Civil War Divided Loyalties – Feeding the Guerrillas

The Civil War tore more than the country apart. For many families, the war meant seeing one son in blue and another in gray. Even in states, like Missouri, that stayed in the Union, loyalties were fiercely divided.

How Missouri ancestors helped Civil War guerrillas

In my own family, the Faulkenberrys were torn between North and South. Sadly, in a battle taking place in their home town of Lone Jack, one brother fought for the Union while two other brothers fought for the Confederacy. Northwest Missouri was hugely pro-South and became a breeding ground for Southern guerrillas.

My third cousin, Leoria (Leo) Jane Shore wrote about another branch of the family (the Shores) feeding the wartime guerrillas in her wonderful book, Ancestors and Descendants of Frederick Shore, Switzerland, 1570 – Surry County, North Carolina, 1750. I am so grateful that I found a copy of the book for sale; I have since run into other Shore researchers who want a copy. This might be one of those cautionary tales: If you find a book about your family, buy it now!

One thing I learned while researching my families in bordering Jackson-Johnson-Lafayette-Cass counties was that my Shore family used to leave food out in their orchard to help feed Quantrill’s Raiders. Quantrill and his men saw themselves as loyal Confederates but the truth is they robbed and murdered under the guise of Southern patriotism. It surprises me that the Shore family helped feed them – and I wonder if that’s a family legend or a family myth. Knowing Leo Jane just a bit (and I’m going back 40 years), I suspect she had first-hand knowledge from her own parents and grandparents.

I had the great good fortune to visit the family cemetery and see the family home across the road. Somewhere – out behind that house – once stood an orchard. And in that orchard was food for Quantrill.

To learn more about Civil War Missouri

The Homefront in Civil War Missouri (Civil War Series) Bushwhackers: Guerrilla Warfare, Manhood, and the Household in Civil War Missouri (The Civil War Era in the South) Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border
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  1. This was a very interesting post, Nancy. Something you said raised a question for me.

    You said, “Quantrill and his men saw themselves as loyal Confederates but the truth is they robbed and murdered under the guise of Southern patriotism. ”

    Are these two things mutually exclusive?

    It just seems to me that there have been plenty murderers and robbers that were also loyal Americans (albeit bad ones!), so why wouldn’t it also be the same back then? How does being a murderer or robber make someone any less loyal to their cause?

    Maybe I’m seeing this from a different perspective from you. But, I don’t see that Quantrill’s Raiders were any less loyal to the Confederacy than were the Union fighters to the US while they were raping and pillaging the Southern people.

    I understand how doing things for personal gain can muddy the waters, but I don’t think that it changes what they were fighting for, or their loyalty to it, at all.

    Of course, with the surname “James” in my family history, I would feel this way.

    I found a roster of the Raiders (Missouri Partisan Rangers) at this site: Roster of Quantrill’s, Anderson’s, Todd’s, and Other Missouri Partisan Rangers. I found something really interesting in that list, too. There is a person with the name DeKalb Shore listed as one of Quantrill’s Raiders. Maybe this is why your Shore family was feeding the Raiders. They were taking care of their own. 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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