I thank you for your kind
favor of the 28th instant. I had formed the opinion that Wayman could not
be relied on, but did not doubt that he was a good soldier. I have no doubt
that he killed William E. Hopper, as he says. He became very angry at me
when I told him that Quantrill could not have been born in Maryland, and
that there was no truth in the story that he and his brother had been set
on by Jayhawkers and his brother killed, etc.
I think the memory of Morgan T. Mattox quite good, and he impressed me as truthful and sincere. he thinks a good deal of you and said he would like very much to see you and Mrs. Gregg. But he is extremely bitter towards Cole Younger, and says the other comrades are the same, but would not tell me why. The only thing in which I find him mistaken is his story that he and Jesse James rode side by side in the charge of Centralia. In checking up that statement I found that Jesse was not at Centralia ar all, but lying wounded near home in Clay or Ray County. I find the book written by Jesse James, Jr., to be wholly unreliable. I am not much impressed with the soldierly qualities of either Frank or Jesse James. Frank James told Walter Williams that he was at the battle of Wilson Creek, which I know is wholly untrue. When Frank is over in Kansas he always tells that he was sick and not with Quantrill at Lawrence, but I know he was at Lawrence. His denying it in Kansas is wholly unnecessary, for there is no feeling in kansas on that matter and has not been for many years. He would be just as safe in lawrence as in his mother's house in Clay County.
In writing my Life of Quantrill I found an article written by Mrs. Sara T. L. Robinson, widow of Governor Charles Robinson, who lived at Lawrence at the time of the raid, in which she says she heard Captain Gregg say "Wheel left and kill every man, woman and child." In my book I say that Captain Gregg never gave such an order in his life, and that he would have shot any man heard giving such an order. I also say that the honor of no woman was violated at Lawrence, and I enumerate instances where many guerrillas interloped and saved lives. I have the statement of a Mr. Grovenor that Bill Anderson saved his life. I also set out the indignities shown the dead body of Skaggs. I have tried to state just the facts. I do not, of course, believe the raid was justifiable, and think it murderous and outrageous, and not called for by any rule of civil war. And many of the guerrillas were needlessly brutal and murderous, but instances of kindness and manliness must be credited to even them if they did any. I have many letters written by Quantrill.
I wish you could come up and spend a day with me. I want to publish your manuscript before long, and I should like to go over it carefully with you before printing it. Some places ought to be fuller, and there are a few places where it ought to be changed a little.
Your friend truly, W. E. C.