Were The Hateful Eight’s The Mannix Marauders Real?

Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, 2015’s ‘The Hateful Eight,’ is a Western drama movie in which eight wickedly villainous individuals end up trapped inside a shared cabin, “Minnie’s Haberdashery,” while waiting out a massive blizzard. Among bounty hunters Major Marquis Warren and John “The Hangman,” Ruth is Walton Goggins’s character, the conservative former Confederate fighter Chris Mannix. Chris, son of Erskine Mannix, fought for his father’s rebel renegade group, “Mannix’s Marauders,” during the Civil War.

Though Chris is written as a morally nuanced character, he defends and upholds the ideology and worldview of his father’s Mannix Marauders on several occasions. Due to ‘The Hateful Eight’s’ historical setting and references, viewers might wonder if the Mannix Marauders were an actual military group. If you’re wondering the same, here is everything you need to know.

Tarantino’s Blend of Fact and Fiction

No, The Mannix Marauders, in their entirety, were not real. However, they were inspired by a group of men dubbed Quantrill’s Raiders, led by William Clarke Quantrill at the time of the American Civil War. In ‘The Hateful Eight,’ Mannix Marauders are first mentioned by Bounty Hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) when he comes across Chris Mannix, who requests a ride in Ruth’s wagon. At first, Ruth outright declines to help Mannix since Mannix used to be a part of the Mannix Marauders. Ruth hates rebel renegades, such as Chris, and has a particular distaste for his father, Erskine Mannix.

According to Ruth, Erskine Mannix employed the usage of his Confederate soldiers to plunder towns and murder civilians in their quest to preserve Southern Confederate sentiments. This attribute of the Mannix Marauders is similar to the Quantrill’s Raiders. At their time, Quantrill’s Raiders used to fight for the Confederacy and use Guillera warfare against Union armies and states. In the 1860s, Quantrill’s Raiders attacked several places like Kansas City and torched Lawerence leading to the death of over a hundred people. The Quantrill’s Raiders found their end as a group in 1863 after Quantrill lost leadership over them. On May 10, 1865, Quantril was fatally shot and died shortly after in a Louisville prison on June 6th. However, since not much is known about Erskine Mannix, his character’s story in ‘The Hateful Eight’ cannot be connected to that of William C. Quantrill.

Nevertheless, while discussing the dynamic between Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) and Chris Mannix, Tarantino all but confirmed Quantrill’s inspiration behind Mannix Marauders. “I felt that by throwing a black cavalry officer in the middle of this mix and knowing that I was going to have a Southern general and, like, the son of Quantrill in this mix, that I’d be kicking a can that deals with these issues.” By taking inspiration from Quantrill while crafting the unseen presence of Erskine Mannix, Tarantino shapes a key element of Chris’s personality around his political ideology.

Walton Goggins often gets typecasted as a racist Southerner due to his Georgian roots. While talking about Chris Mannix, one of his infamous racist characters, Goggins said, “You meet him, and you think, wow, how – well, if that’s Walton Goggins, this is going to be a pretty nasty guy. And then you quickly realize that you could just blow him over with one exhale, that he’s an unruly adolescent in an arrested state of development. And that’s where you meet him. And he’s just regurgitating a worldview that was dictated by his father.” Chris’s lack of personal identity when it comes to his politics becomes pretty clear early on in the movie.

His conservative ideals and knack for defending the Confederacy are inherently tied to the way he idolizes Erskine Mannix and his involvement in the Civil War. As such, though the actual Mannix Marauders are never on-screen and are, in fact, long disbanded during the events of the film, their impact still influences the plot through Chris Mannix’s actions. Ultimately, the Mannix Marauders were not a real group that participated in the American Civil War. Still, they are based on the real-life pro-Confederate paramilitary group, referred to as the Quantrill’s Raiders, with the Mannix Marauders almost acting as a stand-in for them.

Read More: Is The Hateful Eight Based on a True Story?