A great-great-grandson of William Clarke Quantrill and a great-grandson of Jesse James are scheduled to be among pallbearers at the reburial of some of Quantrill's remains Saturday in Higginsville, Mo.
The ceremony for the infamous raider who sacked Lawrence more than a century ago will begin at 10 a.m. at the Confederate Cemetery in the Confederate Memorial State Historic Site there. Randy Thies, public archaeologist at the Kansas State Historical Society, will officially present the remains for reburial.
Robert L. Hawkins III of Jefferson City, Mo., commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, organized the reburial and said Wednesday that, judging from calls he had received, a crowd of from 100 to 200 could be in attendance.
The 5th Missouri Infantry, Company A, re-enactment group will serve as honor guard.
Hawkins said in addition to Quantrill's and James' descendants, the six other pallbearers are descendants of Partisan Rangers, like James, who served under Quantrill's command in the 1860s. Among them, he said, will be Frank Koger, a U.S. bankruptcy judge from Kansas City, Mo., and Donald Hale, a Missouri author.
JESSE JAMES' great-grandson is James Ross, a superior court judge from Fullerton, Calif., he said, and Quantrill's descendant, who contacted Hawkins on Monday, is from Oklahoma.
Hawkins declined to name the Oklahoma man but said he would be listed with other pallbearers, and their Partisan Ranger ancestors, on the program.
He said the Oklahoma man saw press reports of the reburial and called for more information, explaining the family ties, which he had learned through his grandmother. A name change was apparently involved, Hawkins said, adding that an Oklahoma chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans accepted the man's documentation as the basis of his membership in their group.
"I talked to him and I was impressed by his attitude," Hawkins said. He said he asked the man to be a pallbearer because it seemed like the appropriate thing to do.
QUANTRILL historians, including those at the Kansas State Historical Society, had no knowledge of any direct descendants of Quantrill, who led the Aug. 21, 1863, raid on Lawrence in which 150 men were killed in retaliation for Jayhawker raids into Missouri.
Hawkins said only bones and hair that the Kansas State Historical Society had identified as Quantrill's would be reburied Saturday. Although the organization requested that Quantrill's skull, now in Dover, Ohio, be sent to Missouri for reburial with the other remains, that request was denied.
Hawkins said staff at the Kansas State Historical Society had been professional and helpful with the reburial effort. "I would hope somebody calling from Kansas to the Missouri State Historical Society would get as much help and as gentlemanly treatment as I have had."
HAWKINS noted that the reburial date was changed from Oct. 31 to Oct. 24 because media reports linked the event with Halloween, also on the 31st, which was not the intent of the group. The original reburial date was selected in part because Oct. 31, 1861, was Missouri secession day.
Hawkins said signs on Interstate 70 east of Kansas City make it easy for travelers to find the cemetery, which he said is in a "beautiful park with seven or eight small lakes" and a small visitors' center.