The Memorial Stone Dedication Which Took 143 Years Highlights From October 25, 2008.

I apologize that I was unable to share these mementos of this historic event sooner. We combined a copy of the program of event and three of the speeches presented at the William Clarke Quantrill memorial service which occurred his original grave-site at St. John's Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. on October 25, 2008 we hope you will enjoy them!  Editor. Below is an image of the stone.   

Presentation of Colors

Welcome and History of the New Marker – Nancy Hitt, Associate Member of the Mollie Morehead Chapter #2605 UDC

Invocation – Chaplain Mark McClain

Salute to the Confederate Flag – Scott Morris, Commander of the Ohio Quantrill’s Raiders Camp #2087 SCV:

"I Salute the Confederate flag with affection, reverence and undying devotion to the cause for which it stands."

Speaker – Dr. Tom Hiter, Kentucky Division Commander SCV

Speaker – Steve Ritchie, Indiana Division Commander SCV
Our next image features from left to right:                                                                             

Scott Morris, Commander Quantrill’s Raiders Camp #2087 SCV, Dr. Tom Hiter, Kentucky Division Commander SCV, Steve Ritchie, Indiana Division Commander SC and Dr. Neil Pitt, former Indiana Division Commander SCV.
Poem–Nancy Hitt, Associate Member of the Mollie Morehead Chapter #2605 UDC

Hymn–"Rock of Ages" Led by "The Ladies of The Granite Rose Society."

Speaker – Patrick Marquis, founding member of Quantrills guerrillas.com, reenactor and descendant of the James family of Kearny, Missouri.

Responsive Reading (Psalm27:4-7) - Led by Pam Thompson

Pam: "One thing that I desired of the Lord, which I will require:

Response: Even that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and to visit His Temple.

Pam: For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His Tabernacle,

Response: Yea, in the Secret Place of His dwelling shall He hide me, and set me up on a rock of stone.

Pam: And now shall He lift up mine head.

Response: Above mine enemies round about me.

Pam: Therefore will I offer in His dwelling an oblation, with great gladness.

Response: I will sing and speak praises unto the Lord."  

Eulogy – Paul Petersen, author of Quantrill of Missouri and Quantrill in Texas.

Unveiling of the Marker – Emory Cantey founding member of Quantrills guerrillas.com, and decedent of three Confederate Generals.

Speaker – Scott Morris, Commander Quantrill’s Raiders Camp #2087 SCV

Speaker –"Ladies of The Granite Rose Society."

Placing of Memorial Wreaths and Soil from Quantrill’s Ohio home and from his Missouri grave

Benediction – Chaplain Mark McClain, Chaplain of the Quantrill’s Raiders Camp #2087 SCV

Volley Salute by Honor Guard – Directed by Gary Davis, Past Commander of the John Hunt Morgan Camp #1342 SCV

"Dixie" – Nancy Hitt and Dr. Tom Hiter

Retire the Colors

Next is the opening address given by mistress of ceremonies, our own Nancy Hitt. 

Our next image is of Quantrill in a red battle shirt.      

Hello everyone and welcome. I am Nancy Hitt, an associate member of the Mollie Morehead United Daughters of the Confederacy. I want to especially say “Thank You” to our visitors from as far away as California, Texas and Missouri. We also have with us today a group from Ohio, a state made famous or infamous by being the birthplace of  Colonel William Clarke Quantrill.

This is a memorial day representing several “Firsts.” This is the first burial site of Quantrill. Today is the first memorial service for him and right there rests the first marker placed over his gravesite.

Yes, although this ceremony took 143 years to be performed, it again proves that no matter how long it takes, we are determined to remember our Confederate dead here and abroad.

Without a doubt, there are very few Kentuckians who know that Quantrill died in Louisville and was buried here for 22 years.  I, also, remained ignorant of these facts, but I just blame my public school education!

About ten years ago, I had the good fortune to come into contact with Tom Watson, Kenny Popp and Stewart Cruickshank. These three men taught me about St. Johns cemetery and the unusual burials of Quantrill’s remains.

Tom Watson wrote The Silent Riders, a radio documentary which was broadcast over a 5 week period in 1971. Tom was then the News Director at the WAKY radio station.

I never heard this broadcast, but was able to obtain a copy of the written document from the Filson Club here in Louisville. I began to quiz Tom Watson about Quantrill. I would call Tom at his work at the Associated Press and he usually gave me answers.

Kenny Popp is employed with the Catholic Cemeteries and has always been a good friend to us Quantrill researchers. For years folks have been calling him to request historical information and Kenny has been very generous with his time.

Over the past years, Kenny met me here at the cemetery on several occasions. He even marked off the exact location of the Quantrill plot for me.

Stewart Cruickshank of Nashville, Tennessee, has been a long-time friend and an excellent Confederate fact-finder. He has never been selfish with his findings. We have been partners in most of my work on the General Burbridge executions in Kentucky.

Things don’t always work out as planned. In 2003, I contracted to install a Kentucky historical marker that would detail the death and first burial of Quantrill. The marker was to be installed outside the cemetery gate or inside the wall of the cemetery.

This project was to be completed by the Kentucky Historical Society located in Frankfort, Kentucky. The wording, rewriting, editing and sign construction took over two years to complete. When this large metal historical marker was ready, unforeseen events took place which stopped it from being installed here.

It is now in storage at the Department of Transportation warehouse in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and in a recent conversation with the directors of the marker program, I was told it was now “too controversial” to be placed anywhere in Kentucky!

Finally this year, a group of folks decided that action must be taken to install a headstone marker to the memory of Quantrill. Patrick Marquis, of California, spearheaded the drive to accomplish this effort and a granite marker was placed over the grave of this Confederate soldier whose body rested here from 1865 until 1887. This is the why and wherefore of our ceremony today, October 25, 2008.

I want to conclude my introduction by reading two stanzas from the poem Beaufort by W. J. Garyson. It is a fitting tribute to all our southern ancestors who attempted to stop the tide of Yankee barbarians from swarming through the gates of the Southland.

“But ready, with avenging hand,
By wood and fen, in ambush lie
Your sons, a stern, determined band,
Intent to do or die.

Whene’er the foe advance to dare
The onset, urged by hate and wrath,
Still have they found, aghast with fear,

We are gathered here today to honor one of those Lions who stood in the pathway of the Yankee hordes hell-bent upon destroying the south and its agrarian Christian way of life.

Unfortunately, our Lionhearted men did not prevail. God Save the South! Thank you

Next is an Eulogy written and presented by Paul R. Petersen.                                                                                                                   

A Eulogy for Col. William Clarke Quantrill by Paul R. Petersen

There are those gathered here today, to pay tribute to a Confederate soldier.  Many of us here have acquainted ourselves with the terrible times, that transpired along the Missouri-Kansas border, during the darkest hours of our nation’s history.  It was a time when sons fought against their fathers, and brothers fought against brothers.  It was a time when family lines were lost forever, in a brief moment from a wanton raid of murder and rapine.  A time where prosperous towns, were completely wiped off the map, never to regain their prominence.  

It was a time when a government, sworn to uphold the laws, and protect its citizens, waged a scorched earth policy of total war, against old men, women and children.  It was a time when the rights and guarantees of the Constitution, were trampled upon and ignored.  In those terrible times, men banded together to protect their property, their lives, and the lives of their loved ones.  

In Missouri, which had seen its land devastated, and its property plundered for two years preceding the Civil War, rose up men that chose to fight, rather than submit to tyranny.  One man was chosen leader of a small band of determined men.  His name was William Clarke Quantrill. He made his reputation from the hills of western Missouri, to the plains of Kansas, to the rolling prairies of Texas, and to the waving blue grasses of Kentucky. His men were never defeated in battle, nor did they lose the spirit that bound them together in a just cause. And for their gallantry in battle, for their development of modern guerrilla tactics, which are still being used today in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and their devotion to each other, which bound them closer than brothers, they were branded as outlaws and executed when captured.  

And for their efficiency in battle, and for their strength of arms and courage in the face of the enemy, they were feared from the highest echelons of every Federal command which they came in contact.  And from that fear, arose a hatred that has exhibited itself so callously to this day. The stories about Quantrill that proved most spurious, were by those that never knew him. His enemies controlled the press. and with it came stories so filled with untruths, so sensationalized as to beggar belief, that after so many tellings they became accepted as truth.

We honor today the memory of a man, maligned and misunderstood.  A man who instructed the sexton of this very cemetery to hide the whereabouts of his grave, knowing his body would be desecrated by his enemies. When his body was disinterred from this very spot, he was not allowed to be buried for over 100 years, because of the hatred still exhibited by those who continued to fear him. And what they feared most about Quantrill, is that if the truth about him became known, history would reveal their own misdeeds and criminal actions.  

With the passage of time, we have come to discover the truth about Quantrill, and because of this, we are here today to pay homage to what Quantrill’s adjutant said was the highest honor that Quantrill could achieve, by simply saying:  “He was a Confederate soldier.”

© Paul R. Petersen quantrillsguerrillas.com 2008 "Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay"


Next is the keynote address by Patrick R. Marquis:

Comrades, Confederates, Kentuckians:

We have gathered here today to honor and give homage to a great Missourian, eminent Southerner, and preeminent soldier, William Clarke Quantrill. One hundred and forty-three years ago, Colonel Quantrill died at 4:00 P.M., June 6, 1865 and his body was laid to rest in this spot. One of his men, Lieutenant William Gregg, later to become a deputy sheriff of Jackson County, Missouri, said of him: "I will ever hold his memory sacred." We, too, revere Colonel Quantrill, and that is why we are here to celebrate his life today and to honor him by formally rededicating his grave with its first headstone to demonstrate our love and affection for him.

Yankee histories have never told the honest truth about Quantrill. From the time of his death, Pro-Northern historians falsely branded him an evil man and demonized him beyond belief, calling him a devil, even, and the "Bloodiest man in the annals of America." What poppycock! It reminds one of Hitler's "Great Lies," of which the dictator's propaganda minister Joseph Gobbles said, "if you repeated them often enough, people would believe them."

In reality, Quantrill was a handsome and robust man who married a beautiful lady, Sarah Catherine King, he called her Kate. Yankee historians have also maligned her in their attempts to blacken her husband's name. Quantrill was born on July 31, 1837, in Canal Dover, Ohio, to Thomas Henry Quantrill and his wife Caroline. Quantrill's father was principal of the Canal Dover Union School. Before the Civil War began, Quantrill was a schoolteacher, and all his students agree that he was a very good one. Even before the Civil War, Quantrill learned to dislike the lawless abolitionists in Kansas, who obeyed no laws but the ones they called their "higher law," a twisted concept that allowed them to commit murder, rape, arson, and robbery in the state of Missouri from 1858 onward in good conscience.

But the REAL test of Quantrill is his men, who all loved him and followed him, many of them faithfully to their deaths. In the later part of the Civil War, Quantrill traveled to Kentucky where he continued the war, and where he believed he and his men could surrender in safety if the war went against the South. In Missouri, guerrillas were exterminated upon capture, in almost every single instance, according to a brutal, Union Army practice.  
Today, some 143 years after Quantrill's death, we are assembled here, not to recount his numerous military victories nor to acknowledge his legendary bravery, but to simply honor him, to right a wrong. Recently, a number of historians, and we are among them, have begun a campaign to place the memory of Quantrill in a more respected position, to honor his courage, to gain regard for his astonishing tactical prowess in battle, and to remember, with appreciation, his dedication to the Southern cause. We are here to honor his name and to ensure that those who love him have a respectable grave to visit to show their appreciation for his ultimate sacrifice.

I regret that it has taken this long for Missourians and Southerners to honor the remains of William Clarke Quantrill and to place a handsome stone on his grave. Sometimes justice takes a long time to accomplish, but justice WILL prevail. In the future, we must swear to defend the honor and memory of Colonel William Clarke Quantrill and the members of his command against the wild charges of historians more interested in perpetuating myths about this great man than telling the truth about him, who have been more concerned with Pro-Union interpretations of the Civil War than simple honesty.

Working on behalf of justice and truth in regard to Civil War history is not easy, and this re-dedication of Quantrill's grave site has been the work of a number of selfless individuals who have pledged, as we all should, to defend the honor and memory of Colonel William Clarke Quantrill and his gallant command.

I applaud the joint efforts of the various groups and individuals who have helped to make this memorial possible. Some people insisted that we could not make this happen, could not erect this fine stone in memory of Quantrill. But through our joint efforts, we most certainly have accomplished that goal. In the future, I implore everyone here with Southern ideals to put aside their differences and to work together to accomplish other worthy causes similar to this one. Thank you all for coming and participating in this historic event.

© Patrick R. Marquis quantrillsguerrillas.com 2008 "Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay and/or image.                                                                                            

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