In the early morning hours of August 11, 1862 (around four), some seven hundred and fifty Confederate and guerrilla troops under the command of Col. John T. Hughes rode into Independence. When the men assembled in town, they dismounted and left their horses corralled around the courthouse square. Hughes had entered the town by the Big Spring Road today it is Spring Branch Road) and divided his men into two columns. One column was given two directives: to attack the provost guard stationed at the Jackson County Jail and to seize the bank building occupied by Col. Buel. The main body under Col. Hughes was then divided into two groups. They were to advance from east to west along two parallel roads with the assigned mission to advance upon the Union encampment in the southwestern section on the edge of town. The entire Union force was asleep and wholly unprepared for the attack. From the courthouse square, Quantrill led his troops west down Lexington towards Buel’s headquarters and north on Main Street towards the county jail. Forces under Col. Hughes followed behind Quantrill’s guerillas but they continued their march west down Lexington and Walnut and then proceeded south onto Pleasant Street to wage their assault against the Union encampment. Overall there were three principal hotspots of action on or around the square and streets of Independence that morning.
Within 1 year of his marriage Jesse James, Jr., the Son of a Bandit, sold his tobacco store in the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City and went into the pawn & jewelry business. Jesse claimed that there was more money in pawing property and selling jewelry than in selling tobacco products. He was so right, as his new business adventure proved successful. He and Stella also had their first child, a little girl.
Life looked so promising for the Son of a Bandit! Certainly, nothing could interfere with his future,or could it?
Jesse James jr. Gets Hitched!
After Jesse James, Jr, the son of a bandit, was acquitted of train robbery in February 1899, he was soon dating Stella McGowan. Stella McGowan had met young Jesse Jr. on Valentine's Day 1899 (and days before the start of the James trial for train robbery). Stella had set through the week long trial and became impressed as to how Jesse Jr. conducted himself during the case. Within a year, Jesse Jr. and Stella were married. The young couple honeymooned at the home of the Bandit Jesse James near Kearney, Clay County, Missouri. As the bride and groom slept in the house of Jesse James, his late father laid under the flowers in the yard. After their sojourn in Clay County, the newlyweds moved into Jesse's home in Kansas City where they lived with Jesse's mother and sister, Mary Susan.
What would be the next adventure in the life of the Son of a Bandit?
Ralph A. Monaco, II