The Texas in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Bushwacker Bill Wilson's Death

Fernando,
Great movie and great books. I have a copy of both the movies done on Josey Wales (yes, there were two, One of Forrest Carter's Gone to Texas and the other based on his second book The Vengeance Trail of Josey Wales). With all my heart I would like to believe Josey Wales was based on Bushwacker Bill Wilson BUT Wikipedia is notoriously inaccurate in much of what it puts on the web. I researched how Carter wrote his book on Josey Wales while he lived in Sweetwater, Texas. His research was mostly through the library in town. The library there did not have a copy of the Bushwacker Bill Wilson book. It is more likely Carter created a composite of many of the Missouri boys who had there homes burned by Union militias, Kansas Redlegs and Jayhawkers. Bill's beginnings was not unique but quite common. Also, if one looks at the characters in the story and their interaction (Bloody Bill Anderson, Senator Jim Lane, Captain Fletcher -- loosely based on Fletch Taylor, Captain Terrill --the hunter of Quantrill in Kentucky), the person of Josey Wales would have been in Jackson County not southern Missouri Ozarks (the place Carter lead you to believe Josey lived.."near the Indian Territories"). Carter took all these elements, put them in a poke, shook them up and dumped them out, lined them up and wrote a story. A good story at that. If anyone can prove me wrong.. please let me know. Believe me, I would love to be wrong on this one...

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