Thanks for your thoughts on Quantrill, you certainly have the background and knowledge to offer an opinion. And Quantrill did develop into a leader that this idependent spirited group of men did follow - at least they rode out with him when the occasion arose. So far, and I have not researched this very much, it appears that Upton Hays and probably some of the men who worked for Hays' and his brothers freighting outfit knew him fairly well from an 1858 trip to Utah and this helped Quantrill when he joined the Guerillas at Blue Springs. I wonder if it is possible that Hays recruited him or supported him when in late 1861 Hays was chosen to lead the group of men around Westport in defending the area against Jayhawker raids and Quantrill turned up to lead the Blue Springs group just south of Westport. Hays had quite a few relatives in that group. If Quantrill was a Dixie Ranger raiding along the Indian Territory/Kansas border in 1861 then he had some experience of organized fighting which the other guerillas lacked.