250 orphans were left crying in the street. In October the guerrillas moved to winter quarters in Texas and formed 4 companies with Bill Anderson as head of one of the four. He defected from Quantrill and married Miss Bush Smith of Sherman, Texas. By 1864 Bloody Bill had taken Quantrills place in notoriety. On July 17, 1864, the Perche Creek hiils east of Rocheport were swarming with guerrillas. Bloody Bill entertained friendly inhabitants by attacking the steamboat War Eagle. He called this little community "my capitol". During July and August he led slashing raids at Renick, Huntsville, Carroil County, Chariton County, Howard County and back to Boone County by Aug. 20. On Aug. 28 Anderson attach a 40-man patrol as it left Rocheport. Fired upon from the wooded bluffs east of town along the Monileau Creek the Union troops rode off in all directions. They left 7 dead and 3 were wounded. The dead were barbarically scalped and 3 Had their throats cut. Columbia banker R. B. Price, a nephew of Gen. Sterling Price, removed the gold assets from the Boone County National Bank and hid it under fence posts until the end of the war. On Aug. 30 Bloody Bill was back in Rocheport. After robbing the Union stores and drinking Ihe saloons dry Ihcy took over Hie slcnmhont B u f - finglon which was docked. They shot the captain and the pilot and stayed around a week on Sept. 5 ambushed the Yellowstone as it came in lo dock only to have it escape down stream. They saw the steamboat coming up the river and put in skiffs to attack while other guerrillas hiding behind a big rock fired on the boat. The rock located near the Interstate 70 bridge is now known as Anderson Rock. The crew of the Mars saw skiffs and opened fire killing one of the guerrillas. The got away. An attack on Fayelle occured in early September. Frank James later said "it was like charging a slone wall -- only this one belched lead." The guerrillas left 13 dead. Anderson and his men joined friends on Ihe farm of a man named Singleton 4 miles south of Centralia. II was on Sept. 27 that Anderson took 30 men and rode inlo Centralia, terrorized the (own and robbed Ihe slagc coach on which was State R e p r e s e n t a t i v Rollins. The law maker managed lo conceal his identity and escaped lo hide in the Hotel. About noon the train from Charles whistled in the distance. The guerrillas piled lies on the Irnck. The depot been sel on fire but the could not reverse because a gravel train was behind him. Twenty-five unarmed Union soldiers were on board. They were lined up and told to After one man was ordered of line Anderson told Archie Clement to muster the soldiers. Little Archie turned and fired point blank at the soldiers. rest of the guards began firing. The soldiers died with a look amazemenlon their faces. Goodman, the man pulled out line, was the only soldier to lo tell. A month later Bloody Bill died. The 31st Missouri Infantry was composed of 150 men under the command of Majors Cox and Grimes and was sent to Richmond area. Major Cox reached the neighborhood about noon and placed part of his (roops along the trail and it. Suddenly down the trail Bill Anderson and 70 riders. Bloody Bill saw the troops, his pistol and with a shrill charged. The cheering guerrillas charged into the ambush. When the smoke cleared the lane was filled with (hreshing horses and dead and dying guerrillas. Only Bill Anderson continued on thru the. line, (hen toppled backwards his horse. He had 2 bullets through the back of his head a pistol in each hand. Cox was jubilant. They took the corpse back to Richmond. was put on public display. He was buried withoul services in an ummarked grave. Anderson's horse and the articles on his body aroused interest. The bridle was braided with h u m a n scalps. He revolvers in his saddle and belt, lie had pictures of himself and his wife, letter she had written, a lock of her hair, $600 and a Confederate flag.
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24 Jun 1973, Sun • Page 36