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By Paul Iselin Wellman

The equipped gangs of robbers and killers who roamed the Midwest and Southwest from the 1860s to the Nineteen Thirties went to a similar college and have been succored via each one other's notoriety. So Paul I. Wellman makes a case for "the contagious nature of crime." William Quantrill and his guerrillas proven a felony culture that used to be to hyperlink the James, Dalton, Doolin, Jennings, and cook dinner gangs; Belle and Henry Starr; lovely Boy Floyd; and others in "a lengthy and crooked teach of unbroken own connections."

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Heavy foliage made it impossible to see ten feet in any direction. Sometimes men, groping through the brush, in which the visibility was even more reduced by powder smoke, found themselves glaring into an enemy's face, less than a foot separating them. The grapple followed at once, with the flash of flame or steel. Everywhere individual little battles, for life or death, raged in the general melee. Hoarse yells of the combatants, the constant crashing of carbines and revolvers at close quarters, officers shouting orders which nobody could well obey in the confusion, the clash as saber strokes were parried by clubbed guns, outcries of the wounded, who were often trampled underfoot as the fight reeled back and forth, and the powder smoke which hung like a heavy pall in the ravine, marked this as one of the fiercest little conflicts during the entire war.

790-92. See also, "Wellman, Paul I[selin]," in Encyclopedia of Frontier and Western Fiction, eds. Jon Tuska and Vicki Piekarski (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983), pp. 350-51. 2. Twentieth Century Authors. 3. Ibid. 4. Twentieth Century Authors; Twentieth-Century Western Writers. 5. Twentieth Century Authors. 6. Twentieth-Century Western Writers; Paul I. Wellman, A Dynasty of Western Outlaws (Garden City, N. , 1961), passim. 7. Glenn Shirley, Belle Starr and Her Times: The Literature, the Facts, and the Legends (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982); West of Hell's Fringe: Crime, Criminals, and the Federal Peace Officer in Oklahoma Territory, 1889-1907 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978), pp.

Terrified women scream, men are shot down and groan as they die. Galloping squads of fierce riders seek victims in homes, gardens, ravines, even fields of growing corn. " When Quantrill and his wild retinue ride out of Lawrence hours later they leave it looted and burned, and in its streets, its ruined houses, and its environs lie 142 murdered citizens. This, the celebrated Lawrence Massacre, unlike sackings of some other cities during the Civil War, has had no real military purpose, strategic or otherwise.

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