A band of outlaws and deserters who conducted guerrilla warfare under the command of William Clarke Quantrill during the American Civil War.
Originally a school teacher from Ohio, Quantrill changed his name to Charley Hart and moved to Lawrence, Kansas where he became a known gambler and horse thief who was suspected in connection with a number of murders. After organizing a group of outlaws who ran raids in Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri, he was declared an outlaw by Union military leaders and in 1862 was made a captain in the Confederate military.
Such notables as Jesse James, Cole Younger and "Wild Bill" Anderson rode with Quantrill. Their raids served no real strategic or otherwise useful purpose to the Confederate cause and they worked outside of the law. In their most infamous raid, they burned parts of Lawrence, Kansas on August 21, 1863 and killed 150 men during the attack. Two months later they staged a similar massacre in Baxter Springs, Kansas.
The band split up in 1864 after infighting amongst the group became combustible. The number of men under Quantrill's banner fluctuated, but at times was as high as 450. Quantrill himself was killed by Union troops in 1865 while looting with a new band of raiders. Many of his "troops" went on to illustrious careers after the war as outlaws of the west.