The Death of Bloody Bill Anderson

The Death of Bloody Bill Anderson American History Biographies Famous People Legends and Legendary People Civil Wars Visual Arts

The body of "Bloody Bill" Anderson, depicted with revolver-in-hand.

The following account of his capture and death (from The Devil Knows How to Ride, by Edward E. Leslie, at pages 337-39) provides the background of this picture.

On the morning of October 26, Samuel P. Cox learned through an informant that the Anderson band was in Albany, southwestern Ray County.  Cox was a veteran of the Mexican war and the Sioux Indian uprising of 1847, and he had served as a major in the Federal militia cavalry early in the war...On this late October morning he was serving without commission at the request of Brigadier General James Craig because, as Craig subsequently and laconically explained, "I believed he would find and whip Anderson."

...The advance soon found the band, skirmished briefly, then fell back.  It was the sort of maneuver the bushwhackers had sometimes used, drawing the enemy into a trap, but Anderson fell for it.

...For a few seconds it seemed they would get clean away, but then, fifty paces to the rear, Anderson threw his arms in the air and fell backward off his horse.  He was dead with two bullets in his head. 

...Anderson's horse was corralled, and human scalps were found affixed to either side of the bridle band.

His body was hauled in a wagon to Richmond, where it was tied in a chair and a revolver placed in the right hand.  A bystander held the head at an angle so Dr. Robert B. Kice, a local dentist and "photographist," could take a picture.

Media Credits

Image, U.S. National Archives.

Book cover and quoted passage, Google Books online.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"The Death of Bloody Bill Anderson" Oct 07, 2013. Oct 26, 2016.
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