Researching for Guerilla Bride was an interesting journey of a little rediscovery and a lot of plain discovery. I had read about Quantrill and Jesse James and Bruce Catton’s and Shelby Foote’s works. Most of the latter deal with the major battles farther east. So, I started looking for other material and came across “Necessary Evil,” by Johnston, and the “Civil War In Missouri,” by Gerteis, and another book about guerilla hunters. It became apparent that the 1800s was a wild and violent time in Missouri. The early 1800s had plenty of conflict between Mormons and those not of the faith. The Civil War, however, intensified the violence and spread killing and burning far and wide. There are a couple of lines from a song about Quantrill that go something like, “All riding and shooting and giving a yell. Like so many demons just let out of Hell.”
Guerillas, not all of them associated with William Quantrill, and raiding southern armies, and guerilla hunters and Union army units, and Red Legs from Kansas all raiding, revenging, rampaging through a good bit of the western part of the state, and all of them ready to shoot first and say, “Friend or Foe?” second. The more I read about the time, the more fired up I got about sticking my short story character Emerson Sharp into the middle of it.