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The Devil Knows How To Ride

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  100 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews

Brilliantly weaving together eyewitness accounts, letters, memories, newspaper articles, and military reports into a riveting narrative, this definitive biography reveals the personality of William Clarke Quantrill (18371865) and the events that transformed a quiet Ohio schoolteacher from a staunchly Unionist family into a virulent pro-slavery Confederate soldier and the m

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Published August 5th 2009 by Da Capo Press (first published 1996)
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Rebekah Courter
I'll be honest, I didn't actually finish it.
I got about half-way and it was so depressing, I decided not to finish reading it.

I picked it up because I didn't know much about the western states during the war.
The first part about the border war, was pretty good. Though in no way could you ever justify the brutality that happened on both sides, it was very interesting to read accounts of the politics that occurred prior to the war (the narration begins around 1852) in the region.

I would give a 5
In Edward Leslie's first book he delivers an excellent account of the life of William Quantrill who was regarded as one of the most vicious commanders in the Civil War. Whether people sided with him as a legitimate soldier or an outlaw chieftain leading a band of thieves and murders the one common thing they agreed upon was his ruthless determination to do harm to the union. So little has been written about the border wars that this provides a fascinating look at the tit for tat strategy and cou ...more
Jul 19, 2012 Ray rated it liked it
I will commend and congratulate the author on his extensive and thorough research. That said, however, I must say this is simply the most discouraging and dispiriting book I have ever read. Never has the ability of humankind to turn on it's own, to put selfish beliefs and condemnations ahead of faith and fairness, even been more sadly illustrated than in this epic Civil War story. I'm going to have to agree with the author's hypothesis that this story of the "border wars" between Kansas and Miss ...more
Brian T
Sep 10, 2012 Brian T rated it liked it
I really enjoy Civil War history, and the fact that the majority of this story takes place on the Missouri/Kansas border, made it particularly enjoyable for me to read. Quantrill and his guerillas battled heartily with the "jayhawkers" from Kansas, and the raid on Lawrence was portrayed in excellent fashion. Both sides were brutal and unforgiving with the other. There was zero sense of "fair play".

Anyone interested in why the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri is so intense would be well advis
Lizanne Whitlow
Mar 25, 2015 Lizanne Whitlow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, civil-war
CD Audiobook via Blackstone Downpour
Feb 21, 2016 Dustin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for anyone interested in the border war or the Civil War in general. The book paints a good picture of the events leading to the Lawrence raid and the feelings of both sides before and after.
Jun 20, 2010 Strawfoot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing introduction to the border wars in Kansas and Missouri. Covers all your famous sociopaths, like Bloody Bill Anderson. Really gripping account with original sources doing the talking a lot of the time.
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