The Story of Cole Younger, by Himself|Cole Younger
The Story of Cole Younger, by Himself
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The Story of Cole Younger, by Himself is a classic American West outlaw autobiography by Cole Younger. Many may wonder why an old "guerrilla" should feel called upon at this late day to rehearse the story of his life. On the eve of sixty, I come out into the world to find a hundred or more of books, of greater or less pretensions, purporting to be a history of "The Lives of the Younger Brothers," but which are all nothing more nor less than a lot of sensational recitals, with which the Younger brothers never had the least association. Thomas Coleman "Cole" Younger (January 15, 1844 - March 21, 1916) was an American Confederate guerrilla during the American Civil War and later an outlaw leader with the James-Younger Gang. He was the eldest brother of Jim, John and Bob Younger, who were also members of the gang. During the American Civil War, savage guerrilla warfare wracked the state of Missouri. Younger's father was a Union supporter, but he was shot dead anyway by a Union soldier from Kansas. After that, Cole Younger sought revenge as a pro-Confederate guerrilla or "bushwhacker" under William Clarke Quantrill. By 1862, the Confederate Army had been forced to withdraw from the state, and most of the fighting involved pro-Union and pro-Confederate partisans rather than regular armies. However, the bushwhackers held a special hatred for the "red leg" Union troops from Kansas who frequently entered Missouri and earned a reputation for ruthlessness. Younger rode with Quantrill in a retaliatory raid on Lawrence, Kansas on August 21, 1863, during which about 200 citizens were killed and the town looted and burned. Younger later claimed to have eventually left the bushwhackers and enlisted in the Confederate Army. He claimed he was sent to California on a recruiting mission, and returned after the war's end to find Missouri ruled by a militant faction of Unionist Radicals. In the last days of the war, the Radicals had pushed through a new state constitution that barred all Confederate sympathizers from voting, serving on juries, holding public office, preaching the gospel, or carrying out other public roles. The constitution freed all slaves in Missouri in advance of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It enacted a number of reforms, but the restrictions on former Confederates created disunity. Most of the former bushwhackers returned to peaceful lives. Many left Missouri for friendlier places, particularly Kentucky, where they had relatives. Most of their former leaders, including Quantrill and William "Bloody Bill" Anderson, had been killed during the war. But a small core of Anderson's men, led by the ruthless Archie Clement, remained together. State authorities believed that Clement planned and led the first daylight peacetime armed bank robbery in U.S. history when he held up the Clay County Savings Association on February 13, 1866. The bank was run by the leading Radicals of Clay County, who had just held a public meeting for their party. The governor posted a reward for Clement, but he and his band of outlaws conducted further robberies that year. On election day of 1866, Clement led his men to polling places in Lexington, Missouri, where they intimidated Radical voters and secured the election of a conservative slate of candidates. A state militia unit entered the town shortly thereafter and killed Clement when he resisted arrest. It is uncertain when Cole Younger and his brothers joined Clement's gang. The first mention of his involvement came in 1868, when authorities identified him as a member of a gang who robbed a bank in Russellville, Kentucky. Former guerrillas John Jarrett, Arthur McCoy, and George and Oliver Shepard were also implicated. Oliver Shepard was killed resisting arrest and George was imprisoned. Once the more senior members of the gang had been killed, captured, or quit, its core thereafter consisted of the Younger brothers and Frank and Jesse James

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  • ISBN-13: 9781515216131
  • ISBN-10: 1515216136
  • Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publish Date: July 2015
  • Dimensions: 9.02 x 5.98 x 0.22 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.34 pounds
  • Page Count: 106